Making the Autonomous Client: How Genetic Counselors Construct Autonomous Subjects

Bioethical Issues, Sociological Perspectives

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1438-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-501-7

ISSN: 1057-6290

Publication date: 1 January 2007


The issues raised by bioethics have been discussed broadly within medical sociology. Scholars such as Bosk (2002), Rothman (1986), DeVries (2004), DeVries and Subedi (1998), and others have discussed the social origins, organization, and consequences of various aspects of bioethics, while many authors have discussed the ways in which bioethics may be blind to social context. Fox and DeVries note that all contributors to the DeVries and Subedi (1998) text fault bioethicists for their failure to recognize the multiple social, cultural, and historical influences on their ethical thinking and the failure to recognize the broader implications of their work for society. The collection of essays in DeVries and Subedi is an exceptionally rich source of sociological reflection about bioethics, its origin, social organization, and implications. This text stands in contrast to previous work by sociologists who served within bioethics as consultants or advisors to bioethics committees. Since its publication, relatively fewer works have sought to understand the world of bioethics through a sociological lens, although the number of books and journals on bioethics has proliferated.


Morrison, D. (2007), "Making the Autonomous Client: How Genetic Counselors Construct Autonomous Subjects", Katz Rothman, B., Mitchell Armstrong, E. and Tiger, R. (Ed.) Bioethical Issues, Sociological Perspectives (Advances in Medical Sociology, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 179-198.

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