Saturday, February 25, 2017
Bioethics and Health and Human Rights.
Recent decades have seen the emergence of two new fields of inquiry into ethical issues in medicine. These are the fields of bioethics and of health and human rights. Dr D Benatar is a professor of philosophy and head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa. In his article about "bioethics and health and human rights, he argues that bioethics, partly because it has been construed so broadly, suffers from quality control problems. Dr. Benatar also argues that the field of health and human rights is superfluous because it does nothing that cannot be done by either bioethics of the law.
Ethical questions in medicine and the life sciences are the subject of not one but two relatively new academic fields: “bioethics” and “health and human rights”. Although moral questions about the ethics of medicine and related areas have been asked for as long as people have asked questions about ethics, it is only within the last few decades that new fields devoted specifically to such questions have arisen. The growth of these fields has stimulated further attention to important moral questions in medicine and biology.
Health and human rights, as an academic field, does not seem to do anything that cannot be done either by bioethics, if the rights in question are moral rights, or by the law if the rights are legal rather than moral. Moreover, it is characterised by weaknesses that, unlike those of bioethics, cannot be overcome.