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10.9Summary

  • Bioethics is a new research field born in the United States in the 1970s. From the academic perspectives, it studies over-interpreted medical ethics and various issues concerning the values of life science research.
  • At its core is a model to protect the human rights of test subjects in clinical research. Initially having been created out of profound remorse for the inhuman experiments on human bodies conducted during the Second World War, bioethics sets human dignity as its main principle. Specific regulatory procedures focus particularly upon informed consent by the test subject and the screening of research projects by the Institutional Review Board.
  • In addition, the discussion on bioethics overlaps the Christian concept of values. The controversy on the liberalization of abortion stirred the debate on at what stage a human embryo is considered a human. In Europe, many countries have enacted laws regulating reproductive technologies.
  • In the United States, human body parts are being commercialized, which the European society condemns. The European society is heading towards constituting separate laws regarding the handling of the human body, while aspiring common European bioethical principles.

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