Nearly fifteen years after the Council of Europe first called for a pan‐European convention on issues in bioethics to harmonize disparate national regulations, in November 1996 the council's Committee of Ministers approved the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine for formal adoption. The draft convention, released in July 1994, provoked strong public, professional, and governmental debate among European nations, particularly regarding provisions for biomedical research with subjects unable to give informed consent. If ratified, the “bioethics convention” will become the first (...) such document to have binding force internationally. (shrink)
It is generally accepted that bioethics is an interdisciplinary science. Why this is so and what it means is not always clear or agreed upon and, in this author's view, its implications are insufficiently researched. On the basis of involvement in projects which were labelled interdisciplinary, the author reflects upon the method of interdisciplinarity, especially its starting point. It is suggested that interdisciplinarity cannot thrive unless it curbs, from the very start, the inevitable reductions of all monodisciplinary approaches. This effort (...) is called methodical epochè, ideally the temporary suspension of all known methods. Its purpose is to achieve an interdisciplinary way of stating the question. Until then no breakdown of the global question by particular methods of single disciplines ought to be attempted. Realistic variations of this ideal are also discussed. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
During his internship the medical student often feels a basic need for ethical discussion. The department of medical ethics at the University of Nijmegen offers a monthly discussion in single clinical departments. The ethicist is then assisted by staff responsible for guiding the interns. These discussions, based on daily experience, aim at critical evaluation of ways the profession is being exercised. As such they form an essential counterpart to the more theoretical learning in classrooms and seminars during previous years. The (...) method is rather flexible. Either an inventory of problems is made, followed by a selection and discussion of one problem. Or a discussion is initiated by an introduction by either staff or ethicist. The actual programme and its origin, the objectives and some of the problems of such a programme are presented in this article. (shrink)
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