noun, plural in form but singular in construction
bio·​eth·​ics | \ ˌbi-(ˌ)ō-ˈe-thiks How to pronounce bioethics (audio) \

Definition of bioethics

: a discipline dealing with the ethical implications of biological research and applications especially in medicine

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Other Words from bioethics

bioethical \ ˌbi-​(ˌ)ō-​ˈe-​thi-​kəl How to pronounce bioethical (audio) \ adjective
bioethicist \ ˌbi-​(ˌ)ō-​ˈe-​thə-​sist How to pronounce bioethicist (audio) \ noun

Examples of bioethics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hospitals should also prepare alternatives for those who don’t make it to the top of the list for limited resources, such as stocking up on morphine, said Philip Rosoff of Duke University’s Trent Center for bioethics. Nicole Winfield, The Denver Post, "Amid coronavirus pandemic, how would overwhelmed hospitals decide who to treat first?," 30 Mar. 2020 Pilar Ossorio, a professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, worries there is so much pressure to produce positive results that conditions are ripe for cutting corners. Jordan Nutting, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus is revolutionizing scientific practices and communication. Here's how," 7 July 2020 Nancy Berlinger, a research scholar at The Hastings Center, a bioethics research institute that in March released an ethical framework for health care institutions responding to COVID-19, tells Health. Patti Greco,, "If Coronavirus Patients Outnumber Ventilators, Who Gets One? Here's How Doctors Decide," 10 Apr. 2020 Although a wide range of health professionals can prescribe medication, health providers who don’t specialize in palliative care may be unfamiliar with these therapies, said Arthur Caplan, a bioethics professor at NYU Langone Medical Center. Liz Szabo, USA TODAY, "Shortage of palliative care in the US could amplify suffering for coronavirus patients," 26 Mar. 2020 In the best circumstances, decisions to ration health care, especially urgently, should be cooperative and clearly explained to the public, bioethics experts said. Ginger Christ, cleveland, "Scarcity, health care rationing and coronavirus: The choices only get tougher," 18 Mar. 2020 The bill is part of a broader bioethics draft law under debate at the National Assembly. San Diego Union-Tribune, "French conservatives protest bill allowing IVF for lesbians," 6 Oct. 2019 Dov Fox, the University of San Diego's director for health law policy and bioethics, agrees. CBS News, "Man who says clinic wrongly used his donated sperm for 17 children: "It's overwhelming"," 4 Oct. 2019 Johnathan Marks, who directs the bioethics program at Penn State, warns specifically against this. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "The problem with the Gates Foundation’s award to Narendra Modi," 27 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bioethics.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bioethics

1970, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of bioethics was in 1970

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bioethics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for bioethics


noun plural but usually singular in construction
bio·​eth·​ics | \ -ˈeth-iks How to pronounce bioethics (audio) \

Medical Definition of bioethics

: the discipline dealing with the ethical implications of biological research and applications especially in medicine

Other Words from bioethics

bioethic \ -​ˈeth-​ik How to pronounce bioethic (audio) \ noun
bioethical \ -​ˈeth-​i-​kəl How to pronounce bioethical (audio) \ adjective

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