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"Ethics was here": studying the language-games of ethics in the case of UK Biobank

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2005
<mark>Journal</mark>Critical Public Health
Issue number4
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)385-397
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Recent years have seen a proliferation in discourses on ethics, not least in relation to the establishment of large genetic databases, so-called biobanks. Through an analysis of UK Biobank and its so-called Ethics and Governance Framework, this paper suggests viewing the increased attention paid to ethics as part of a special mode of regulation created through what Wittgenstein called language-games. This article outlines selected aspects of this mode of regulation focusing on its political implications, namely in relation to (1) the representation of individual choice, (2) the use of public consultation, (3) the effects of ethical discourses on the establishment of regimes for property exchange, (4) and changing conceptions of governance.