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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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Working Paper

Publication Date



Boston University School of Law




This essay critically reviews the theory of biomedical ethics from a law-and-economics perspective. It suggests that the best direction for society is toward greater reliance on property rights and recognized spheres of autonomy, coupled with freedom of contract within specified limits; and that as a result, the role of thebiomedical ethicist should be diminished over time rather than enhanced. I consider applications to the duty of beneficence and commerce in body parts.

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