Can it be already 30 years since the first days of modern,
secular bioethics? As those of us in the field for almost all
these years arrive near the end of our careers, we find that
time has truly flown and the challenges have not diminished
one bit. If anything, they are even greater than in the early
years. Along the way it was tempting to think that the broad
consensus reached on research ethics, on the four principles,
on the need for consent in clinical ethics, and then on rights
in reproduction and dying, would paint the picture rather well.
Only fill-in would be needed by the apprentices coming afterward.
Yet time and again new biological and medical discoveries continued
to challenge that painting. A new canvas had to be hung. Among
the major newer developments were the challenges of healthcare
reform, genetics, antifoundationalism, the certification of
ethics consultants, and now, the internationalization of bioethics,
its relationship to the environment and world politics, and