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The term Bioethics (Greek bios, \"life\"; ethos, \"moral nature, behavior\") was coined in 1927 by Fritz Jahr in an article about a \"bioethical imperative\" regarding the use of animals and plants in scientific research. In 1970, the American biochemist, and oncologist Van Rensselaer Potter used the term to describe the relationship between the biosphere and a growing human population. Potter's work laid the foundation for global ethics, a discipline centered around the link between biology, ecology, medicine, and human values. Sargent Shriver, the spouse of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, claimed that he had invented the term \"bioethics\" in the living room of his home in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1970. He stated that he thought of the word after returning from a discussion earlier that evening at Georgetown University, where he discussed with others a possible Kennedy family sponsorship of an institute focused around the \"application of moral philosophy to concrete medical dilemmas\".
The discipline of bioethics has addressed a wide swathe of human inquiry; ranging from debates over the boundaries of lifestyles (e.g. abortion, euthanasia), surrogacy, the allocation of scarce health care resources (e.g. organ donation, health care rationing), to the right to refuse medicalcare for religious or cultural reasons. Bioethicists generally fail to agree among themselves over the precise limits of their discipline, debating whether the field should concern itself with the ethical evaluation of all questions involving biology and medicine, or only a subset of these questions. Some bioethicists would narrow ethical evaluation only to the morality of medical treatments or technological innovations, and the timing of medical treatment of humans. Others would increase the scope of moral assessment to encompass the morality of all moves that would possibly assist or damage organisms successful of feeling fear.
The scope of bioethics has expanded beyond biotechnology, and while including topics such as cloning, gene therapy, life extension, human genetic engineering, it can also include astroethics and life in space, and manipulation of basic biology through altered DNA, XNA and proteins. These (and other) developments may affect future evolution and require new principles that address life at its core, such as biotic ethics that values life itself at its basic biological processes and structures, and seeks their propagation. Moving beyond the biological, issues raised in public health such as vaccination and resource allocation have also encouraged the development of novel ethics frameworks to address such challenges. A study published in 2022 based on the corpus of full papers from eight main bioethics journals demonstrated the heterogeneity of this field by distinguishing 91 topics that have been discussed in these journals over the past half a century.
Another essential precept of bioethics is its placement of cost on dialogue and presentation. Numerous dialogue based totally bioethics corporations exist in universities throughout the United States to champion precisely such goals. Examples include the Ohio State Bioethics Society and the Bioethics Society of Cornell. Professional level versions of these organizations also exist.
Medical ethics tends to be understood narrowly as applied professional ethics; whereas bioethics has a more expansive application, touching upon the philosophy of science and issues of biotechnology. The two fields often overlap, and the distinction is more so a matter of style than professional consensus. Medical ethics shares many principles with other branches of healthcare ethics, such as nursing ethics. A bioethicist assists the health care and research community in examining moral issues involved in our understanding of life and death, and resolving ethical dilemmas in medicine and science. Examples of this would be the topic of equality in medicine, the intersection of cultural practices and medical care, ethical distribution of healthcare resources in pandemics, and issues of bioterrorism.
Another discipline that discusses bioethics is the field of feminism; the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics has played an important role in organizing and legitimizing feminist work in bioethics.
Many religious communities have their histories of inquiry into bioethical issues and have developed rules and guidelines on how to deal with these issues from within the viewpoint of their respective faiths. The Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths have each developed a considerable body of literature on these matters. In the case of many non-Western cultures, a strict separation of religion from philosophy does not exist. In many Asian cultures, for example, there is a lively discussion on bioethical issues. Buddhist bioethics, in general, is characterized by a naturalistic outlook that leads to a rationalistic, pragmatic approach. Buddhist bioethicists include Damien Keown. In India, Vandana Shiva is a leading bioethicist speaking from the Hindu tradition.
In Africa, and partly also in Latin America, the debate on bioethics frequently focuses on its practical relevance in the context of underdevelopment and geopolitical power relations. In Africa, their bioethical approach is influenced by and similar to Western bioethics due to the colonization of many African countries. Some African bioethicists are calling for a shift in bioethics that utilizes indigenous African philosophy rather than western philosophy. Some African bioethicists also believe that Africans will be more likely to accept a bioethical approach grounded in their own culture, as well as empower African people.[vague]
Masahiro Morioka argues that in Japan the bioethics movement was first launched by disability activists and feminists in the early 1970s, while academic bioethics began in the mid-1980s. During this period, unique philosophical discussions on brain death and disability appeared both in the academy and journalism. In Chinese culture and bioethics, there is not as much of an emphasis on autonomy as opposed to the heavy emphasis placed on autonomy in Western bioethics. Community, social values, and family are all heavily valued in Chinese culture, and contribute to the lack of emphasis on autonomy in Chinese bioethics. The Chinese believe that the family, community, and individual are all interdependent of each other, so it is common for the family unit to collectively make decisions regarding healthcare and medical decisions for a loved one, instead of an individual making an independent decision for his or her self.
Some argue that spirituality and understanding one another as spiritual beings and moral agents is an important aspect of bioethics and that spirituality and bioethics are heavily intertwined with one another. As a healthcare provider, it is important to know and understand varying world views and religious beliefs. Having this knowledge and understanding can empower healthcare providers with the ability to better treat and serve their patients. Developing a connection and understanding of a patient's moral agent helps enhance the care provided to the patient. Without this connection or understanding, patients can be at risk of becoming \"faceless units of work\" and being looked at as a \"set of medical conditions\" as opposed to the storied and spiritual beings that they are.
Bioethics in the realm of Islam differs from Western bioethics, but they share some similar perspectives viewpoints as well. Western bioethics is focused on rights, especially individual rights. Islamic bioethics focuses more on religious duties and obligations, such as seeking treatment and preserving life. Islamic bioethics is heavily influenced and connected to the teachings of the Qur'an as well as the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. These influences essentially make it an extension of Shariah or Islamic Law. In Islamic bioethics, passages from the Qur'an are often used to validate various medical practices. For example, a passage from the Qur'an states \"whosoever killeth a human being ... it shall be as if he had killed all humankind, and whosoever saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he saved the life of all humankind.\" This excerpt can be used to encourage using medicine and medical practices to save lives, but can also be looked at as a protest against euthanasia and assisted suicide. A high value and worth are placed on human life in Islam, and in turn, human life is deeply valued in the practice of Islamic bioethics as well. Muslims believe all human life, even one of poor quality, needs to be given appreciation and must be cared for and conserved.
To react to new technological and medical advancements, informed Islamic jurists regularly will hold conferences to discuss new bioethical issues and come to an agreement on where they stand on the issue from an Islamic perspective. This allows Islamic bioethics to stay pliable and responsive to new advancements in medicine. The standpoints taken by Islamic jurists on bioethical issues are not always unanimous decisions and at times may differ. There is much diversity among Muslims varying from country to country, and the different degrees to which they adhere by Shariah. Differences and disagreements in regards to jurisprudence, theology, and ethics between the two main branches of Islam, Sunni, and Shia, lead to differences in the methods and ways in which Islamic bioethics is practiced throughout the Islamic world. An area where there is a lack of consensus is brain death. The Organization of Islamic Conferences Islamic Fiqh Academy (OIC-IFA) holds the view that brain death is equivalent to cardiopulmonary death, and acknowledges brain death in an individual as the individual being deceased. On the contrary, the Islamic Organization of Medical Sciences (IOMS) states that brain death is an \"intermediate state between life and death\" and does not acknowledge a brain dead individual as being deceased. 59ce067264