Bioethics Research Notes 24 (1):15 (2012)

Matthew Tieu
Flinders University
Tieu, Matthew As a contemporary academic discipline bioethics is a specialised though multidisciplinary field of study. It is the study of the ethical issues that arise from the biological and medical sciences, as well as clinical practice. It deals with important issues such as abortion, human embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia and reproductive technology, genetic modification, animal welfare, nanotechnology and neuroethics. The "Encyclopedia of Bioethics" defines bioethics as "the systematic study of the moral dimensions -including moral vision, decisions, conduct and policies -of the life sciences and health care, employing a variety of ethical methodologies in an interdisciplinary setting". Bioethics is a branch or sub-discipline of what is referred to as "applied ethics". As such, it also draws upon those disciplines that address the nature of ethics, i.e. philosophy, psychology and religion. Bioethics as an academic discipline therefore involves both the natural sciences and the humanities.
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