The right to exit the footnote: a story of rediscovery and revival of Fritz Jahr’s bioethics (with special regard to Italy)
Despite the numerous works evaluating Fritz Jahr’s importance for bioethics, there is still a widespread practice at best to put his name in some of the footnotes. The similar practice is recognized in Italy and the full appreciation of his work – contrary to the reception of Van Rensselaer Potter’s work – is still to come. First part of this paper is concerned with the mentioned uncommendable practice as a main motive of the article. Second part shortly captures the main facts about life and work of Fritz Jahr. Third part is dedicated to summary of extensive work of Van Rensselaer Potter. Next part reveals the trends and practices in Italy concerning the reception of those two «fathers of bioethics» and delineate the lines of research based on their work. In conclusion the authors call for caution and attentive approach to history of bioethics because mixing those research lines could be at least deceptive if not completely unfruitful.
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