Ethical expertise and public policy

Authored by: John Harris , David Lawrence

The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201279
eBook ISBN: 9781315461731
Adobe ISBN:


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Recent legal cases, public scandals, and personal tragedies have seen an unprecedented rise in purported ethical expertise featuring in the news media. Here, we explore the difference between expertise and opinion in ethical matters as presented to the public, and describe minimum tests that statements on ethical issues ought to meet before they can be seriously treated as either ethical judgement or the deployment of ethical expertise. We illustrate the problem and highlight the engagement between ethical expertise and public policy using a United Kingdom case that garnered international attention and intervention from world leaders – that of Charlie Gard.

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