Eubios Ethics Institute | Book List | TOP - Asian Bioethics in the 21st Century

1.1. Editorial Preface

This book is based on the papers given during the Fourth Asian Bioethics Conference, which was held 22-25 November 2002 in Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea. The conference represents the views of a wide range of persons and scholars across Asia, and internationally. The papers are arranged in the themes following the conference program, covering themes of the ethics of medical research; stem cell research; birth, death and dying; organ transplantation; biotechnology; bioethics and medical ethics in Asian cultures, bioethics education, prenatal diagnosis, human reproduction, policy making and environmental ethics. In this book the poster papers are included under the related theme of oral presentations. A full range of topics in Asian bioethics was explored, building to the literature of Bioethics in Asia.

The meeting represents an important event in the maturation of the Asian Bioethics Association (ABA), following the first conference held in Beijing (1995) by the East Asian Association of Bioethics, which was followed by the UNESCO Asian Bioethics Conference (1997) in Kobe where the Asian Bioethics Association was born. In 1998 the Third Asian Bioethics Conference was held in Tokyo concurrently with the Fourth World Congress of Bioethics. Following that there was a series of meetings cosponsored by the Asian Bioethics Association, including the Tsukuba International Bioethics Roundtables (TRTs), but there was a gap in ABA Conferences. We also note the active interest in bioethics in Asia with conferences, seminars and workshops being held in a number of countries in the region. During the Seoul Conference the ABA adopted its constitution, elected new officials, and people left in a state of optimism.

At the beginning of 2002 it was decided to hold an Asian Bioethics Conference. This conference was also organized under the cosponsorship of the Korean Bioethics Association, The Korean Society for Medical Ethics Education, and The Korean Association of Institutional Review Boards. There were many other cooperating organizations, and persons who joined the committees as listed in this book. We depended upon the funding of the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and the Ministry of Environment. The support of Ehwa, Inje, Seoul National, Ulsan and Yonsei University, the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, and Christian Higher Education also helped make the event possible. The efforts of all participants to come from places around the world are also warmly acknowledged.

We would like to thank CHIN Kyo Hun, co-chair of the Organizing Committee, Ole Doering and PAK Un-Jong, co-chairs of the Program Committee, and members UM Young Rhan and YOON Jeong-Ro for help in making the program. KO Insok, SEO Hong Gwan, KWON Ivo and Yi Sang Wook helped the conference in many ways. We also thank KANG Shinik, CHO Hyeon A, and NG Mary Ann Chen, for assisting in the editing of the proceedings. We are very much indebted to all of them. For the publication of this volume we thank Eubios Ethics Institute.

We sincerely hope that this book will stimulate the development of bioethics in Asia in the 21st Century, and look forward to seeing participants again at the next Asian Bioethics Conference.

   SONG, Sang-yong; KOO, Young-Mo; Darryl R.J. MACER
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1.2. Welcome message from the founding ABA President

- Hyakudai SAKAMOTO 
First President, Asian Bioethics Association 
1-21-16-202 Higashiyama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153, Japan

Seven years has elapsed since the establishment of the East Asian Association for Bioethics in 1995 in Beijing, China, and five years since the establishment of the Asian Bioethics Association. I firstly wish to apologize for my absence from this Conference, due to medical reasons. I leave the running of this conference to my dear colleague Professor Sang-yong Song, and other colleagues, to whom I am most grateful for organizing this conference.

For seven years we have seen a number of papers on Asian bioethics published in the official journal, EJAIB, the official voice of the Asian Association of Bioethics. We have also seen eight conferences held in cooperation with ABA, and this is the fourth Asian Bioethics Conference. The first conference was in Beijing in 1995, followed by Kobe in 1997 and Tokyo in 1998.

I hope you will all help us to still enlarge the circle of our movement of Asian Bioethics to all Asian scholars as well as practitioners. Also, we hope that all members will come to know each other and exchange ideas and also organize local societies and/or committees on Bioethics in each country.

I am passing the presidency onto Professor Renzong Qiu, who was there at the founding conference. In February 2002 I passed the secretariat to Professor Darryl Macer, and we hope that 2002 can see a revival of the activities of ABA with the core of regional representatives that have guided the Association since the beginning. I also support the constitutional changes suggested by the new secretariat, and we will hope that a more revolving Board of Directors and presidency will enliven the Association for the coming century.

Again I am sorry I cannot join this meeting, but I look forward to reading the papers and hearing of the meeting. I am sure it will be successful, and I send my best regards.

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1.3. Opening Address

- PARK Ynhui
Honorary President, The Korean Bioethics Association
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
Simmons College, Boston, 
USA and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy,
Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

As the founding first president, and now honorary president of The Korean Bioethics Association, I want to welcome all of you, Koreans and non-Koreans alike. All of you are already well-known eminent scholars either in your respective country or in the world at large in different fields, but directly or indirectly connected to bioethics. My particular welcome is due to those who flew from faraway places of not only East Asia but also of the United States, Turkey, Israel, Iran, Nepal, Australia, and New Zealand among many others all over the world. On behalf of The Korean Bioethics Association, I want to express my gratitude to all of you for being here in Korea just to participate in and thus to contribute to The IV Asian Conference of Bioethics about to be held here in Korea.

We must admit both the intellectual enlightenment and the material comfort brought about by the rapid progress achieved in scientific knowledge and technology. However, we are also well aware of many kinds of problems brought about by this progress. Among them some of the most nightmarish problems are those that are moral and ethical in character recently brought about by the astounding developments in bio-medical sciences and technology. These developments seem already to have threatened and shattered hitherto-accepted moral and ethical principles from their foundations.

However, human society, indeed human beings without moral principles and ethical norms are unthinkable, and cannot escape from coping with moral and ethical issues. For us, thus, it is imperative to rethink these issues, and our task is to find new moral and ethical foundation. Today we are here for this task. If we cannot fulfill this task at the end of this Conference, I wish and hope at least something very positive will come out from this Conference. So I wish all of you "Bon courage!"

I know, however, that it's insane to be too serious all the time. So I also wish you a 'good time" and a "relax" too during your short stay in Korea with a pleasant memory of it!

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Eubios Ethics Institute | Book List | TOP - Asian Bioethics in the 21st Century