Toward a psychodynamic approach to bioethics

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Although many first-generation bioethicists were psychiatrists and some received psychoanalytic training, the field of bioethics has developed largely in isolation from psychodynamic theory. While much has been written regarding the ethics of psychoanalysis, only a few scholars have attempted to explain bioethical phenomena in psychodynamic terms. This paper argues for the development of a comprehensive theory of "psychodynamic bioethics" that attempts to explain individual and collective attitudes toward bioethical controversy in psychodynamic terms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychoanalysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • bioethical dilemmas
  • patient-ethicist relationship
  • psychoanalysis and ethics


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