- Darryl Macer, Ph.D.
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba Science City, 305, JAPAN
Eubios Ethics Institute Newsletter 3 (1993), 29.
In March I spent one month in New Zealand and Australia, distributing questionnaires and meeting colleagues and friends. Anyone interesting in participating in the international bioethics survey project (see also the announcement for the Fukui seminar and workshop) - which involves free response and set question opinion surveys throughout 1993 in different countries - should contact me. Such surveys are underway in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, India, and Russia; and are intended in Israel and Thailand soon. The response rate from mail surveys has been reasonably low, because of the length of the questionnaire, and the requests for open questions. However, the answers are very interesting, and are being analysed. It is intended to obtain at least 300 public responses from each country, and additionally some responses from medical students, and some special groups. Surveys in other countries are also planned. Questionnaires are available if you are interested in conducting such research in other countries. Some questions have been used previously in various countries of the world. The topics cover some issues of bioethics, biotechnology, medical genetics, and attitudes to the environment.
The surveys include many open questions to look at the reasoning of people. In order to develop cross-cultural ethics we must examine the reasoning that people have. Academics are too often distant from the reasoning of ordinary people, so a survey is a useful additional to the instruments that are available to examine international bioethics.
If you are interested in joining in an international discussion you are invited to join in a forthcoming seminar and workshop - 19-21 Nov, in Fukui, Japan. Part of this seminar will be a workshop, which will consider international attitudes and policy concerning the question of what is a disease and what is not? Where do we draw the line between therapy and enhancement? What are neurological disorders and what is merely failing to meet the expectations of society or ourselves?
At the end of this newsletter is the first news sheet and information about the International Association of Bioethics Genetics Network. The news bulletin will be a regular feature of the Newsletter from now on, to add to the news reported under the specific topics inside the Newsletter. You are invited to join the network, and invited to share in exchanging news.