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BIO Magazine - Bioethical Issues Δεκέμβριος 2015
Δεκέμβριος 2015 No38

BIO Ethics

Bioethical Issues
Bioethical Issues

In the following article, we will answer all your queries about bioethical issues that prevail in the field of medicine today. Continue reading....

"As our nation invests in science and innovation and pursues advances in biomedical research and health care, it's imperative that we do so in a responsible manner." - President Barack Obama

A statement coming from the President of the United States grabs attention of the world like no other thing does. When President Barack Obama came up with this statement highlighting the importance bioethical issues, it must have surely made many people wonder what bioethics is all about. Even though this branch of ethics is in existence for the last few decades, not many people are aware of it.

What are Bioethical Issues?

The term bioethics refers to the branch of ethics which studies moral values in the field of medicine and biology. Simply put, these are issues that question the morality of various medical and biological procedures. People who are concerned about these issues and work towards their eradication from society are referred to as bioethicists. These issues range from the use of birth control pills to mercy killing of an individual suffering from a terminal illness. Other than human experimentation, animal experimentation has also been under the scanner as one of the most serious issues prevailing in the field of biomedical sciences today.

A List of Bioethical Issues

As we mentioned earlier, the term bioethical issue is a broad concept which involves a wide range of medical and biological processes that have been implemented in the field of medicine. While some issues, such as abortion and suicide, are widely criticized, others, such as human cloning and nanomedicine, have left the world divided. 

Abortion: Artificial termination of pregnancy.
Animal rights: Acknowledging the fundamental rights of animals.
Artificial insemination: Introduction of semen into the oviduct or uterus by artificial means.
Assisted suicide: Helping terminally ill person to commit suicide.
Biopiracy: Illegal theft and patenting of indigenous plants for own use.
Blood/blood plasma trade: Illegal trading of blood and blood plasma.
Body modification: Deliberate altering of the human body for non-medical reasons.
Brain-computer interface: A concept which facilitates direct interaction between brain and external device.
Cloning Research: involving creation of a copy of some biological entity.
Contraception: Birth control by using various contraceptive measures.
Cryonics: A process wherein the body of a seriously ill or a deceased individual is frozen to stop the decomposition of tissues.
Eugenics: Improving genetic qualities by means of selective breeding.
Euthanasia: Killing an individual (or animal) without making them suffer from pain.
Gene theft: The illegal process of acquiring genetic material of some other human being.
Gene therapy: The process of replacing defective genes with normal or genetically altered genes.
Genetically modified food: Consumption of food derived from genetically modified organisms.
Genetically modified organism: An organism which has undergone genetic modification by the means of genetic engineering.
Human cloning: Creating a genetically identical copy of a human.
Human enhancement: Overcoming the limitations of body by artificial means.
Life extension: Attempts to either slow down or reverse the processes of aging to maximize life span.
Life support: Resorting to medical equipment to keep an individual alive.
Medical malpractice Professional: negligence by a medical officer which results in harm to the patient.
Medical research: Research carried out to aid and support the body in the field of medicine.
Nanomedicine: The application of nanotechnology in the field of medicine.
Organ transplant: Unfair donation of any part of the body on the basis of race, class, etc.
Pain management: The use of artificial measures to ease the suffering associated with pain.
Parthenogenesis: Conception of human beings without fertilization by a man.
Population control: Government efforts to regulate the growth of population.
Procreative beneficence: Moral obligation of people to have healthy children by resorting to natural or artificial means.
Psychosurgery: Brain surgery carried out to ease the complications associated with mental or behavioral problems.
Recreational drug use: Use of psychoactive substances with the intention of getting a 'high'.
Reproductive rights: The legal rights and freedom pertaining to human reproduction and reproductive health.
Sex reassignment therapy: Medical procedures pertaining to sex reassignment of both trans-gender and inter-sexual individuals.
Sperm donation: Donation of sperm to be eventually used to achieve pregnancy in a woman who is not the person's sexual partner.
Spiritual drug use: Use of psychoactive substances in religious or spiritual context.
Suicide: The act of killing oneself.
Surrogacy: A process wherein a woman agrees to carry and deliver a child for a contracted party.
Transhumanism: An international movement which advocates the use of science and technology to improve the mental and physical capacities of humans.
Vaccination: A dispute over the morality, ethics, effectiveness as well as the safety of vaccination process.
Xenotransplantation: Surgical procedure in which tissue or whole organ is transferred from one species to another.

Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/bioethical-issues.html

While bioethicists argue that the fundamental values of humans are at stake, those in favor of these activities feel that these activities are a part of the development process in the field of science. When it comes to ethics or morality, arguments and counterarguments will never cease. The need of the hour, however, is to identify the severity of these issues and take some steps to ensure that they don't affect the basic rights of the various life forms on the planet.


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