noun (used with a singular verb)
- a field of study concerned with the ethics and philosophical implications of certain biological and medical procedures, technologies, and treatments, as organ transplants, genetic engineering, and care of the terminally ill.
- (functioning as singular) the study of ethical problems arising from biological research and its applications in such fields as organ transplantation, genetic engineering, or artificial insemination
also bio-ethics, coined 1970 by U.S. biochemist Van Rensselaer Potter II (1911-2001), who defined it as “Biology combined with diverse humanistic knowledge forging a science that sets a system of medical and environmental priorities for acceptable survival.” From bio- + ethics.
- The study of the ethical and moral implications of new biological discoveries and biomedical advances, as in the fields of genetic engineering and drug research.
- The study of the ethical and moral implications of medical research and practice.