The development of global bioethics: a historical developmental perspectivePeter A. DePergola II
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
International Medicine 2019; 1(4): 231-236 | DOI: 10.5455/im.302644356 PDF
The ontological origins of global bioethics, the definition and development of human rights discourse, and the strengths and weaknesses of empathy as manifest in historical and contemporary understandings of human rights are but three issues of principal significance in the conversation over how and why the development of global bioethics relates to the emergence of human rights discourse. Through the lens of a historical-developmental framework, this essay explores the broad development of Van Rensselaer Potter’s conception of global bioethics, the general emergence of human rights and the perils and promises of the reciprocal relationship shared between global bioethics and human rights. In so doing, it posits the argument that the development of and interest in human rights discourse is a concrete response to the development of and growing interest in global bioethics, and vice versa.
Keywords: bioethics, ethics, history