Justiça Social e Saúde

11 de janeiro, 2022

Bioethics and culture, 2011

The recently concluded 10th World Congress of the International Association of Bioethics in Singapore had one of its plenary sessions on ‘Bioethics and Culture’. The speakers were the embodiment of the meaning of cultural diversity, both in terms of thinking about bioethics globally as well as being sensitive to local difference and diversity. There was a rich discussion about African and Asian perspectives on bioethics, where the main issue which launched the discussions was: what is the context and meaning of culture in bioethics? We were not looking for a coherent and unique definition of culture in bioethics. As it happens with ethics, there are many perspectives and theories seeking to explain and comprehend the phenomena of cultural expressions. Cultural anthropologists struggle with this problem as much as we do in bioethics. More appropriately the question should be: what are the uses of culture in bioethics? I would suggest that there are at least three uses of ‘culture’ in bioethics.

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