Unfortunately, though Hall recognizes that classical-liberal bioethics does not equal libertarian bioethics, she attributes the lack of equivalence to the wrong reasons. She asserts, for example, that libertarian bioethics does not recognize limits on the power of science to create "human perfection", "rejects even informal social controls over individual behavior", asserts that "man is an island", does not think "freedom must be balanced and (if possible) made compatible with the myriad other values that promote human flourishing", and is exemplified by author and Reason contributor Ronald Bailey. Uh no.
The actual difference between libertarian bioethics and classical-liberal bioethics is provided in the first paragraph of this section, when Hall states the following: "A classical-liberal bioethics will be a pluralistic, polycentric order that acknowledges patient autonomy while providing support by experts from the medical community, religious leaders, ethicists, and counselors, but it will reject any of these actors as the ultimate decision maker." I amend that sentence here to compare the libertarian bioethics vision: A libertarian bioethics "will be a pluralistic, polycentric order that acknowledges patient autonomy while providing support by experts from the medical community, religious leaders, ethicists, and counselors, but it will" recognize the individual patient "as the ultimate decision maker" (or if the individual patient is incapacitated or immature, a guardian previously designated by the patient or biological parents or legal guardians or next of kin [depending on the specific circumstances] will act as ultimate decision maker.
What is the root of the difference between libertarian and classical-liberal bioethics? Libertarians believe in full self-ownership, whereas classical-liberals do not. Thus, classical-liberal bioethics is more akin to conservative or progressive bioethics than libertarian bioethics. This makes me sad. Evidence for my assertion is the following sentence: "A classical-liberal bioethics thus solves the crisis of bioethics by providing people with a purpose, principles, and realistic expectations, and it relocates the ultimate decision-making authority in the people as a whole."
This finally ends the LIBERTARIAN BIOETHICS BLOGger's review of Lauren Hall's essay.