All India Association of Bioethics (AIBA) Newslink

* Editorial 1 (1) Workshop Shopping
* Editorial 1 (2) New Science - New Bioethical Values
* Editorial 1 (3) Science, Ethics and Environment
* Editorial 1 (4) What ails India? One Answer
* Editorial 1 (5) Members speak out!
* Bioethics in the Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi
* Science and Scientific Temper - The Need of the Hour
* India in Early Jewish Writings
* Editorial 1 (6) and Incomplete History of Bioethics
* Property Protection
* Membership list
* All welcome to join AIBA

AIBA Newslink is published by the All India Bioethics Association since 1998. Currently all papers are included in this file. Regular updates will be published when files are available. This page will be revised as more issues are published. Volume 1 1998; Last update 16 February, 1999.

For background information see Bioethics in India book

Editorial 1 (1) Workshop Shopping

The birth of bioethics in India is as follows. It was a casual meeting between Prof. Darryl Macer and Dr. Jayapaul Azariah when they met at Madras during 1992 and the relationship grew with the association of Dr. Frank Leavitt of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel. The first International Workshop cum Seminar on Bioethics in India was held at the University of Madras during January 1997. The proceedings of the workshop is in the internet as well as in print. The hard copy of the book Bioethics in India book is available as well as the on-line version.

The Chennai Statement was made and was published in EJAIB Vol.7, 1997 P. 34. It was resolved to conduct such annual seminars at various places. Accordingly, such meetings were held during January 1998 at (1) Salem (Convener: Dr. D.S. Sheriff, Dean, VMKV Medical College, Salem - 636 308, (2) National Law School of Indian University, Nagarbhavi, Bangalore - 560 072 (Convener: Prof. Joga Rao), (3) National Chemical Laboratory, Pune (Convener: Dr. R.N. Sharma, Dy. Director & Head, Entomology), (4) Ahmednagar College, Ahmednagar (Convener: Dr. Bansode, Principal, Ahmednagar College) and (5) All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (Conveners: Drs. K.P. Kochhar and Pushpa Dhar). In these workshops there was less of shopping and more of work!!

These meetings were well arranged and it created the needed awareness and the ethical consciousness for developing the needed bioethical climate in India. In all these meetings the participants were eager to become members of the newly formed All India Bioethics Association (AIBA). In Japanese language AI means love and in BA, there is that sense of wonder. These two ingredients are necessary for the nurture of bioethics in India.

The list of members is printed overleaf. After opening a bank account proper receipts will be issued by the Treasurer. Till then kindly take this publication as your receipt. These members are the founder members of AIBA.

AIBA is also proud to announce the members of the Executive Council. For the growth of AIBA let me suggest the following three factors. (1) For the publications of next issues of AIBA Newslink we need to have articles on certain issues that will be of common interest to all. Therefore, kindly take this as our personal request to you and send us any article, news, comments and regional and international news item for the benefit of the Indian family of bioethics. (2) If you want to plan any regional meetings on Bioethics, kindly let us know so that we could mobilize the resource persons for the regional workshop. (3) We need to have more members inducted into AIBA - life members which will be the real strength of AIBA. Therefore, kindly enroll as many life members as possible. Hope to hear from you.

With best wishes,
Jayapaul Azariah ,
President, AIBA and Editor of AIBA Newslink.

Editorial 1 (2) New Science - New Bioethical Values

I am glad to inform you that the Academic Council, University of Madras, in its meeting on 28th Feb. 1998 approved the restructured B.Sc Zoology Curriculum. The major features of the curriculum are the following: (1) It is Biofriendly in that the conventional subjects like Invertebrata and Chordata have been combined to form on paper entitled "Life and Diversity of Animals" wherein conventional type study animals like Amoeba has been replaced with Plasmodium. Those animals that are of value from the points of view of Health (Medical), Food and Environment have been included. Number of dissections has been decreased and the number of animals dissected per student is also reduced. (2) Emphasis has been laid on Bioethics wherever needed in the core subjects like Genetics, Biotechnology and Environmental Biology. (3) One paper on Mathematics, Statistics and Computations in Life Sciences has been introduced in the core subject which every Zoology student in B.Sc. must study. (4) Bioethics as a separate subject has been introduced in Application Oriented Subject Section (5) For those students who have an aptitude for computers an advanced course on "Computer Applications for Biologists" has been introduced. I may not be wrong if I say that University of Madras is the first University in India to do so. We hope this attempt will preserve the integrity of the subject of Zoology and give students some job opportunity.

Copies of the New B.Sc Curriculum can be made available on request. Those of us who are in the Education Sector can make an effort to change the mindset of the present and coming generation for the better.

With best wishes,
Jayapaul Azariah ,
President, AIBA and Editor of AIBA Newslink.
Editorial 1 (3) Science, Ethics and Environment

K.K. Dua,
Department of Zoology, Dayalbagh Educational Institute (Deemed University), Dayalbagh, Agra 282 005, INDIA

There is perhaps, a consensus among all of us that science and technology have played an important role in improving the quality of mankind. However, it is also conceded that they have also contributed to the deterioration of the social and natural environment due to the extensive and irrational utilization of the natural resources.

The most serious problem our society is facing includes population, pollution, poverty and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. However, this does not mean that there is no further requirement for science and technology, what is urgently needed is that they must be utilized constructively and ethically. In it the environmental education has to play an important role. The basis of education should have (4 C's) curiosity, creativity, competence and compassion. There can be no science without curiosity, no technology without creativity and no production without competence. But without compassion, they may be used to destroy the environment and life on earth.

All species have an inherent right to exist. It has to be borne in mind that every form of life is unique warranting respect, regardless of its worth to man and to accord other organisms such recognition man must be guided by a moral code of action. Further, humanity is a part of nature, and humans are subject to same immutable ecological laws as all other species on the planet. All life depends on the uninterrupted functioning of natural systems that ensure the supply of energy and nutrients, so ecological responsibilities among all people are necessary for the survival, security of the world community.

Thus, man must fully recognize the urgency of maintaining the stability and quality of nature and conserving the natural resources. The ecological process that support the integrity of the biosphere and its diverse species, landscapes and habitats are to be maintained. Hence, sustainability is the basic principle of all social and economic development. Personal and social values should be chosen to essentuate the richness of flora and fauna.

The respect and affection of all living beings is possible by environmental ethics. This moral foundation will enable many utilitarian values of nature - for food, health, science, technology, industry etc., to be equitably distributed and sustained for future generations. It is worth bearing in mind that the well-being of future generations is a social responsibility of the present generation. It is only possible if the present generation limits its basic needs in order to ensure that renewable resources are nurtured for their sustainable productivity. This responsibility lies not on one individual, society or nation but on the entire global community. This is only possible when basic ethics is intuited in human culture, which will ultimately enable us to attain universal ethics. The diversity of human social culture has to converge on this single agenda in which the diversity of ethical and cultural outlook is directed towards nature. The human life has to work in enhancing the biological diversity.

No peace and stability on earth is possible until and unless man mentally develops an attitude for the welfare of all living beings. "Respect for rights of others is a basis for peace". This is only possible when man applies the principles of science and technology with an ethical frame of mind.

Editorial 1 (4) What ails India? One Answer

R.N. Sharma
National Chemical Laboratory, Pune - 411 008, INDIA

The question could well be what ails the whole mankind, for the latter is in bad array everywhere, that is, in both time and space. Whether it is the present or the future, the hot or the cold, or the temperate regions, we seem to get more and more entangled in invincible webs of degradation in both the physical as well as the psychical domains.

We ruin our environment and soil the very basic tenets of humankind. Knowing this we still seem unable to arrest the continuing downward spiral. We know, subconsciously at least, that greed and selfishness, the bane of ethical conduct, are the basis of this continuing deterioration. Yet, we are unwillingly, or unable to halt the process by applying the corrective brakes of ethics. But before we can dare to examine world perspectives, perhaps it would be more salient to look at our own backyard, India. India conjures up image of ancient wisdom, lofty spirituality, but today it is a poor, verified, corrupt, society gasping for cleanliness and probity of physical as well as social/political environment.

What has gone wrong? Why have we become no reprehensible, so repugnant in our own estimate. The answer, surprisingly echoed by well meaning friends from different lands, actually stares up in the face, and is so self evident as to require no further confirmation. We are cursed with essentially, "lack of consideration" for all except perhaps our closest blood kin.

Our reflection, this seemingly little peccadillo appears to lie at the basis of much of our sick behaviour. Take the chaotic traffic conditions in every Indian city. All drivers, irrespective of the number of wheels on their vehicles, or the power source, claim supreme and inviolate right of the way, as if no other road users exist. The same self centred behaviour is found in all walks and activities of life in India. The picnicker who litters parks, or the spitters and litterers of pavements and walls, or the users of public facilities, buildings, transport .... no one evinces consideration for others who will also use the same conveniences. We betray our unconcern for our locality and neighbours when we throw litter on the road, or turn TV/radio on full blast, or block lanes and roads for private functions. Or jump queues for minor or major advantages. Or pay bribes to get work/gas cylinders/other ahead of others. May be we are not at all bad. We do grudgingly extend consideration to needs and proclivities, even prejudices, of our very immediate family - the blood relatives. But thats usually about all. Unknown citizens, neighbours, even friends, our own community, societal or national wealth/heritage are generally treated with indifference, if not outright in consideration, even if solicitous, uprighteous postures may be projected for public approbation. The result of all this is that these unethical mindsets get perpetuated over generations, and lead to bitter frustration and cynicism in the minds of youth who are confronted with contradictory sets of values: one in the books and public postures of leaders, teachers and parents; the other in the actual behaviour and attitude of these very supposed role models.

Even as lack of consideration towards all seems to be the bane of our deterioration value systems, the unwillingness, or inability to admit, and come to grips with this insidious malignancy continues to erode our moral fabric as a people. The consequences are ubiquitous, and often crippling and maiming physically, psychically, socially and spiritually. A few outstanding examples will suffice here to drive home the point. Lack of consideration for the linguistic diversity of the Indian people, our own countrymen, has led regional chauvinism to rear its fissiparous head almost everywhere, making us a nation of illiterates, since we are often unable to decipher the language in many parts of the country other than our own. Overcoming this requires just a little consideration for `outsiders', again our own, ourselves, who, by visiting or working are actually contributing financially to the state coffers, and adding to the glory of the region. Yet, petty and misplaced ethnic/regional chauvinism overrides elementary goodwill and consideration in willfully not using the three language formula, essentially so ready and convenient, and inoffensive a remedy. It is on such issues where true and honest practitioners of ethics, very often the educated elite which would be expected to understand and appreciate various intricacies involved, to give a lead in adopting and advocating propriety of conduct, concept and practice for whatever may make Life a little more easy, friendly, and peaceful.

In another sphere, the uncontrolled, indiscriminate and often unwarranted/unacceptably high use of pesticides on crops, commodities, grains, vegetables, fruits etc. is occasioned purely by the lure of lucre to the farmers. To get a few measly rupees more, both the farmers and the pesticide companies turn a blind eye to the unseen perils every man, woman and child is facing in this country. Perils that encompass maiming/debilitation, diseases, even death, both conscience, the moral fiber, the ethics of individuals and organizations towards consideration for others, the faceless citizenry, which will spell the difference between continuing courting of disaster and death, and healthy life.

Yet other seriously worrying phenomena are, e.g. recycling of various used articles/materials/containers for petty gain. This includes even disposable medical syringes. The sad consequences of such practices are too horrendous to contemplate. Yet, what can give rise not merely to the beginning of such practices, but their brazen continuance? Once again, complete lack of concern or consideration for the other man.

It may take more than one sociological theses to spell out the reasons for this ethical debacle of ours. As a nation proud of its multiethnic and spiritual ancient heritage, it becomes obligatory for us to overcome this crippling Achille's heel. Perhaps the smallest efforts at the individual level would make a beginning which could in time coalesce and enlarge into a societal and national transformation. The housewife could sacrifice a few paise and destroy the used milk tetrapacks, rather than selling them as cheap junk. The same goes for various containers of foods and cosmetics. Syringes are used by medical personnel who surely know the grave hazards of their reuse. It should be the personal undertaking of all medics and paramedics to oversee/ensure destruction of such syringes. None of these voluntary missions are demanding in terms of time and effort. What, then is stopping us from introducing and enforcing these agenda as citizens? The answer is once again a resounding `lack of consideration of others'.

We as citizens of this and ancient land hallowed with the high human calling of spiritual endeavour throughout its long and tortuous history, owe it to our past, present and future generations to embark on a crash corrective course to overcome this predominant disabling flaw of myopic self concern to the exclusion of consideration for others. We must throw away the crutches of `the Government' or `others' to help us walk. This effort cannot wait, and must begin at the individual level, with every man, woman and child a zealous partner, for in quintessence it is an enterprise which will benefit all - the doers and givers as much as the receivers. And in the process we shall be subtly initiating the culture of selfless ethical conduct which we so sorely need.

Editorial 1 (5) Members speak out!

AIBA Newslink is growing. With this issue the number of pages has ben increased to four. It is proposed to have a suitable logo for AIBA. If you have any suggestions please communicate your ideas to the Editor. We need pictorial logo for AIBA.

The article on Gandhiji's bioethical philosophy is relevant for today's issue. Members are encouraged to respond to the issues raised in the article. Dr. Sheriff has covered the issues of Nuclear State. This is a subject matter for an endless debate. Bioethicaly how we can reduce the quest for war and promote peaceful co-existence. India has been in historical importance from time immemorial. Mr. Avi Gold has traced the connections of ancient India with Israel and many points which he has brought to light on India will be new to many Indians. It is good to know our historical heritage. However, such a rosy picture of India has been marred. In an article "The Nation Needs a Moral Revolution" Mr. R. Salim(The Hindu, 25 August, 1998, p. 25) has stated that there are too many mega problems for the nation. The sectors that have gone wrong are:

1. Politics and Bureaucracy
2. Statutes and Government Policies
3. Rules and Regulations
4. Established institutions and organisations
5. Business and industry
6. Education and economy
7. Schools and colleges
8. Jails and courts
9. Hospitals and Police stations
10. Environment and infrastructure
11. Forest and ecology
12. Culture and Religions
13. Media and entertainment

Dr. Sharma's article (AIBA Newslink, Vol. 1:4) "What ails India? One answer" is closely connected with these major issues of India. How shall we respond? It is very strange, why AIBA members do not speak out on these matters? AIBA welcomes our members' view on these matters.
Jayapaul Azariah ,
President, AIBA and Editor of AIBA Newslink.

Bioethics in the Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi

Prof. (Mrs) Aruna Sivakami
Dept. Politics and Public Administration, University of Madras, Chennai 600 005, INDIA

It would be surprising to lay readers who are not Gandhians that Gandhiji's philosophy, in its essence, is on biodiversity and bioethics. The saint in him always dominated his decisions and actions as well as educational and philosophical writings.

In his Hind Swaraj which is highly critical of modern civilization he says we are living in a world in which nothing is made to man's measure; there exists a monstrous discrepancy between human body and human mind and the things which at the present time constitute the elements of human existence. everything is in disequilibrium. Man has tampered nature that there is not a single category, group or class of men that is altogether exempt from this destructive disequilibrium except perhaps for a few isolated patches of more primitive life. The younger generation, who have grown and are growing up in this disequilibrium climate inwardly reflect the chaos surrounding them, more than their elders.

The modern civilization despite its dazzling surface, its material attractions and madly feverish activity was a hindrance rather than a help to the needs of the human soul and the craving for a better life. Mahatma Gandhi felt that a grave tragedy lay behind all the tinsel splendour of modern civilisation, that the ceaseless rush of living left no time for contemplation and the dead were soon forgotten, that the marvels of science, the claims of civilisation and the gospel of progress could offer neither stability nor certainty, nothing substantial to struggling humanity. The moral he drew was the convictions that on this earth we are merely sojourners and consolation could come only from a firm faith "not in the theory but in the fact of the existence of a future life and real godhead". If men could see themselves as pilgrims on earth, immortal spirits on their probation, they would view everything in the earthly kingdom subspecie aeternitatis. This clearly shows how he believed in biodiversity and its preservation and not harming other forms of life in nature besides his concern for animals, birds, reptiles and plants. It was not just the moral inadequacy and extravagant pretensions of modern civilization, but its treacherously deceptive hypotonic and self destructive tendency that was the theme of Hind Swaraj. He upheld the belief that was steadily undermined since the 18th century that "social institutions and political and economic activity are subject like personal conduct to ethical appraisals". He also quoted from H.P. Blavatsky on Civilisation. Materialism and national and personal vanity, have gradually led nation and men to the almost entire oblivion of spiritual ideals, of love of nature and correct appreciation of things.

Gandhi's vision of new order is thus associated with concern and preservation of biodiversity and the earth without much of tampering for greedy objectives and a spiritual moral life that is Bioethics. What then is civilisation according to Gandhi? Civilisation is that mode of conduct which points to the path of duty. Performance of duty and observance of morality is to attain mastery over our mind and our passions. The Gujarathi equivalent for civilisation means good conduct. This may seem an unusual definition of civilisation but Mirabeau who was the first person in the West similarly gave a moral criteria to the world. Civilisation does nothing for society unless it is able to give form and substance to virtue. That is why Gandhi was considered by many as a follower of Jainism. He was not just a moralist or practitioner of the ideal Ahimsa but a man of ethical norms and ethical standards. Ethical living was the only way of living intended for all human beings. Humans are created beings and are made spiritual in the beauty of nature. Peaceful co-existence with other living beings in nature is human ethics.

Science and Scientific Temper - The Need of the Hour

D.S. Sheriff, Dean,
V.M.K.V. Medical College, Salem 636 001, INDIA

Science is defined as a search of truth. Scientific temper is neither a collection of knowledge or facts, although it promotes knowledge nor is it rationalism but it promotes rational thinking. It is an attitude of mind that calls for a particular outlook and pattern of behaviour.

It involves the acceptance of:
1. that the method of science provides a viable medium for acquiring knowledge.
2. that human problems can be understood and solved in terms of knowledge gained through the application of method of science.
3. that the fullest use of the method of science in everyday life and in every aspect of human endeavour from ethics to politics and economics is essential for ensuring human survival and progress;

Development of science and scientific thought was based on its openness, verifiability, repeatability, predictability that could be tested. Have we today built our scientific foundations on such openness and verifiability of science are necessary. In the name of classified research what goes on behind the screen eludes the knowledge and understanding of ordinary citizens living in every part of the globe. Therefore, the sudden testing of nuclear bombs for national security and the threat of sanctions from the Western world on such nations don't seem to justify the claim that every human has a right to live in peace whether in India or Iceland or USA. It has revived and opened up the Pandora's box creating uncertainties in the minds of common men.

The bombing of Japan of the close of the last world war is still troubling the conscience of America. To quote Sir Winston Churchill - "it would be a mistake to suppose that the fate of Japan was settled by the atomic bomb. Her defeat was certain before the first bomb fell and was brought about by overwhelming maritime power. Her metropolitan army had capitulated without striking blow. Her shipping had been destroyed. "Then the question arises what led to the bombing of Japan? - It is an ethical dilemma that still evades a clear cut answer. One supposes that it could have been done to minimize wasteful sacrifice of American lives in street or is it the irrepressible urge of science to demonstrate itself when the ground for the demonstration was all clear. Progress in science is based on the natural force called curiosity. There is an equal and obverse force operation in Science, the hunger for demonstration of what has been discovered. Yet triumph in war leads to delusion and error. War time crimes, therefore, become war time errors. The American thesis that the nuclear weapons will provide a good Umbrella beneath which the work of peace-making can be continued led to the development of nuclear powers and non-nuclear countries. The supposed end of cold war with the fall of USSR and the fear of aggression made super powers to go for Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to reduce and ultimately eliminate nuclear arsenal from the map of the world. It created an ethical dilemma. How could countries having large arsenal of nuclear arms profess a policy of non-proliferation of nuclear arms? Every country is a sovereign nation. It has the right and obligation to protect its country from aggression. If the policy of nuclear deferent adopted by the super powers to maintain peace in the world is considered to be morally correct, testing and producing nuclear arms for a nation to protect its own security becomes justified. In such a context, is it ethical to force other countries to follow CTBT when the major powers have stock pile of nuclear arsenal? Is it ethical to play "economic" war games to blackmail weaker nations to come under the threats os economic super powers? Are scientists obliged to work for the whims and fancies of the political games played by their leaders? These ethical questions need proper answers. This could be done only with altruistic men who have the right scientific temper to sit and chart out global policies. Every nation has an unwritten social contract to protect the interests of common man and foster goodwill among nations.

India in Early Jewish Writings

Avi Gold,
Hebrew Dept., Ben-Gurion University, Be'er Sheva, Israel

In the oldest Jewish book, the Tanakh (known also as the Old Testament), India is mentioned twice. Both times, the reference to India is in the Book of Esther, within a description of the boundaries of the kingdom of Ahashverosh. In the book of Esther Ch.1, v.1 it is stated that Ahashverosh ruled over 127 states, from "Hoddu" to "Kush". Later in Esther 8:9, a royal proclamation is sent throughout the kingdom, and again it is mentioned that messengers were sent from "Hoddu" to "Kush", to all 127 states. The word "Hoddu" is the Hebrew word for India, in Biblical, as well as in modern Hebrew. The doubled "d" is apparently historically from "nd", so that "Hindu" became "Hoddu" due to phonetic shifts. An interesting question, though is the meaning of "Kush" in the context of "Hoddu" and "Kush", and whether it refers to a place nearby "Hoddu", or a place on a different continent. Outside of the references to "Hoddu and Kush", the word "Kush" is generally taken to mean "Ethiopia". Some of the traditional commentators understood that the kingdom of Ahashverosh spanned from India to Ethiopia, a very large kingdom indeed. Others, however, took "Kush" to refer to a place nearby "Hoddu", and in some sources, the two place names are used interchangeably. Apparently this is due to the existence of the "Hindu Kush" region, and this may have been the cause of confusion. It is also true, though, that both India and Africa were far-away places for the traditional commentators, so it was easy to confuse geographic locations.

The next direct reference to India is in the Talmud, a compilation of the teachings of the ancient rabbis. In the Talmud, several products from India are mentioned by name, and it is specified that they are from India. For example, in the tractate of the Talmud known as Berakhot (36b), there is mention of "hemalta de-atya mi-be Hindu'e". That is "ginger which comes from the place of the Hindus", i.e. India.

Another product, mentioned in the Talmud, in the tractate Avoda Zara (16a), is "Parzela Hindu'a", that is "Indian iron". This iron is described as being particularly strong. Finally, there is a very interesting reference to a rabbi from India in the Talmud. His name was "Rabbi Yehuda Hindu'a". It is mentioned in Kiddushin 22b that Rabbi Yehuda Hindu'a was a convert to Judaism, and as his name indicates, he was from the land of India. In Bava Batra 74b, Rabbi Yehua Hindu'a tells of his sea voyage during which he encountered large creatures in the sea and found a precious gem.

Editorial 1 (6) Incomplete History of Bioethics


The Fourth World Congress of Bioethics was held from 4th to 7th November, 1998 at Nihon University Hall, Nihon University, Japan. Satellite Conferences like Second Conference of the International Association on Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (FAB2); Fourth International Tsukuba Bioethics Roundtable (TRT4) were also held. About 400 delegates from more than 80 countries were present. Drs. Sakamoto, Macer and Campbell did excellent arrangement of the congress. The next, 5th World Congress will be held at London.

It is surprising that no feedback has been received from our members. The cartoon published in issue no. 4 indicates how oral transmission of information gets distorted. There are grey literature in bioethics. We need to document them.

A question was asked by Dr. Alizera Bagheri of Medical Ethics Centre, Iran "What is the symbol of ethics?" Do you have any idea? Have you got any idea what should be the symbol of AIBA?

Incomplete History of Bioethics Jayapaul Azariah,
Professor and Head, Department of Zoology,
University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Chennai 600 025, INDIA

All sciences have a birth. From an Indian view point the subject of ethics is not new because it was practiced as practical philosophy, especially environmental ethics. It was a way of life. However, with the rapid strides in science and technology in the modern era, newer aspects of bioethics have come to existence. The term BIOETHICS was coined in 1970 by Dr. Van Rensselaer Potter II of the Department of Oncology, McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin Medical School. Today it has grown as a new discipline to address various issues that arise out of/due to biological research. It also provides a common forum to all disciplines both in sciences and humanities. For instance during the First Indian Bioethics Conference cum Workshop, conducted at Madras during January 1997, there was a blend of both humanities and sciences (Philosophers, poets, technologists, scientists, legal experts, physicians, public administrators, historians, educationalists, economists, environmentalists, marine biologists, theologians, anthropologists, NGOs, sociologists and chemists.) (Bioethics in India (eds.) Azariah et al., 1998). The current trend in education is to develop transdiscipilinary and transprofessional curriculum which will suit the new and emerging needs of the 21st century.

3000-2500 B.C. Babylonian/Egyptian Medicine - Code of HammuRabi; Invention of calendar & Cuneiform writings
Golden Period of Indian Medicine - The Vedic Age: 4000 up to 800 B.C.
Written documents: Charaha Samthta (Medicine); Susrtha Samthta (Surgery); Removal of stones from bladder; Repairing of deformed nose
Chinese Medicine - Evolved independently 2900 B.C.
Basically dualistic cosmic theory - Yen & Yang
Pulse diagnosis - 250 B.C.

400 B.C. Issues in medical practices - Hippocratic Oath was formulated. 60 A.D. Dioscorides - A Greek Physician founder of Pharmacology
200 A.D. Galen, a Greek Physician in Rome - Propounded a medical theory based on scientific observations and experimentation
1100 First University Medical School in Italy.
1505 Royal Colleges & Surgeons of Edinburgh
1945 World war II crimes on human beings by Germany and Japan. Human subjects were experimental objects - as a THING
1954 First successful kidney transplant
1954 Joseph Fletcher Book "Morals and Medicine" Discussions on Euthanasia and abortion
1961 Dr. Belding Scribner - invented arteriovenous shunt and cannula. Chronic dialysis is possible.
Introduced medical discrimination due to lack of facility. Hence, many were in the que for treatment!
1962 "They Decide Who Lives, Who Dies" an article published in LIFE magazine.
(b) to distinguish the ideological bias of the word ETHICS
(c) A need to develop a new focus, a new bringing together of disciplines in a new way with a new forum that tended to neutralize the traditional ideology.
1966 The article "Ethics and Clinical Research" by Henry Beecher, Harward Medical School in New England Journal of Medicine exposed unethical design and conduct of 22 biomedical research studies.
1966 First amniocentesis was performed.
1966 US Supreme Court decision in ROE V. WADE case that the constitutional right to privacy was found to entail that a woman has the right to decide whether or not to have an abortion - at least until the foetus is viable.
1967 Christian Bernard transplanted a human heart from a dead/dying person into a patient with terminal cardiac disease.
1967 Great Britain decriminalised abortion upto 28th week of pregnancy, opinion of two medical practitioners needed that the pregnancy posed a risk that the child would be born handicapped.
1968 Harvard Medical School Committee defined "Brain Death". The concept was noval but contentious because of its innate utilitarian concept and promise of more organs for life saving transplantation. It introduced the concept of "Harvesting the Dead".
1969/70 Dr. Van Resselaer, University of Wisconsin coined the word BIOETHICS (BIO to represent biological knowledge and ETHICS to human value system).
Andre Hellegers, Georgetown University gave academic status to Bioethics and founded Kennedy Institute of Bioethics.
The Hastings Center, Briercliff, N.Y was founded by Daniel Callahan and Will Gaylin
1970 Rev. Paul Ramsey's book " The Patient as Person " was published. New medicine was modifying the moral dimensions of the relationship between patient and physician.
1973 In USA abortion was made legal
1975 First edition of Bibliography of Bioethics.
1975/76 New Jersey Supreme Court Order - Joseph and Julia Quinlan's daughter permanently unconscious - requested ventilator disconnection. But, Dr. Robert Morris felt that it is his right and moral duty to continue life support indefinitely.
1976 First Living Will Law (in the State of California ) was passed.
1990 Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990 permitted abortion upto birth if there is a risk to mother/child.
1992 The Birth of Bioethics, Conference of Pioneers in Bioethics, University of Washington, Seattle.
1993 International Bioethics Survey conducted by Darryl Macer, with J. Azariah and collaborators in India.
1994? High school girl in Bombay went to court. Her personal ethics did not permit her to do frog dissection in curriculum and won the case
1994 Organ Donation Act 1994. India.
1996 Roslin Institute in Edinburgh - World's first animal to be cloned from an adult cell of a sheep. Dolly was its name and was born on July 5th, 1996
1997 Reported tedious court process of law in Organ Donation Act 1994 by Dr. P. Krishnan and Mr. K. Umamahesh in Chennai. He succeeded in getting an court order directing the Chennai Medical College to accept his body after his death.
Eye donation: Lion's Eye Bank. Govt. Ophthalmic Hospital, Agarwal's Eye Hospital.
Organ Donation - Dr. Sarasa Bharati Arumugam - Organ Transport Registry. Madras Medical Mission.
1998 Proposal by Dr. Simon Best, Chief, Roslin Institute in Edinburgh to clone to create a pig from foetal tissue

Property Protection

Sivaramjani, T.R.,
National Law School of India University, Bangalore - 560 072, INDIA

[Currently, Oxford University, UK]

In recent years, people seeking to promote sustainable development of Biodiversity have focussed on global initiatives in international law and policy, such as the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Brazil. These efforts have resulted in notable achievements, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, (CBD) which commits signatory countries to conserve biodiversity, use its components, and equitable share in resulting benefits. In this context the role of an intellectual property rights regime as an instrument of biodiversity conservation is poorly understood through often hotly debated. It is the aim of this paper to discuss the conservation of biodiversity in the context of the CBD and relate to the question of intellectual property rights protection in for example, the conservation of medicinal plants. The presentation will also touch upon the human genome diversity project in trying to elucidate indigenous peoples concerns at these global strategies.

There is a need to evaluate intentional legal standards affecting national legislation for the sustained protection of biodiversity. The political background and objectives of the CBD are also of crucial importance; for the convention has often been described as a political instrument that has an impact on issues of who controls conservation, management and use of biological resources. Thus it also becomes important to be aware of other instruments of international environmental law, interntional trade law, and intellectual property law. This is also illustrative of the attempt of indigenous people to establish their rights in international law.

The Convention on Biological Diversity

During 1980's, developed countries and developing countries debated a basic issue - under what terms should there be access to the genetic resources concentrated in developing countries and access to the advanced technologies of the developed countries? Developing nations opposed open access to their genetic resources, and sought increased access to the technology that is developed from it. Industrialized nations on the other hand sought to maintain access to biodiversity and to strengthen intellectual property rights for biotechnology, which would in turn restrict the access of developing countries to the source materials. In a way the CBD reflects a negotiated resolution to this conflict of interests.

The signatories of the CBD agreed that biodiversity is a sovereign national resource; they agreed that access to biological resources should be provided, but requires national permission. The signatories also agreed that the benefits of developing diversity, including technology should be shared with the source country. This basic agreement may be called `grain bargain' of the CBD.

Briefly, the provisions of the Convention deal with certain principles and standards for signatories to follow, and a mechanism for implementing them. Article 1 of the Convention links the goals of conservation, sustainable development of biodiversity, and fair and equitable sharing of the resulting benefits. It reflects also the principle of reciprocity between access to genetic resources and transfer of relevant technology. Article 3 recognizes a sovereign national right to exploit domestic biological resources. The Convention calls for countries to develop plans, programs, and policies for conservation and sustainable use, to conduct inventory and monitoring of biodiversity, and to promote in situ and ex situ conservation. Countries are directed to analyze and minimize the impact of development on biodiversity, and conduct research, training and education in relevant areas. Article 16 contemplates the transfer of relevant technology to countries providing genetic resources on mutually agreeable terms. Article 19 includes further directives about the transfer of biotechnology. Thus, the convention is not exhaustive and sets out minimum standards rather than maximum standards. They are merely seeds that will take time to bear fruit.

The case of control over seed grains and the role of the FAO

Intellectual Property Treaties and Agreements

The agreement under GATT on Trade Related aspects on Intellectual Property rights (TRIPS) requires nations to meet minimum standards for protecting patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. It incorporates provisions of the Paris Convention, the Berne Convention, and other international intellectual property treaties. It is based on the recognition that failure to provide adequate and effective intellecual property protection is a barrier to legitimate trade.

In many ways the TRIPS agreement is a move backwards from the draft code of Conduct on the Transfer of Technology negotiated in the UNCTAD, and the draft code of conduct for Tansnational Corporations negotiated in the UN, both of which were designed to require transnational function in conformity with public interest and national development objectives and priorities of the host country.

Depending on their economic status, developing nations are allowed upto 10 years to come into compliance with TRIPS. Most importantly for India, countries looking at implementation of both TRIPS and the CBD should examine how the two sets of laws interact with each other. For example a country interested in promoting biodiversity prospecting should have greater patent protection for biotechnological inventions than TRIPS requires.

The case of traditional medicinal plants

Indigenous peoples rights in international law

Areas of high biodiversity often coincide with areas where local and indigenous communities live. The role of these communities in conserving and sustainably using the environment was recognised only recently, and was stressed in the Earth Summit, although not in the form of legally binding provisions. In this for the first time Article 8(j) of the CBD recognises the significance of indigenous knowledge, innovations and practices in the conservation of biodiversity for the first time. Thus given the mandate of the CBD any regime that implements access to genetic resources and benefit sharing will have to take the interests of these people into account. First of all this requires the setting up of domestic laws to regulate the use of national genetic resources.

The case of indigenous people's rights abused under the Human genome diversity project

The situation in India with regard to legislative attempts to deal with biological diversity is a painful reminder of how slow the process of implementation of an international instrument can be. There exists no consolidated legal instrument in India. Forests, coastal and agricultural biodiversity are dealt with under separate regimes. Also of importance is the fact that the scope of CBD is extremely wide, and would have an impact on issues that are not strictly environmental or biodiversity related. Trade related issues are involved, for e.g. in the provisions regarding transfer of genetic resources. Linked to this issue is also the question, of course of intellectual property rights over products derived from biodiversity, and from the knowledge of local and indigenous communities.

Membership list

Current Membership lists

Life Membership

Dr. R.K. Agarwal,
Reader, Dept. of Zoology,

Dr. J. Adiss Arnold
Associate Professor
Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, 94, Purusawalkam High Road, Kilpauk,
Chennai - 600 010

Dr. Jayapaul Azariah,
Professor and Head, Dept. Zoology,
University of Madras - Guindy Campus,
Chennai 600 025,

Dr. Hilda Azariah,
Dept. Botany,
University of Madras - Guindy Campus,
Chennai 600 025,

Dr. V. Balasubramanyam
Associate Professor
Department of Anatomy
St. John's College
Bangalore - 560 034

Prof. V. Balambal
Rtd. Professor
Department of History
University of Madras
Chennai - 600 005

Dr. A.G. Bansode,
Principal, Ahmednagar College,
Station Road, Ahmednagar 414 001.

Dr. Ms. A.M. Bhate,
Reader in Zoology,
Dharampeth M.P. Deo Memorial College,
Dayalbagh Educational Institute,
AGRA 282 005.

Mr. N.R. Bheda,
Tirupathy Flats,
22F Venus Colony,
II Street. Chennai 600 018

Dr. Mrs. M.R. Bhatnagar,
Department of Sanskrit,
Faculty of Arts,
Dayalbagh Educational Institute,
AGRA 282 005.

Dr. Fr. M. Charles, S.J.
Senior Lecturer in Botany,
St. Joseph's College,
Tiruchirapalli - 620 002
FAX 0431 701501
Tel. 0431 704070/700320

Dr. Subramanian Dhandayuthapani,
Department of Microbiology,
University of Texas
Health Sciences Centre,
7703 Floyd Curl Drive,
San Antomo. TX 78284

Dr. Lt. Col R.K. Bhaskar,
Dept. of Hospital Administration
Armed Forces Medical College,
Pune 411 040
Ph. 606046

Dr. Ramesh Lal Bijlani,
Department of Physiology,
AIIMS, New Delhi 110 029

Mr. R. Dhanaraj,
School of Nursing, SKS Hospital,
(Ph. 449292)

Dr. Pushpa Dhar,
Department of Anatomy,
NEW DELHI 110 029

Dr. K.K. Dua,
Department of Zoology,
Dayalbagh Educational Institute,
AGRA 282 005.

Dr. M. Gnanapragasam
Reader in Philosophy
Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth
Ramwadi, Pune - 411 014

Rev. Fr. Dr. S. Ignacimuthu, S.J.
Loyola College,
Chennai-600 034

Dr. Mrs. Jannet Jeyasingh,
Professor of Botany
Women's Christian College,
Madras 600 006

Dr. Mrs. Surjeet Kaur
W/o Dr. Padurman Singh,
Dept. of Philosophy,
University of Pune, Pune 411 007

Dr. K.P. Kochhar,
Department of Physilogy,
NEW DELHI 110 029.

Lt. Col. Dr. S. Kohli,
Department of Medicine
Armed Forces Medical College,
Pune - 411 040

Dr. V. Krishnamurthy,
Director, Institute of Algology,
15, Ramanathan Street,
Chennai 600 017.

Prof. V. Manickavel,
College of Medical Sciences,
Bharatpur - Chitwan. Nepal

Dr. Sunil Pandya
Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre
Dr. G.V. Deshmukh Marg
Mumbai - 400 026

Dr. Mrs. Cynthia Pandian,
Professor, Department of Education,
University of Madras, Chepauk,
Chennai 600 005.

Dr. (Ms) Santishree D.N.B. Pandit,
Department of Politics and Public
Admn. University of Pune
Ganshkhind, Pune 411 007
Ph. 356061-2184 Fax. 0212 353899

Dr. S. Rajan
Reader in Zoology
Pachaiyappa's College for Men
Kancheepuram - Tamil Nadu

Dr. H.S. Rose
Department of Zoology
Punjab University
Patiala - 167 007, Punjab
Fax. 191-175 822881

Dr. Mrs. Pamela Sahayadas
Head, Dept. of Zoology
Women's Christian College
Chennai - 600 006

Dr. Sunalini Sattoor,
Department of Sociology,
Chief Medical Officer,
Department of Anatomy,
Armed Forces Medical College,
Pune 411 010.

Dr. M. Selvanayagam
Professor and Head, Dept. of Zoology
Loyola College, Chennai - 34

Dr. R.N. Sharma
Dy. Director & Head
Entomology Division
National Chemical Laboratory
Pune - 411 008

Dr. S. Dawood Sherief
Reader in Zoology
The New College
Royapettah, Chennai - 600 005

Dr. K. Bhaskar Shenoy
Department of Applied Zoology
Mangalore University
Mangalagangothri - 574 199

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Padruman Singh
Dept. of Biochemistry
Armed Forces Medical College,
Pune 411001.
Tel. 0212 606044

Dr. Mrs. Aruna Sivakami
Professor of Politics & Public Administration
University of Madras
Chepauk, Chennai - 600 005

Dr. Nadarajah Sriskandarajah
School of Agriculture and Rural Development
University of Western Sidney
Hawkesbury Richmond NSW 2753

Dr. A.K. Tharien
Christian Fellowship Hospital
Odanchatram 624 619

Dr. K.K. Verma
HIG I 327
Housing Board Colony
Borsi, Durg (M.P.)
PIN - 491 001

Annual Members (1998)

Dr. J.P. Arockiam
Reader in Zoology
St. Xavier's College
Palayamkottai - 627 002
Tamil Nadu

Dr. V. Dhulasi Birundha,
Professor of Environmental Economics,
Madurai Kamaraj Universtiy,
Madurai 625 021.
Dr. Nirmal Chandra Sahu,
Professor of Economics,
Berhampur University, Bhanja Bihar,
Berhampur 760 007

Dr. P. Maria Charles
Lecturer in Zoology
Government Arts College
Nandanam, Chennai - 600 035

Miss Tanushree Garai,
Department of Zoology,
Dayalbagh Educational Institute,
AGRA 282 005.

Dr. K. Kannan
Reader in Zoology
Vivekananda College
Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004

Dr. R.R. Kishore,
Ministry of Health, Govt. Of India.
D-II/145 Kidwai nagar, West,
New Delhi -110 023.

Dr. (Mrs.) Pushpanjali Koli
2829 `B' Ward
Mandlik Vasahat
Subhash Road, Kolhapur - 416 012

Dr. (Mrs.) Lavanya
No.1/15, Sugandham Apartments
Justice Sundaram Road
Luz Avenue
Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004

Dr. Sm Pechi Muthu
Flat No.7, Dev Apartments
4, First Main Road
Gandhi Nagar, Adyar
Chennai - 600 020
email -

Dr. P. Nammalwar
Senior Scientist
Madras Research Centre of CMFRI
63/3 Greams Road, Chennai - 600 006

Dr. K.V. Somasekharan Nair
Senior Scientist
Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute,
P.O. Box 1603, Tatapuram P.O.
Cochin - 682 014

Prof. M.V. Subba Rao
Dept. of Environmental Sciences
Andhra University
Vizakhapatnam - 530 003

Dr.R.V. Ramana Rao
Professor and Surgeon
Vice Principal
Guntur Medical College

Mr. H.A. Razack
Lecturer in Zoology
CAH College,
Melvisharam - 632 509
Tamil Nadu

Dr. S. L. Sasikala,
Lecturer in Aquaculture,
Institute of Coastal Aquaculture,
Manomaniam Sundaranar University,
Scot Christian College Campus,
Nagercoil 629 003

Miss Chaitali Sinha,
Department of Zoology,
Dayalbagh Educational Institute,
AGRA 282 005.

Dr. Mrs. S. Sivakamasundari
Lecturer in Zoology
Pachaiyappa's College
Chennai - 600 030

Dr. Usha Sri
Plot No. 34
C.T.O. Colony
Salem - 636 004

Dr. Sebastian Thomas
Head, Algae Operations
Parry Agro Industries
Tiam House Annexue - 2
Jehangir Street, Chennai 600 001

Miss Shivani Vashishtha,
Department of Zoology,
Dayalbagh Educational Institute,
AGRA 282 005

Student Membership

Ms. Anbu Arivukodi (LIFE)
Department of Zoology
University of Madras
Guindy Campus, Chennai - 600 025

Ms. Dhanapriya (LIFE)
Department of Zoology
University of Madras
Guindy Campus, Chennai - 600 025

Ms. Krishnika (LIFE)
Department of Zoology
University of Madras
Guindy Campus, Chennai - 600 025

S.A. Abdul Latheef
12/299 A7
Ashok Nagar
Anantapur - 515 001

Ms. Minakshi (LIFE)
Eubios Ethics Institute
P.O. Box 125
Tsukuba Science City 305

N. Thankadurai
Research Scholar,
Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases,
4 A J.T. Nagar, Mugapur.
Chennai 600 050

Life Membership (Foreign)

Mr. Avi Gold
Dept. of Hebrew Language
Ben Gurion University
16, Recgarat Yavne
Shechuna Tet, Beer Sheva, Israel

Dr. John Lizza
Philosophy Department
Kutztown University
Kutztown PA 19530

Dr. Frank Leavitt
Director, Centre for Asian &
International Bioethics,
Faculty of Health Sciences,
Ben Gurion Universtiy of the Negev,
Beer Sheva, Israel.

Prof. Darryl Macer,
Institute of Biological Sciences,
Tsukuba University, Ibaraki 305,

Dr. Holmes Rolston III
Department of Philosophy,
Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1781 USA.

Dr. Song Sang-Yong
Professor and Director
Department of Humanities
Hallym University
Chunckon - 200-702 Korea

Dr. Peter Wheale,
Bio Information (Int'l) Ltd.
438 Archway Road, Highgate,
London N6 4JH. UK

Other News

Additions to Bioethics Resource Library:
AIBA thanks Prof. Rolston for the following books he donated
Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and applications, Louis P. Pojman, Wadsworth Publishing company, Belmont. pp 568. 1998.
Environmental Ethics: Divergence and Convergence. Richard G. Botzler and Susan J. Armstrong, McGraw Hill Boston.pp 600. 1998.
Thirteen Questions in Ethics and Social Philosophy, Bowie, G.L., Higgins K.M., and Michaels M.W., Harcourt Brace College Publishers. Fort Worth. pp 677. 1998.
Ethical Theory, Louis P. Pojman, Wadsworth Publishing company, Belmont. pp 738. 1998.
Philosophy of Religion, Louis P. Pojman, Wadsworth Publishing company, Belmont. pp 581. 1998.

All welcome to join AIBA Kindly enroll more members from all over India.














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Dr.Jayapaul Azariah
No. 3, 8th Lane, 5th Cross Street, Indira Nagar,
Chennai 600 020, INDIA
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