Abstract

Canadians frequently have recourse to public commissions as a means of dealing with contentious public policy issues. This essay examines the role of philosophers and philosophy in nine such commissions, all of which have dealt with issues in biomedical ethics. The principal findings of this essay are that philosophers have not been used extensively by these commissions, and that the philosophical aspects of the issues under investigation have been dealt with quite inadequately. The essay concludes with suggestions for an expanded role for philosophers in such commissions.

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