The plumbline libertarian has no objection to the "basic classical-liberal assumptions about the human condition" used by Hall to construct a classical-liberal bioethics (human limited virtue, self-interest, limited knowledge, and imperfectability).
The plumbline libertarian also has no objection to Hall's description of a classical-liberal bioethics. Hall's classical-liberal bioethics "eschews central decision making (and thus easy answers) in favor of localized, individualized, and polycentric decision making that evolves gradually over time" and "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 an of these actors as the ultimate decision maker." The author argues that classical-liberal bioethics "differs from mainstream progressive bioethics in that it eschews government power over (and perhaps even government funding of) biomedical research and decision making in favor of a spontaneous order" and "differs from a conservative bioethics in that it supports individual freedom rather than primarily promoting the preservation of human dignity or conforming bioethics to certain religious principles."
The plumbline libertarian, however, does object to the intermediate step Hall uses to transform the classical-liberal assumptions about the human condition into a classical-liberal bioethics. In this intermediate step the author eviscerates the concept of absolute property rights. The root of libertarian bioethics, of course, is the concept of absolute property rights recognized in the fundamental rational natural-rights ethic (self-ownership and original appropriation and non-aggression). For example, Hall asserts the following: "property does not provide one with absolute authority over one's goods," self-ownership is "necessarily limited" and "not comprehensive," "like all property, property in one's body or decisions is not a complete or perfect right," and "property will not give us all the answers we seek." Hall gives no cogent argument for these anti-absolute property rights statements. Then, the author replaces absolute property rights with the vague, irrational concepts of subsidiarity and polycentricity. Hall defines subsidiarity as "placing the authority for decisions at the lowest possible level," and polycentricity as a "system that has more than one center of authority or no center of authority at all." Thus, the author appears to assert that bioethical decisions should be made at the lowest possible level by an interconnected web of authorities that does not include the self-owner (the patient). Hall is obviously not a proselytizer for patient autonomy.
A future blog post shall analyze Hall's classical-liberal bioethics in more detail.