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Epistocracy for Online Deliberative Bioethics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Giuseppe Schiavone, Matteo Mameli, Giovanni Boniolo

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-280
Number of pages9
JournalCambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
Issue number3
E-pub ahead of print10 Jun 2015


King's Authors


The suggestion that deliberative democratic approaches would suit the management of bioethical policymaking in democratic pluralistic societies has triggered what has been called the “deliberative turn” in health policy and bioethics. Most of the empirical work in this area has focused on the allocation of healthcare resources and priority setting at the local or national level. The variety of the more or less articulated theoretical efforts behind such initiatives is remarkable and has been accompanied, to date, by an overall lack of method specificity. We propose a set of methodological requirements for online deliberative procedures for bioethics. We provide a theoretical motivation for these requirements. In particular, we discuss and adapt an “epistocratic” proposal and argue that, regardless of its merits as a general political theory, a more refined version of its normative claims can generate a useful framework for the design of bioethical forums that combine maximal inclusiveness with informed and reasonable deliberation.

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