Bioethics: modern science and ethics

Topics: Ethics, Animal rights, Morality Pages: 6 (2318 words) Published: April 16, 2014
Science defines human life as a characteristic that exhibit a process with organization, growth, adaptation, etc.; however, ancient sages told people human life is extremely valuable and sacred, as a religious doctrine in the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not kill.” Moreover, when people talk about ethics, they will think about rules to differentiate right and wrong. It might be wise maxims of Confucius or religious beliefs. The most general way to define “ethics” is that “moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior” (American English in Oxford Dictionary). Bioethics is a pretty young interdisciplinary study, which is considered with ethical questions related to the relationships among human beings, animals, and environments in the late twentieth century. Based on this, bioethics derived three main subdisciplines, which are medical ethics, animal ethics, and environmental ethics. Although each sub-discipline has particular study area in bioethics, there still are overlaps of ethical considerations and approaches. This makes it difficult to easily discuss ethics questions such as stem cell research, xenotransplantation, the ethical status of animals and the ethical status of the environment. Further discussion about the vital issue of moral status solutions is necessary at the same time. In the rapid development of the natural sciences and biotechnology has greatly promoted better living conditions and improve the living standards of people around the world. On another hand, there are opposite consequences, like water and air pollution, nuclear waste, tropical deforestation, as well as large-scale livestock farming, as well as special innovative technologies, such as gene technology and cloning, resulting in doubts and even fears about the future of humanity. Blank legal system, for example, for abortion and euthanasia, many people are very concerned about another one of the reasons. Moreover, ethical issues, from specific conditions and dry, for example, genetic manipulation of food, they produce an intense public debate and serious public safety concerns and issues to consider in the past. As a discipline -specific approach applied ethics and moral reasoning depend largely on the findings in the life sciences, the main problem is that bioethics ethics, animal ethics and environmental ethics. Medical ethics

The history of medical ethics can go back to the beginning of Hippocratic Oath, which is an ancient oath to restrain medical behaviors of physicians possibly in fourth century BC (Edelstein, L., 2000, p. 3). Medical ethics if not only limited to the Oath; after thousands of years’ developments, it has become to a complete system of moral principles that concern the values and judgments to the practice of medicine. As a result, this change has come out advances in medical fields and “affected nearly every aspect of clinical practice, from the confidentiality of patient records to end-of life issues” (Wells, K. R., 2007, p. 1528). For example, as Wells (2007) summarized, Dubler (2000) wrote an article including some topics of what he considered very important in medical ethics and “eHealth” is one on the list. “eHealth”, which means “The expansion of the Internet and other rapid changes in information technology have raised many questions about the confidentiality of electronic medical records as well as the impact of online education on medical training” (Wells, K. R., 2007, p. 1529). According to Clouser (1997), medical ethics has roles. The first one is “a consciousness-raising enterprise, alerting us to everything from grossest injustice to subtlest nuance” (Clouser, K. D., 1997, p. 94). There is a well-known case called “Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California” discussing the need to breach confidentiality in certain circumstances. The California Tarasoff case illustrates the difficulties in protecting patients’ confidentiality. In this case, a graduate student of UC Berkeley,...
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