Socio-empirically informed, theoretically reflective, and comparative studies of lay moralities and expert bioethics can reveal how individual meanings and cultural scripts are closely interwoven. Abstract norms, social practices, and personal experiences are balanced, adjusted and weighed against each other. Moreover, social science, ethics and political philosophy are already expressed in lay persons’ perceptions and thinking. Emphasizing the local and contextual nature of the problems of bioethics is not enough; it needs to be explored and compared so that shared issues can be elicited. The approach we suggest is useful for heterogeneous, pluralistic contexts that require a reflective juxtaposition of the macro and the micro. Such democratic deliberation can lead to the formulation of socially accepted directions for future practices.