This book discusses a variety of world views that we can find to describe human relationships with the environment, and the underlying values in them. It reviews existing international legal instruments discussing some of the ethical values that have been agreed among member states of the United Nations.
There are positive views towards use of science and technology in all Asian countries, and positive views towards use of enhancement in China, India and Thailand. After considering of the widespread use of cosmetic surgery and other body enhancements in Asian countries, and the generally positive views towards letting individuals make choices about improvement of themselves, the paper concludes that we can expect other enhancements to also be adopted rapidly in Asia. There will be future ethical dilemmas emerging from this (...) with concepts of preservation of nature, flow with nature, and definitions of human-ness, along with concepts of harmony and social justice. Japan is less willing to engage in genetic enhancement compared to China, India and Thailand, despite widespread cosmetic surgery across Asia. (shrink)
Many have claimed that education of the ethical issues raised by biotechnology is essential in universities, but there is little knowledge of its effectiveness. The focus of this paper is to investigate how university students assess the information given in class to make their own value judgments and decisions relating to issues of agricultural biotechnology, especially over genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Analysis of homework reports related with agricultural biotechnology after identification of key concepts and ideas in each student report is (...) presented. The ideas were sorted into different categories. The ideas were compared with those in the reading materials using the same categories. These categories included: concern about affects on humans, affects on the environment, developing countries and starvation, trust in industry, responsibility of scientists, risk perception, media influence, need for (international) organizations or third parties, and information dissemination. What was consistent through the different years was that more than half of the students took a “neutral” position. A report was scored as “neutral” when the report included both the positive and negative side of an issue, or when the student could not make a definite decision about the use of GMOs and GM food. While it may be more difficult to defend a strong “for” or “against” position, some students used logical arguments successfully in doing so. Sample comments are presented to depict how Japanese students see agricultural technology, and how they value its application, with comparisons to the general social attitudes towards biotechnology. (shrink)
This paper compares the opinions that people in Thailand have on the impact of bioethics and biotechnology in the year 2000 with 1993. During the year 2000 sampling was conducted upon a relatively well educated public group, and on university students, and the open comments that explore the reasoning people have were translated into English and analyzed. A total of 214 public and 84 university respondent questionnaires were gathered to compare with the 689 public and 232 student respondents in 1993.In (...) the year 2000 there was less optimism in science and technology than 1993. In questions on the specific application of technology more persons expressed greater worry for pesticides, genetic engineering and computers. The results of questions on specific applications on genetics reveal that there has been a halving of the support for gene transfer from plant to plant, and even greater drop in support for animal to plants. There has been a drop in approval of environmental release of GMOs, as also found in other countries of the world. There was a doubling of the persons who said that television was the source of their feelings about science and technology in 2000 compared to 1993. There was also increased mention of learning about these issues in their education. (shrink)
Abstract An International Bioethics Education Survey was conducted in Australia (A), Japan (J) and New Zealand (NZ) in mid?1993. National random samples of high schools were selected, and mail response questionnaires were sent to a biology (b) and a social studies (s) teacher at each school through the principals. The number of respondents and response rate were: NZb 206 (55%), NZs 96 (26%), Ab 251 (48%), As 114 (22%), Jb 560 (40%) and Js 383 (27%). This paper compares knowledge and (...) teaching of 15 selected topics related to bioethics and biotechnology, with particular focus on the teaching of social, ethical and environmental issues of in vitro fertilisation, prenatal diagnosis, biotechnology, nuclear power, pesticides and genetic engineering. The survey found that these issues were, generally, covered more in biology classes than in social science classes; and that there were differences in coverage among the three countries, with most coverage in Australia and least in Japan. Open questions looked at images of bioethics, and the reasons why about 90% of teachers thought bioethics was needed in education. Open questions on teaching materials, current and desired are also discussed. The data suggest a need for the development of more and higher quality materials, for the moral education that is conducted, especially in biology and social studies classes. (shrink)
The issue of large-scale, population based DNA collections has become a world-wide discussion, which is hoped to bring substantial improvements in medicine. Continuous access to clinical data linked to the genetic samples is very important for some research that aims to find significant association between genes and diseases. This raises ethical issues related to privacy and confidentiality of medical records and the genetic information of the individuals who may be involved in the research. Genetic databases can also raise challenges for (...) the protection of the rights of the social groups, in avoiding potential stigmatization or discrimination. Informed consent of voluntary participants is another important issue in genetic research.We consider whether a person has ethical duties to donate a sample to a database if it will be used for the improvement of the health services to which they have benefited from. The balance between individual's privacy and public health is needed in genetic research. A good database will contribute to the good of both donors and society. (shrink)
A survey of high school student expectations on biotechnology was made, including the information, where it came from, how information resources influence their scientific thoughts. GM crops were used as the theme of biotechnology, because the technology is concerned with food which all people have a relationship with. From the 977 responses obtained from 8 high schools it was found most high schools' students expected benefits and risks from biotechnology. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables improvements were given when (...) students were asked to think about how they would improve their favourite fruit and vegetable. The information given by mass media tended to increase the feeling that science was risky. (shrink)
This survey on biotechnology and bioethics was carried out onnational random samples of the public and scientists in November2000-January 2000 throughout Japan, and attendees at theNovartis Life Science Forum held on 29 September, 1999 inTokyo. The sample size was 297, 370, and 74 respectively. Whilethere is better awareness of GMOs in 2000 compared to 1991; thetrend shows an increase in the perceived risks of GMOs followedby growing resistance in Japan. While a majority of personsbelieved genetic engineering would make life better (...) over the nexttwenty years , the proportion of respondents who thoughtgenetic engineering would make life worse over the next twentyyears doubled from 1997 to 2000 .Respondents were asked whether they had heard aboutapplications in several areas and the order of familiarity was: pest-resistant crops, human genes in bacteria, mouseto develop cancer, food and drinks, pigs with human hearts andpre-implantation diagnosis. A divide of opinion can be seen whenthe results on benefit, risk and moral acceptability of applicationsof biotechnology by the public are compared to the forum andscientist samples.A significant change in the acceptance of the public occurred in2000 where only 22% agreed on the moral acceptability of GMfood compared to 41% in 1997. In 2000 fewer people said they arewilling to buy genetically modified fruits that taste bettercompared to 1997 . The results show less public support foruse of gene therapy than 1993 and twice as many scientistsrejected gene therapy than they did in 1991.When asked whom is best placed to regulate modernbiotechnology, the respondents were overwhelmingly in favor ofinternational regulatory bodies, such as the United Nations andthe World Health Organization , rather than national bodies.The comparison between scientists and public is interesting,however the more enthusastic sample were participants from theNovartis Life Science Forum with its mixed occupations. (shrink)
Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner, ed. 2008. Human genetic biobanks in Asia: Politics of trust and scientific advancement Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11673-010-9234-6 Authors Darryl Macer, UNESCO Bangkok Regional Adviser in Social and Human Sciences for Asia and the Pacific, Regional Unit for Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific (RUSHSAP) 920 Sukhumvit Road, Prakanong Bangkok 10110 Thailand Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 7 Journal Issue Volume 7, Number 2.
The case study examines an issue of public health ethics and obesity. How should healthy diets be developed? Can schools associate themselves with commercial fastfood companies? What are the ethical issues related to diet campaigns in an Asia context. The case study elicits several responses from different perspectives. The case study invites readers to think of different cultural contexts and broad issues.
FAO has a unique and essential rolein addressing the ethical problems facinghumanity and in making these problems intoopportunities for practical resolution. A broadrange of ethical issues in agriculture,fisheries, and forestry were identified byanalysis of the literature and by interviewswith FAO staff. Issues include sharing accessto and preserving natural resources,introduction of new technology, conservatismover the use of genetic engineering, ethics inanimal agriculture, access to information, foodsecurity, sustainable rural development,ensuring participation of all people indecision making and in receiving benefits ofagriculture, reducing corruption, (...) andinvolvement of private and public sectors indecision making. Rather than viewing theseissues as problems, they should be viewed asopportunities for debate, learning aboutothers' views, and resolution. The UnitedNations has an important role to play in howdecisions are made in the global ethical debatein food and agriculture. The ethical role ofFAO is to promote global food security,balanced conservation, management andutilization of natural resources, andsustainable rural development. FAO should fullyand publicly assume its ethicalresponsibilities, gathering and sharinginformation on ethics in its areas of mandate,acting as an interactive forum, and providingexpert guidance on policy options and choicesbased on practical ethical analysis. (shrink)
Nozick's genetic supermarket has arrived on the wings of angels brought to us by Ron Harris, the founder of ronsangels.com. How should we respond to this and other options that will soon be beckoning? To assist us in answering these questions, I shall begin by considering a technique that has been with us for some time, but has the effect of changing the nature of children. Understanding the basis on which this technique can be supported may help us to grapple (...) with the more difficult question of what we should do about newer options that also change the nature of our children. It is not, however, my aim here to deal with all the objections that could be urged against these options. My purpose is the narrower one of developing a clear understanding of the central values at stake. (shrink)
This paper discusses whether the roots of our ecological crisis and materialistic world views are derived from the Biblical view of the role of human beings in nature or whether these are derived from English language translations of Genesis 1:28 and Western philosophy. We suggest that the Hebrew word RADAH no longer be translated as dominion over nature, rather take over is a better interpretation. Eastern and Western views of nature are discussed.
This survey has been designed as a multinationalcollaboration to collect data from several countries focusing ondeveloping countries. The main purpose was to elaborate thefunctions of ethics committees regarding externally-sponsoredresearch . In March 2004 a total of 89 open-endedquestionnaires were sent to ethics review committees inmedical schools, medical research institutes and hospitalsaffiliated to the public and private medical universities inJapan.Twenty two ECs replied , and among them five ECshad reviewed eleven ESR proposals in 2002-3. Five of thoseESR proposals have been approved (...) and four proposals havebeen approved after some revisions. Two proposals weredeferred but not resumed. In their review, respondents weremore concerned about “individual consent” than “communityconsent”. Post-trial access to effective interventions was not areal concern. As for “Standard of care”, seven ECs replied thatthey review the ESR proposal based on the internationalstandards and four based on the local standards. WhetherESR proposal is matched with the national health prioritieswas not a great concern. Respondents expressed theirconcern about socio-cultural issues.Ethics in research especially dealing with externallysponsoredresearch is a relatively new subject and underdevelopment in Japan. Although Japan is not a developingcountry, in order to protect individual human subjects and localcommunity, capacity building in ethics review especially inresearch collaboration with other developed and developingcountries is crucial and it has to be included in ethics inresearch programs through out the country. (shrink)
The present study was aimed at gaining a broad opinion regarding bioethical reasoning amongst student fraternity. These students had been admitted to medical schools after completion of their high school . Ethnically all the students were of Indian origin though they belonged to a diverse socio-economic-cultural background. The mean age of students was 18 years and a total of 125 first year medical students were questioned in 1998 , using the questionnaire designed by Macer with some modifications. The observations revealed (...) the fact that even though fair amount of awareness regarding the wide perspectives of bioethics did prevail amongst many, yet some sense of ignorance was reflected as well. However, the respondents were divided on various sensitive issues like cloning, in vitro fertilisation etc. The results suggest enforcement of both individual and collective efforts to arouse the consciousness of students regarding bioethics and application of bioethical decision making to dilemmas posed by science and technology. (shrink)
The intensification of debate over environmental ethics in recent years have clarified some ethical arguments such as autonomy, justice, beneficence, non-maleficence, trans-generational ethics and the rights of nature. However, we can ask if these ethical principles could become an incentive for people to act considering the environment. A questionnaire sheet for use in face-to-face interviews was developed to explore the ideas of the general public in order to describe the attitudes and behaviour towards transportation using private cars. People were interviewed (...) to ask how they think of the use of private cars in the future, and whether they have restricted their use of private cars considering the environment, using open-ended questions. According to this survey, it is suggested that while more than 90% of the general public in Japan think the environment faces serious problems, most lack concrete knowledge about why environmental problems are dangerous. Among those who object to restrictions on private car use, there are also many respondents who expect a solution from the development of science and technology, as well as the general state of mind and society that considers a convenient life to be most important. (shrink)