Bioethics is the study of the typically controversial ethical issues emerging from new situations and possibilities brought about by advances in biology and medicine. It is also moral discernment as it relates to medical policy and practice. Bioethicists are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the relationships among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, and philosophy. It also includes the study of the more commonplace questions of values ("the ethics of the ordinary") which arise in primary care and other branches of medicine.
- Etymology 1.1
- Purpose and scope 2
- Principles 3
- Medical ethics 4
- Perspectives and methodology 5
- Issues 6
- See also 7
- References 8
Further reading 9
- General bioethics 9.1
- Jewish bioethics 9.2
- Christian bioethics 9.3
- Muslim bioethics 9.4
- Buddhist bioethics 9.5
- Hindu bioethics 9.6
- External links 10
The term Bioethics (Greek bios, life; ethos, behavior) was coined in 1926 by Fritz Jahr, who "anticipated many of the arguments and discussions now current in biological research involving animals" in an article about the "bioethical imperative," as he called it, regarding the scientific use of animals and plants. In 1970, the American biochemist Van Rensselaer Potter also used the term with a broader meaning including solidarity towards the biosphere, thus generating a "global ethics," a discipline representing a link between biology, ecology, medicine and human values in order to attain the survival of both human beings and other animal species.
Purpose and scope
The field of bioethics has addressed a broad swathe of human inquiry, ranging from debates over the boundaries of life (e.g.
- Bioethics entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- The Royal Children's Hospital Children's Bioethics Centre, Melbourne, Australia
- The Program for Biomedical Ethics, Yale University
- The Hastings Center's Bioethics Forum blog
- The Berman Institute Bioethics Bulletin Blog, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
- VIDEOS from Bioethics Symposium, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health (2011)
- The Bioethics Research Library, Georgetown University
- Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, South Australia, Australia
- Bioethique.com Bioethics France
- "Feminist Bioethics" at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- BioExplorer.Net Bioethics and related web resources
- Coward, H. G., J. J. Lipner, and K. K. Young. (1989) Hindu Ethics: Purity, Abortion, and Euthanasia. Albany: State University of New York Press.
- Crawford, S. C. (2003) Hindu bioethics for the Twenty-first Century. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
- Crawford, S. C. (1995) Dilemmas of Life and Death, Hindu Ethics in A North American Context 1995. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
- Firth, S. (2005) End-of-life: a Hindu view. The Lancet. 366(9486): 682-686.
- Lakhan, Shaheen. (2008) Hinduism: life and death. Student BMJ. 16(18):310-311.
- Florida, R. E. (1994) Buddhism and the Four Principles in Principles of Health Care Ethics, ed. R. Gillon and A. Lloyd, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 105-16.
- Keown, Damien. (1995) Buddhism & Bioethics. London and New York: Macmillan/St. Martins Press.
- Hamdy, Sherine. "Our Bodies Belong to God: Organ Transplantation, Islam, and the Struggle for Human Dignity in Egypt" (2012) Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-27176-0
- Al Khayat MH. "Health and Islamic behaviour" in: El Gindy AR, editor, Health policy, ethics and human values: Islamic perspective. Kuwait: Islamic Organization of Medical Sciences; 1995. p. 447-50.
- Ebrahim, Abul Fadl Mohsin. (1989). Abortion, Birth Control and Surrogate Parenting. An Islamic Perspective. Indianapolis. ISBN 0-89259-081-5
- Esposito, John. (ed.) (1995). "Surrogate Motherhood" in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (vol. 4). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509615-0
- Karic, Enes. "The Ethics of Cloning" in Islamica Magazine Fall/Winter 2004. Issue #11
- Islamic Medical and Scientific Ethics (IMSE) Special Collection and Database at Georgetown University
- Colson, Charles W. (ed.) (2004). Human Dignity in the Biotech Century: A Christian Vision for Public Policy. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0-8308-2783-8
- Demy, Timothy J. and Gary P. Stewart. (1998). Suicide: A Christian Response: Crucial Considerations for Choosing Life. Grand Rapids: Kregel. ISBN 0-8254-2355-4
- Pope John Paul II. (1995). Evangelium Vitae: The Gospel of Life. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-8129-2671-4
- Kilner, John et al. (1995). Bioethics and the Future of Medicine: A Christian Appraisal. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8028-4081-7
- Kilner, John F., Arlene B. Miller, and Edmund D. Pellegrino (eds.). (1996). Dignity and Dying: A Christian Appraisal. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co.; and Carlisle, United Kingdom: Paternoster Press. ISBN 0-8028-4232-1
- Meilaender, Gilbert (2004). Bioethics: A Primer For Christians. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8028-4234-8
- Loudovikos, Nikolaos, Protopresbyter (2002). The Individualization of Death and Euthanasia, Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, Committee of Bioethics, Scientific Conference on Euthanasia (Athens, May 17–18, 2002), retrieved on February 27, 2009. (Article in Greek).
- Pope Paul VI. (1968). Humanae vitae: Human Life. Vatican City.
- Cardinal William Levada. (2008)  Instruction 'Dignitas Personae' on certain Bioethical Questions.
- Smith, Wesley J. (2004). Consumer's Guide to A Brave New World. San Francisco: Encounter Books. ISBN 1-893554-99-6
- Smith, Wesley J. (2000). Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America. San Francisco: Encounter Books. ISBN 1-893554-06-6
- Smith, Wesley J. (1997). Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Murder. New York: Times Books. ISBN 0-8129-2790-7
- Stewart, Gary P. et al. (1998). Basic Questions on Suicide and Euthanasia: Are They Ever Right? BioBasics Series. Grand Rapids: Kregel. ISBN 0-8254-3072-0
- Stewart, Gary P. et al. (1998). Basic Questions on End of Life Decisions: How Do We Know What's Right? Grand Rapids: Kregel. ISBN 0-8254-3070-4
- Westphal, Euler Renato. O Oitavo dia – na era da seleção artificial (See The Eighth Day (book) Review) . 1. ed. São Bento do Sul: União Cristã, 2004. v. 01. 125 p. ISBN 85-87485-18-0
- Archimandrite Adam (Vakhtang Akhaladze)A Human in Bioethical Space and Time. 2010
- Bleich, J. David. (1981). Judaism and Healing. New York: Ktav. ISBN 0-87068-891-X
- Dorff, Elliot N. (1998). Matters of Life and Death: A Jewish Approach to Modern Medical Ethics. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. ISBN 0-8276-0647-8
- Feldman DM. (1974). Marital relations, birth control, and abortion in Jewish law. New York: Schocken Books.
- Freedman B. (1999). Duty and healing: foundations of a Jewish bioethic. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-92179-1
- Jakobovits I. (1959). Jewish Medical Ethics. New York: Bloch Publishing.
- Mackler, Aaron L. (ed.) (2000). Life & Death Responsibilities in Jewish Biomedical Ethics. New York: JTS. ISBN 0-87334-081-7.
- Maibaum M. "A 'progressive' Jewish medical ethics: notes for an agenda" in Journal of Reform Judaism 1986;33(3):27-33.
- Rosner, Fred. (1986). Modern medicine and Jewish ethics. New York: Yeshiva University Press. ISBN 0-88125-091-0
- Conservative Judaism Vol. 54(3), Spring 2002 (contains a set of six articles on bioethics)
- Zohar, Noam J. (1997). Alternatives in Jewish Bioethics. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-3273-4
- Caplan, Arthur Smart Mice Not So Smart People Rowman Littlefield 2006
- Häyry, Matti; Tuija Takala; Peter Herissone-Kelly; Gardar Árnason (Eds.) (2010). Arguments and Analysis in Bioethics. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-420-2802-9
- Kaldis, Byron (2011). "Bioethics". Sage Encyclopedia of Green Technology. Thousand Oaks: CA, Sage http://www.academia.edu/2026131/BIOETHICS_full_version
- Luna, Florencia, (2006) Bioethics and Vulnerability: A Latin American View. Edited by Peter Herissone-Kelly. Translated from Spanish by Laura Pakter. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-420-2073-3
- Rinčić, I., Muzur, A.: Fritz Jahr i rađanje europske bioetike (Fritz Jahr and the Birth of European Bioethics). Zagreb: Pergamena, 2012., page 141 (Croatian)
- Goldim, J. R. (2009). Revisiting the beginning of bioethics: The contributions of Fritz Jahr (1927). Perspect Biol Med, Sum, 377-380.
- Cf. Michel Weber and Will Desmond (eds.). Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought (Frankfurt / Lancaster, Ontos Verlag, Process Thought X1 & X2, 2008) and Ronny Desmet & Michel Weber (edited by), Whitehead. The Algebra of Metaphysics. Applied Process Metaphysics Summer Institute Memorandum, Louvain-la-Neuve, Les Éditions Chromatika, 2010.
- Bioethics (journal)
- Cytoplasmic transfer
- Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
- Hastings Center Report (journal)
- Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics
- Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal
- Medical law
- Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
- Resources for clinical ethics consultation
- The Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine
- Yeshiva University Medical Ethics Society
- Alternative Medicine
- Animal rights
- Artificial insemination
- Artificial life
- Artificial womb
- Assisted suicide
- Biological patent
- Biotic ethics
- Blood transfusion
- Body modification
- Brain-computer interface
- Confidentiality (medical records)
- Contraception (birth control)
- Euthanasia (human, non-human animal)
- Faith Healing
- Feeding tube
- Gene theft
- Gene therapy
- Genetically modified food
- Genetically modified organism
- Great Ape Project
- Human cloning
- Human enhancement
- Human experimentation in the United States
- Human genetic engineering
- Infertility treatments
- Life extension
- Life support
- Medical malpractice
- Medical research
- Medical torture
- Mitochondrial donation
- Moral obligation
- Moral status of animals
- Nazi human experimentation
- Ordinary and extraordinary care
- Organ donation
- Organ transplant
- Pain management
- Patients' Bill of Rights
- Political abuse of psychiatry
- Population control
- Prescription drug prices in the United States
- Procreative beneficence
- Professional ethics
- Quality of Life (Healthcare)
- Quaternary prevention
- Recreational drug use
- Reproductive rights
- Sex reassignment therapy
- Sperm and egg donation
- Spiritual drug use
- Stem cell research
- Transplant trade
- Vaccination controversy
Areas of health sciences that are the subject of published, peer-reviewed bioethical analysis include:
Many religious communities have their own histories of inquiry into bioethical issues and have developed rules and guidelines on how to deal with these issues from within the viewpoint of their respective faiths. The Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths have each developed a considerable body of literature on these matters. In the case of many non-Western cultures, a strict separation of religion from philosophy does not exist. In many Asian cultures, for example, there is a lively discussion on bioethical issues. Buddhist bioethics, in general, is characterised by a naturalistic outlook that leads to a rationalistic, pragmatic approach. Buddhist bioethicists include Damien Keown. In India, Vandana Shiva is a leading bioethicist speaking from the Hindu tradition. In Africa, and partly also in Latin America, the debate on bioethics frequently focuses on its practical relevance in the context of underdevelopment and geopolitical power relations.
Bioethicists come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have training in a diverse array of disciplines. The field contains individuals trained in philosophy such as interdisciplinary, with some critics even claiming that the methods of analytic philosophy have had a negative effect on the field's development. Leading journals in the field include The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, The Hastings Center Report, the American Journal of Bioethics, the Journal of Medical Ethics and the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. Bioethics has also benefited from the process philosophy developed by Alfred North Whitehead.
Perspectives and methodology
Medical ethics tends to be understood narrowly as an applied professional ethics, whereas bioethics appears to have worked more expansive concerns, touching upon the philosophy of science and issues of biotechnology. Still, the two fields often overlap and the distinction is more a matter of style than professional consensus. Medical ethics shares many principles with other branches of healthcare ethics, such as nursing ethics. A bioethicist assists the health care and research community in examining moral issues involved in our understanding of life and death, and resolving ethical dilemmas in medicine and science.
Medical ethics is the study of moral values and judgments as they apply to medicine. As a scholarly discipline, medical ethics encompasses its practical application in clinical settings as well as work on its history, philosophy, theology, and sociology.
Another important principle of bioethics is its placement of value on discussion and presentation. Numerous discussion based bioethics groups exist in universities across the United States to champion exactly such goals. Examples include the Ohio State Bioethics Society and the Bioethics Society of Cornell. Professional level versions of these organizations also exist.
One of the first areas addressed by modern bioethicists was that of human experimentation. The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research was initially established in 1974 to identify the basic ethical principles that should underlie the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects. However, the fundamental principles announced in the Belmont Report (1979)—namely, autonomy, beneficence and justice—have influenced the thinking of bioethicists across a wide range of issues. Others have added non-maleficence, human dignity and the sanctity of life to this list of cardinal values.
The scope of bioethics can expand with biotechnology, including cloning, gene therapy, life extension, human genetic engineering, astroethics and life in space, and manipulation of basic biology through altered DNA, XNA and proteins. These developments will affect future evolution, and may require new principles that address life at its core, such as biotic ethics that values life itself at its basic biological processes and structures, and seeks their propagation.
innovations, and the timing of medical treatment of humans. Others would broaden the scope of ethical evaluation to include the morality of all actions that might help or harm organisms capable of feeling fear. technological Some bioethicists would narrow ethical evaluation only to the morality of medical treatments or