Neither Convention nor Constitution--what the debate on stem cell research tells us about the status of the common European ethics.
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- "In her work on the relationship between cultural traditions and the formation of policy on stem cell research, Hauskeller shows how 'the predominant type of ethical reasoning in a nation or culture finds expression in social and political decisions and practices' (Hauskeller, 2004). Across Europe, styles of ethical reasoning differ considerably and thus so also does the character of the legitimacy of the bioethical rule formulation process when dealing with human ESC science (Bender, Hauskeller and Manzei, 2005; see also Beckmann, 2004 (Germany); Maio, 2004 (France); Mauron and Baertschi, 2004 (Switzerland); Schmidt et al, 2004). It is likely, therefore, that within the transnational network of bioethics there are competing national modes of bioethical discourse and legitimation. "
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ABSTRACT: The possibility of content-full, universal, bioethical norms is assessed. The literature brings into question a global bioethics. A salient moral and bioethical pluralism undermines the plausibility of imposing of uniform bioethical norms on critical care. Addressing the tension between the aspiration to a global bioethics and the presence of moral pluralism is timely, given the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's development of universal, bioethical norms. The practice of critical care in the 21st century will be influenced by the tension between bioethical pluralism and counter-assertions on behalf of a global bioethics.
A growing literature reflects a bioethical pluralism with significant implications for critical care. Much of the literature supporting pluralism is rooted in a reaction in the Pacific Rim against North American and Western European moral and philosophical commitments. These voices of moral dissent join an already salient moral diversity in the West regarding issues ranging from abortion to end-of-life decision-making, physician-assisted suicide, and euthanasia, as well as conflicting understandings of the bioethics of appropriate approaches to the allocation of scarce medical resources. This literature acknowledging bioethical diversity contrasts with announcements of universal bioethical norms.
Clinicians need to appreciate the sources of moral controversy that divide them from their patients and from their colleagues and to recognize that moral and economic differences may lead to different standards of care. Taking bioethical diversity seriously supports focusing on procedural moral approaches that allow peaceable collaboration in the face of substantive moral disagreement.
Current Opinion in Critical Care 01/2006; 11(6):605-9. DOI:10.1097/01.ccx.0000184166.10121.c1 · 2.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Debates about the legitimacy of embryonic stem-cell research have largely focused on the type of ethical value that should be accorded to the human embryo in vitro. In this paper, I try to show that, to broaden the scope of these debates, one needs to articulate an ontology that does not limit itself to biological accounts, but that instead focuses on the embryo's place in a totality of relevance surrounding and guiding a human practice. Instead of attempting to substantiate the ethical value of the embryo exclusively by pointing out that it has potentiality for personhood, one should examine the types of practices in which the embryo occurs and focus on the ends inherent to these practices. With this emphasis on context, it becomes apparent that the embryo's ethical significance can only be understood by elucidating the attitudes that are established towards it in the course of specific activities. The distinction between fertilized embryos and cloned embryos proves to be important in this contextual analysis, since, from the point of view of practice, the two types of embryos appear to belong to different human practices: (assisted) procreation and medical research, respectively. In my arguments, I highlight the concepts of practice, technology, and nature, as they have been analyzed in the phenomenological tradition, particularly by Martin Heidegger. I come to the conclusion that therapeutic cloning should be allowed, provided that it turns out to be a project that benefits medical science in its aim to battle diseases. Important precautions have to be taken, however, in order to safeguard the practice of procreation from becoming perverted by the aims and attitudes of medical science when the two practices intersect. The threat in question needs to be taken seriously, since it concerns the structure and goal of practices which are central to our very self understanding as human beings.
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 02/2007; 28(1):31-62. DOI:10.1007/s11017-007-9025-1 · 0.78 Impact Factor
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