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Experiments in DemocracyHuman Embryo Research and the Politics of Bioethics$
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J. Benjamin Hurlbut

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780231179546

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231179546.001.0001

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Representing Reason

Representing Reason

(p.107) 3 Representing Reason
Experiments in Democracy

J. Benjamin Hurlbut

Columbia University Press

Chapter 3 examines events of the early 1990s, focusing in particular on the deliberations of the National Institutions of Health Human Embryo Research Panel (HERP). The National Institutes of Health established the HERP after congress passed legislation that ended a de facto moratorium on federal funding for human embryo research. The chapter demonstrates how the Panel drew on John Rawls’ theory of public reason to construct an account of public reason that privileged scientific authority, and examines the political and policy reactions to the Panel’s recommendations.

Keywords:   Human Embryo Research Panel, National Institutes of Health, John Rawls, Public Reason, Dickey-Wicker Amendment, Clinton Administration

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