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10Bioethics

In the age in which physical science was the major axis of research, natural science was believed to be independent of ethics and values. Today, however, as the life sciences has become the center of natural science, this relation has changed inevitably. Since the time when living beings, including man, became the focus of research in the life sciences, issues concerning how to interpret and handle ethics and values have gained significance. This also means the beginning of an age in which the future of the life sciences and medical care needs to be reviewed from the viewpoint of society as a whole. In America, bioethics emerged as a science dealing with the life sciences and areas overlapping with subjects such as values, ethics, law, and religion around the 1970s. At the beginning of the 21st century, these various issues are entering a new developmental stage.

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