Response to Ruud ter Meulen

Ruth Chadwick

About author

Prof. Ruth Chadwick
Professor of Bioethics
Williamson Building 2.13
School of Law
The University of Manchester
M13 9PL


Professor Ruth Chadwick is Professor of Bioethics at the University of Manchester. From 2002-2013 she directed the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen). She co-edits Bioethics and Life Sciences, Society and Policy, and has served on the Council of the Human Genome Organisation, the Panel of Eminent Ethical Experts of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), and the UK Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP). She is Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences; of the Hastings Center, New York; of the Royal Society of Arts; and of the Society of Biology. In 2005 she won the World Technology Network Award for Ethics and in 2014 she was elected Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.


In addition to thinking about the meanings of solidarity, it is important to address how solidarity of the appropriate sort can be cultivated. Possibilities include the transformative power of key individuals or events; and the role of institutions. In health care it is suggested that a combination of the two strategies is required.  Professional conduct includes not only acting in 'face to face' delivery, but also engaging with those institutions which enable or disable certain ways of acting, so that they are constantly subject to revision to ensure that they facilitate the provision of decent healthcare.

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  1. R. Chadwick, “The Communitarian Turn: Myth or Reality?” Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 20 (4) 2011, p. 546–553.
  2. J. Habermas, “Reconciliation through the Public Use of Reason: Remarks on John Rawls's Political Liberalism,” Journal of Philosophy 92 (3) 1995, p. 117–118.
  3. HUGO Ethics Committee, Statement on Benefit-Sharing, Vancouver, April 2000; URL =
  4. HUGO Ethics Committee, “HUGO Statement on Pharmacogenomics (PGx): Solidarity, Equity and Governance,” Genomics, Society and Policy 3 (1) 2007, p. 44–47.
  5. B.M. Knoppers, R. Chadwick, “Human genetic research: emerging trends in ethics,” Nature Reviews Genetics 6 (1) 2005, p. 75–79.
  6. R. Nagy, “Reconciliation in Post-Commission South Africa: Thick and Thin Accounts of Solidarity,” Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue Canadienne de Science Politique 35 (2) 2002, p. 323–346.
  7. B. Prainsack, A. Buyx, Solidarity: Reflections on an emerging concept in bioethics, Nuffield Council on Bioethics 2011.
  8. C. Spinosa, F. Flores, H. Dreyfus, “Disclosing New Worlds: Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action, and the Cultivation of Solidarity,” Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 38 (1–2) 1995, p. 3–63.
  9. G. Warnock, The Object of Morality, Methuen, London 1971.
  10. G. Williams, R. Chadwick, “Responsibilities for Healthcare: Kantian Reflections,” Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (21) 2012, p. 1–11.


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