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What is Bioethics?
"Bioethics" has been used in the last twenty years to describe the investigation and a study of ways in which decisions in medicine and science touch upon our health and lives and upon our society and environment.
Bioethics is concerned with questions about basic human values such as the rights to life and health, and the rightness or wrongness of certain developments in healthcare institutions, life technology, medicine, the health professions and about society's responsibility for the life and health of its members.
Bioethics involves issues relating to the beginning and end of human life, all the way from issues relating to in-vitro fertilisation and abortion to euthanasia and palliative care.
Bioethics has an impact on every level of human community from the local nursing home to the huge international conferences on issues like the Human Genome.
Bioethics is a branch of "applied ethics" and requires the expertise of people working in a wide range disciplines including: law, philosophy, theology, medicine, the life sciences, nursing and social science.
Bioethics is full of difficult ethical questions for everybody: families, hospitals, governments and civilisation.
Fundamental values are at stake: human life, the dignity of the frail and elderly, just healthcare, bodily integrity and the ability to make reasonable decisions.