By Christoph Rehmann-Sutter (Editor), Marcus Duwell (Editor), Dietmar Mieth (Editor)
This e-book discusses various methodological matters for an interdisciplinary bioethics. How can bioethics be an company that doesn't merely isolate concerns and ethical purposes but in addition (re)contextualises them? What are the strengths and weaknesses of alternative conventional and leading edge modes of moral paintings by way of those initiatives? through introducing the time period "finitude" within the feel of limits of human life, limits of human wisdom and data means, a distinction was once set within the cultural apprehension of medication. Is drugs aimed toward overcoming our existential limits: to struggle illnesses and delay lifestyles? Finitude reintroduces the existential and cultural foundation on which each and every drugs (limits-sensitive or off-limits medication) relies, however it matters additionally moral judgment. a fear of the restrictions of alternative moral techniques to biomedicine, although, may perhaps improve the collaborative attempt of an interdisciplinary bioethics that embraces additionally cultural stories and social sciences.
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Extra info for Bioethics in Cultural Contexts: Reflections on Methods and Finitude (International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine)
But as I see it, it is Engelhardt who made finitude a key concept when he used it to support his comprehensive study on “Bioethics and Secular Humanism”. While he attaches great importance to the historical reconstruction of post-modern secularism – an expression in which the epithet “post-modern” signals the unamendable failure of the project of modernity with its belief in the power of reason and human moral capacity – he presents finitude as an ontological trait of human being. He draws from it the few normative principles that remain universal – at any rate for those willing to accept the moral point of view and to resolve controversies without recourse to force.
As an example of the hermeneutics of suspicion I will refer to a lecture by Ivan Illich, given in Chicago in 1989 to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The lecture was entitled “The Institutional Construction of a New Fetish: Human Life” (cf. Ivan Illich, In the Mirror of the Past, New York/London 1992), and Illich started with the following thesis: “’Human Life’ is a recent social construct, something which we now take so much for granted that we dare not seriously question it. ” For Illich, the new notion of “life”, so essential for modern ecological, medical and ethical discourses in the Western tradition is “the result of a perversion of the Christian message”.
However, this could cause new problems with the adequacy of problem-solving strategies. In addition, other dimensions related to the technical problems can be easily obscured: for instance social problems arising from individual decisions, ecological problems, anthropological problems etc. Therefore, in continuing our research we have to keep in mind that 42 Chapter 2 progress in one dimension will not guarantee progress for human destiny in general. As an ethicist, when dealing with the high hopes and great promises of biomedical advances, I cannot help wondering about the breakthrough mentality that refuses to take into account essential factors of the human constitution.