Bioethics in the aftermath of Brexit
Now that the United Kingdom is on a path that leads to their exit from the European Union, it will soon no longer be bound to regulations set forth by EU regarding trade, immigration, and some aspects of bioethics. The National Health Service of England, social care, and individuals with disabilities are those most likely to be affected in the transition (Campbell et al., 2016). The UK will still be a part of the Council of Europe (CoE), a body separate from the EU which includes the Committee on Bioethics, a body largely responsible for issues related to medical technology and research, and the European Court on Human Rights (Symons, 2016).
Those in the Leave camp touted the sum of money that could be sent to the NHS in the absence of fiscal responsibilities to the EU. However, the Institute of Fiscal Studies denies the accuracy of this claim (Campbell et al., 2016). Instead, it has been suggested that the economic clump that follows will result in the Department of Health’s budget being cut by £10.5 billion. Additionally, 80,000 EU migrants serving in the social care workforce may be forced to leave in the face of changing immigration laws. The concerns regarding disability rights stem from the fact that while a part of the EU, the UK could not undercut standards set forth regarding anti-discrimination law and workplace rights. Now that the UK is on its own, it must decide which standards and regulations to maintain or risk taking a huge step backward.
Symons, X. (2016). What does Brexit mean for bioethics? BioEdge. Retrieved from http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/what-does-brexit-mean-for-bioethics/11934
Campbell, D., Brindle, D., & Butler, P. (2016). What would Brexit mean for the NHS, social care and disabled people? The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jun/14/brexit-nhs-health-social-care-disabled-people-eu-referendum