Editorial - TRT5 and Asian Bioethics

- Darryl Macer, Ph.D.
Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 9 (1999), 161.

This issue comes after the completion of TRT5, which was held 20-23 Nov. 1999 in Tsukuba, hosted by Eubios Ethics Institute. We saw over 40 foreign scholars come from 15 different countries to discuss a range of topics in bioethics from a cross-cultural perspective. The informal atmosphere in which 70 persons generally filled the rectangular table (as Prof. Song in Korea calls it), allowed us here (myself and colleagues and students in Tsukuba) to have an enjoyable time, with much stimulating discussion and debate.

Participants decided that the informal atmosphere and discussion feature should be maintained for the next meeting, which will be the Sixth International Tsukuba Bioethics Roundtable (TRT6), 27-29 Oct. 2000, which falls under the general theme of a week of meetings, Bioethics, Health and Environment. TRT6 will be followed by a series of conferences in Tokyo (30-31 Oct.) and Fukui (1-3 Nov.), preceded by a satellite in Hiroshima. Submissions for all meetings should be to Darryl Macer, and coordination will be made. The details will be on-line soon, and updated in the January issue of EJAIB. The conference will be held in cooperation with IALES, and other organizations. The Tokyo meeting will have simultaneous interpretation into English and French and Japanese, the other meetings are not clear on what languages beyond English will be available. TRT6 will be conducted in English, but some help in answering questions is provided, as in TRT4 and TRT5.

The Japanese proceedings of the UNESCO Asian Bioethics Conference have been published and orders are being taken. Another Eubios publication that is forthcoming is a collection of ten lengthy papers under the theme: Ethical challenges as we approach the end of the Human Genome Project. It will be announced in the January issue, and can be ordered on the Renewal form.

In this issue the first three papers deal with scientific ethics, and what is research. The paper from Malaysia looks at assisted reproduction in a traditional society. The paper by Kanani may generate some criticism, but it is a scientific study of astrological predictions, and perhaps suited to this Asian bioethics theme. There is also a sad note on the passing of two Jewish bioethics scholars, both of whom I knew. Although I am not a Jew, I have been stimulated by their work into thinking of cross-cultural bioethics, and we hope that we can continue an open dialogue in the future century!

Thank you for your continued support in the year 2000,

Darryl Macer
Email: asianbioethics@yahoo.co.nz

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