Letter from China

- Dr Ju Zhang

Deputy Director, Decision-Making Consultancy Office, State Science & Technology Commission, 15-B Fuxing Rd, Beijing 100862, CHINA;
and Associate Professor of Theoretical Medicine Peking Union Medical College , Beijing, China
(New editorial board member)


Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 5 (1995), 59.

With great delight I learnt that the Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics has been published, with aims of reviewing and updating news and trends in bioethics from around the world. I appreciate the effort of Dr. Macer in promoting understanding and exchange of bioethical ideas within and between Asia and international bioethics through your research and the previous publication of the Eubios Ethics Institute Newsletter. That is the common aim wish of our Asian community of bioethics.

As a new discipline and movement, bioethics has developed quickly in North America and other countries since 1960s. Almost all theories and principles of bioethics have defined very well in the way that the Western philosophy used to be or how Western people think. It is difficult for our Eastern or Asian people to find a suitable solution within this framework, although we are confronted with the same ethical problems as Westerners. For several years, we have tried our best to understand and study bioethics in the Eastern traditions, and soon Professors Renzong Qiu and Hyakudai Sakamoto will found the East Asian Society of Bioethics. I am very glad to find the names of leading bioethicists and Asian colleagues in the editorial board of the Journal. It seems to me a good effort to promote this kind of communication and study.

I do hope this Journal will be a pioneer in research and interchange of bioethics in the region. In my point of view, three aspects should be especially addressed in the Journal:

1. Attention should be paid to the theoretical study or foundation of bioethics, especially in Asian perspectives. In order to promote research in bioethics, papers or opinions representing different cultural, religious and philosophical perspectives should be invited to a forum in the Journal, especially on key issues.

2. Considering the diversity of belief, religion and tradition in the Asia, we should enhance the interchange and understanding not only with the global international bioethics, but also within the regional community, e.g., among Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions,etc.

3. I fully agree to the aim of promoting scientific responsibility, as described in the announcement for the Journal. Bioethics, as I understand, is a kind of moral practice as well as academic study. Therefore, it is important to strengthen bioethicists' ties with medical professionals and to call doctors' attention to ethical issues in medical practice. I suggest, if there is enough space, to publish clinical doctors' letters or viewpoints on ethical issues, as has been done in medical journals.

The publication of the Journal is a marvellous achievement in the history of bioethics in Asia. I greet you to have a good start and look forward to a successful journal.


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