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Bioethics in cultural contexts : reflections on methods and by Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Marcus Düwell, Dietmar Mieth

By Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Marcus Düwell, Dietmar Mieth

CHRISTOPH REHMANN-SUTTER, MARCUS DÜWELL, DIETMAR MIETH once we positioned “finitude”, “limits of human lifestyles” as a motto over a around of dialogue on biomedicine and bioethics (which ended in this selection of essays) we didn't understand how a long way this may lead us into methodological quandaries. besides the fact that, we felt intuitively that an interdisciplinary technique together with social and cultural sciences could have a bonus over a completely disciplinary (philosophical or theological) research. Bioethics, whether it is to have enough discriminatory strength, may still comprise sensitivity to the cultural contexts of biomedicine, and in addition to the cultural contexts of bioethics itself. Context expertise, in fact, isn't overseas to philosophical or theological bioethics, for the straightforward cause that the problems tackled within the debates (as in different fields of ethics) couldn't be effectively understood outdoors their contexts. ethical concerns are regularly followed through contexts. once we attempt to unpack them – that is essential to lead them to obtainable to moral dialogue – we're usually faced with the truth that in elimination an excessive amount of of the context we don't make clear a topic, yet make it much less understandable. The context – no less than a few crucial elements of it – is intrinsic to the problem. Unpacking in ethics is for this reason a special process. It doesn't suggest peeling the context off, yet particularly selecting which contextual components are crucial for an knowing of the main ethical features of the problem, and explaining how they identify its specific personality.

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Scientists are members of the scientific community and highranking experts, but they are also distinguished citizens. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to bring societal and ethical dialogue into the scientific community, and not only to allow scientific lobbyism into society. 2 The societal dilemma: increasing individual options, pluralism, tolerance and the lack of restrictive consensus Modern and especially post-modern societies are based on individual rights and their protection by institutions.

The decisive issue is whether patents on process and patents on living resources can be separated: and they can. If this is the case, the living resources in themselves are the basis for financial gain. Taking into account the recognised principle of non-commercialisation of the human body and its parts, this is ethically unacceptable. It is a question of respect for human dignity and it is the real justification for rejecting biopatents on human genes. This argument is reinforced by, but not dependent on our belief in creation; the ethical concept of human dignity in itself is sufficient.

One can imagine that, in the attempt to reach a valid European consensus, the openness of this question resulted in any consensus remaining unclear in the specific case. According to Noëlle Lenoir, Germans consider an early embryo to be a human being, other countries only recognise individual human beings after birth. The Human Rights Convention on Biomedicine does not determine what a human being is. This has particular significance for the cloning of human beings. The supplementary report (January 1998), which was so highly praised in the European press, stated that it is forbidden to create a human being with the intention of making him or her identical to an already living or deceased person.

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