Listen now (31 mins) | Professor Larry R. Churchill, Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics at Vanderbilt, discusses “Biotethics Reenvisioned,” a just-published book he co-authored with Wake Forest Professor Nancy M. P. King and UNC Professor Gail E. Henderson. The authors, appropriately, argue “bioethics needs an expanded vision” or beyond one that has predominately focused on patient autonomy, beneficence and nonmaleficence. The field needs to take “a more robust role” they write and begin to address upstream issues including social determinants, health disparities, structural racism, or in sum begin to meaningfully address social or distributive justice. The field needs to move beyond what the authors’ term “lifeboat ethics” or “lifeboat framing” where issue beyond the bedside are largely if not completely ignored. The impetus for their thinking is largely, no surprise, the COVID pandemic that according the CDC has to date been responsible for 1.35 million excess deaths.