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in philosophy, a branch of ethicsethics,
in philosophy, the study and evaluation of human conduct in the light of moral principles. Moral principles may be viewed either as the standard of conduct that individuals have constructed for themselves or as the body of obligations and duties that a particular society
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 concerned with issues surrounding health care and the biological sciences. These issues include the morality of abortionabortion,
expulsion of the products of conception before the embryo or fetus is viable. Any interruption of human pregnancy prior to the 28th week is known as abortion. The term spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage, is used to signify delivery of a nonviable embryo or fetus due
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, euthanasiaeuthanasia
, either painlessly putting to death or failing to prevent death from natural causes in cases of terminal illness or irreversible coma. The term comes from the Greek expression for "good death.
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, in vitro fertilizationin vitro fertilization
(IVF), technique for conception of a human embryo outside the mother's body. Several ova, or eggs, are removed from the mother's body and placed in special laboratory culture dishes (Petri dishes); sperm from the father are then added, or in many cases a
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, and organ transplants (see transplantation, medicaltransplantation, medical,
surgical procedure by which a tissue or organ is removed and replaced by a corresponding part, usually from another part of the body or from another individual.
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). In the 1970s bioethics emerged as a discipline with its own experts, often professional philosophers, who developed university courses on the subject. Many hospitals now employ experts on bioethics to advise on such issues as how to treat terminally ill patients and to allocate limited resources. Advances in health care, the development of genetic testinggenetic testing,
medical screening for genetic disorders, by examining either a person's DNA directly or a person's biochemistry or chromosomes for indirect evidence. Testing may be done to identify a genetic disorder a person has, whether the disorder is already evident or not,
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 and screening, and the new research in genetic engineeringgenetic engineering,
the use of various methods to manipulate the DNA (genetic material) of cells to change hereditary traits or produce biological products. The techniques include the use of hybridomas (hybrids of rapidly multiplying cancer cells and of cells that make a
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, including gene therapygene therapy,
the use of genes and the techniques of genetic engineering in the treatment of a genetic disorder or chronic disease. There are many techniques of gene therapy, all of them still in experimental stages.
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, have also given rise to questions in bioethics.


See W. T. Reich, ed., Encyclopedia of Bioethics (4 vol., 1978); H. T. Engelhardt, The Foundations of Bioethics (1986); R. Macklin, Mortal Choices: Bioethics in Today's World (1987).


A discipline concerned with the application of ethics to biological problems, especially in the field of medicine.
References in periodicals archive ?
Because bio-ethics is a provisional ethics and places praxis ahead of ethics, any regulatory effect to be derived from bio-ethics will only ever have a provisional strength.
In the twenty-first century and beyond, maybe we will need many whose specialism is in fact in bio-ethics.
Bissell was chairman of the hospital's institutional review board for research involving human subjects and vice-chair of the bio-ethics committee.
The study was conducted by leading physician-investigators from the United States and Germany at the Clinica Canela in the Dominican Republic under local bio-ethics committee and government approvals as well as U.
Other than this, 12 more sessions were conducted which included cardiology, infectious diseases, Bio-ethics, Paediatrics, Information and communication technology in Medicine, Orthopaedics shoulder arthroplasty workshop, Nursing, Infectious diseases, Adult oncology, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Radiology.
9PM PREMIERE Boffin Adrien Brody puts bio-ethics aside to fool around with DNA.
Within this context, Benedict presents a tour de force of teaching on the problems confronting the modern world: besides discussing economics and the worldwide financial crisis, he touches upon such diverse topics as tourism, migration, the media, ecology, sex education, religious freedom, abortion, labour unions, and bio-ethics, always with human dignity as the focus.
The risk of a doctors' strike sacrificing some lives to win improved care so more lives can be saved in future was a questionable ethical approach when a more humanitarian alternative existed, a top bio-ethics expert says.
Becoming an expert in the new field of bio-ethics, Nelson administered the WCC conference on "Faith, Science and the Future" at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979.
He was on the Chief Medical Officer's expert group on cloning which helped shape current legislation in Britain and has published extensively on bio-ethics.
Federal bio-ethics commissions and top cloning researchers have acknowledged that this method, once applied to humans, would produce human embryos -- although for political purposes, some advocates of cloning are now trying to persuade the news media and lawmakers that the living, developing human individual created by cloning should not be called an "embryo.
Cloning duplicate human beings may be justified in the future if the dangers can be overcome, a leading bio-ethics expert said yesterday.