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[bahy-oh-eth-iks] /ˌbaɪ oʊˈɛθ ɪks/
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.
Origin of bioethics
First recorded in 1970-75; bio- + ethics
Related forms
bioethical, adjective
[bahy-oh-eth-uh-sist] /ˌbaɪ oʊˈɛθ ə sɪst/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for bioethics


(functioning as sing) the study of ethical problems arising from biological research and its applications in such fields as organ transplantation, genetic engineering, or artificial insemination
Derived Forms
bioethical, adjective
bioethicist (ˌbaɪəʊˈɛθɪsɪst) noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bioethics

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bioethics in Medicine

bioethics bi·o·eth·ics (bī'ō-ěth'ĭks)
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 American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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bioethics in Science
The study of the ethical and moral implications of medical research and practice.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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bioethics in Culture

bioethics definition

The application of ethics to the science and practice of biology, especially as modern science is applied to human life and reproduction.

Note: With the advent of cloning and research on embryonic stem cells, bioethics has become an important branch of scientific inquiry.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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