Global bioethics: Utopia or reality?

Developing World Bioethics 8 (2):70-81 (2008)
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Abstract

This article discusses what 'global bioethics' means today and what features make bioethical research 'global'. The article provides a historical view of the development of the field of 'bioethics', from medical ethics to the wider study of bioethics in a global context. It critically examines the particular problems that 'global bioethics' research faces across cultural and political borders and suggests some solutions on how to move towards a more balanced and culturally less biased dialogue in the issues of bioethics. The main thesis is that we need to bring global and local aspects closer together, when looking for international guidelines, by paying more attention to particular cultures and local economic and social circumstances in reaching a shared understanding of the main values and principles of bioethics, and in building 'biodemocracy'.

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Sirkku Hellsten
University of Helsinki