Raymond De Vries, Ph.D.
Raymond G. De Vries, Ph. D., is Professor emeritus at the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. He is also is professor emeritus at CAPHRI (School for Public Health and Primary Care), Maastricht University, Netherlands.
De Vries widely known for his analyses of the organizational and cultural influences on the way bioethics is practiced. He has done substantial research on the history and organization of bioethics, arguing that attention to the place of bioethics in the clinical and research work of medicine allows a richer sense of the moral problems that attend the provision of health care. His description of the differences between “sociology in bioethics” and “sociology of bioethics” inform the two anthologies he co-edited – Bioethics and Society (Prentice-Hall, 1998) and The view from here: Social Science and Bioethics (Blackwell, 2007). He is also co-editor of a special issue of Social Science and Medicine (2013) on ‘bioethics in the field” – an examination of how bioethics operates in different cultural environments – and a special issue of the Journal of Clinical Ethics (2013) on the ethics of women’s choices of place of birth.
He is expert in the use of democratic deliberation for soliciting informed public opinion in the area of bioethics. He and his colleagues are at the forefront of validating and refining this increasingly popular research tool, and have developed criteria for measuring the quality of democratic deliberation—including equal participation, respect for the opinions of others, the adoption of a societal perspective (rather than an egoistic perspective), and the reasoned justification of ideas and opinions. With his research team he has used this technique to solicit informed public opinion on the ethics of surrogate consent for Alzheimer’s and dementia research, the return of incidental findings in the practice of precision medicine, and policies for consent for biobank donations.