The annual course “Bioethics and Globalisation” addresses different problems bioethical problems in the context of emerging global society. The participants come from various countries and bring in different disciplinary competences relevant for Bioethics theory and practice. The course aims at an interdisciplinary debate, especially between:
• clinical medicine and public health, law, philosophy, sociology and political sciences, psichology, psychiatry and bihevioral sciences.
Furthermore, the course intends to establish a dialogue between different cultural and philosophical backgrounds of bioethics - mostliy "American" and "European" Bioethics. It is a continuation, a kind of “mirror course” of the two week course on global bioethics organized at the New York Global Bioethics Initiative.
The topic of this year’s course will be “Global Bioethics and Globalization: Beteween the Norms and Utility”. The practices by which human beings are generated for medical or biotechnological use will be discussed. Would it be realistic to expect that bioethical deliberation could be strong enough to implement universal ethical principles in the international legislation? While for the doctor in his or her relation to the patient justice should be the guideline, colud we envisage the the global cooperation in the bioethical field based on standards of international justice and fairness? The focus of this year course will be the questions: "Is there split that can be characterized as a conflict between a culture of norms and a culture of utility? How to define common moral, ethical, scientific and eventually technological source from which we could derive the solution for conflicts which will arise from the new biotechnological and biomedical possibilities. Kantian definition: “In the kingdom of ends everything has either value or dignity. Whatever has a value can be replaced by something else which is equivalent; whatever, on the other hand, is above all value, and therefore admits of no equivalent, has a dignity" may represent a starting point for the discussion. Dignity however is not ulitimate reason for ethical obligation. The ultimate reason lies in the capacity of the human being for self-legislation, in the "moral law within me". What will prove as more imprtant in the future for the respect and the protection of every human being against any attempt to divide mankind into different parts with different standards of dignity: self-legislation or international conventions? How we can relay on norms already existing which almost all national constitutions of the world accept as valid? To inspire global bioethics initiatives we just need to remind our societies of the claims by which they already define their humanitarian substance. The Course will be another attempt to contribute to such endavor.
More information can be found on the course web page.