Eubios Ethics Institute, University of Tsukuba, IALES, IUBS hosted the:
Sixth International Tsukuba Bioethics Roundtable (TRT6) 27-29 October, 2000
Bioethics, Health and the Environment - Abstracts
Venue: Room 4A411, Institute of Medical Sciences,
University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba Science City, Japan.Sponsors include Eubios Ethics Institute, IUBS, Glaxo-Wellcome Japan, Novartis Pharma Japan, Fujisawa Pharmaceuticals, Sankyo Pharmaceuticals. This home page was last updated on 4 December, 2000.
Program for the associated Tokyo and Fukui meetings Bioethics, Health and Environment: The Public in Policy 27 October - 3 November, 2000.
To the program trt6
To trt6 information in Japanese
Sponsors included: Eubios Ethics Institute, IUBS, GlaxoWellcome Japan, Novartis Japan, Fujisawa Pharmaceuticals, Sankyo Pharmaceuticals.
Internet site provides updated program information: <http://eubios.info/trt6.html>
27 October, 2000 Health and Environment are Global Concerns
9:00-11:30 Session 1: Environmental Ethics and a Peaceful Sustainable Future
Human Nature and Human Rights - Universal Ethical Values?
Aruna Sivakami, Ph.D.
Dept. Politics & Public Admn. University of Madras, Chepauk, Chennai 600 005, India
Today classical political tradition is considered to be a mixed bag, an agglomeration of factual statements and value judgements. Explanations of human behaviour and human nature such 'good' and 'bad' or 'is' and 'ought' or 'objectivism' and 'subjectivism' which are normative was, the order of the day. Human Nature and the law of nature were basis from which positive rights in civil society were derived. Laws of Nature and positive rights were considered as antithetical to one another. Plato, Hobbes and Machiavelli belong to the school which considers hHuman nature to be defective by nature (creation) and that explained bad or evil inherent in Man. Artistotle, Locke and Rousseau believed in the innate goodness of man that became corrupt and evil in civil society. In short classical and modern political philosophy was pre occupied with proper behaviour for man that leads to good life and according to some religion a heavenly life after death. So theocentric humanism and anthropocentric humanism believed in interpreting the world and ordering man in society rather than to change it. The messianic humanism of Marx and Comte believed that reality can be molded to conform to the infinite will of man. According to them \ the truly good, the divine reason is not a mere abstraction but a vital principle capable of realizing itself and individual states incorporate the essence of freedom and ethical values. Man is the measure of all things in the true sense. He has become God. But human nature, human behaviour and thus human rights, and hence ethical and moral values continued to haunt the literature on political theory from Comte, Weber, Croce, Vicco, Herder and Easton and Sheler.
Ethics and morals as values are perhaps only meaningful in civil society. They have objective reality and as real to the apprehending subjects as are colours to our vision. Not values themselves but only our knowledge of value is relative. It is only the idea of Justice that made values the basis for human rights. Rawls Theory of Justice claims that justice in the first virtue of society as truth is of systems of thought. Justice denies that loss of freedom for some can be made right by a greater good shared by others. The laws of nature were the basis of human rights considered to be the greatest value of civil society. In Kantian ethics is the idea that a man realises his true self, when he acts from a moral law, whereas if he permits his actions to be determined by sensuous desires or contingent aims he becomes subject to law of nature, so human rights become antithetical to the laws of nature again.
How to make men moral or ethical and yet enjoy their rights which are universal? In a democracy where power relationships prevail, the citizen would obey the sovereign due to a number of psychological principles as factual or empirical generalisations as they see the value of self interest or self preservation. It is only from Hobbes a new type of obligation associated with the fear of punishments, emerged, and so limits for human rights.
Ethics is bioethics when man considers the common and collective interests of civil society. Human rights can come ethical values in a democratic world keeping in view the harmony of interests of civil societies and survival of nature and humans being more important. With NGOs, judicial and Quasi judicial institutions play an important role (judicial activism demonstrated by public interest litigation in India). Human rights collectively are becoming significant as values in public policies of modern democracies. How to convert it into universal values in view of the preservation of life in this planet is the focus of discussion.
Wildlife Need Habitat Off-Limits to Humans
Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.
In 4 million years of human evolution, there has never been an area off limits to humans -- an area which we deliberately choose not to enter so that the species that live there can flourish unmolested by humans. Yet, our observations and intuition about wildlife suggest that most want and need such seclusion in order to survive. Recent research confirms this: even recreation traditionally considered harmless is actually detrimental to wildlife. Restoring true wilderness will require rethinking and redesigning all land uses and wildlife management regimes, as well as changing how we relate to wildlife.
A New Environmental Management Tool: Value Impact Assessment (VIA) of Genetically Modified (GM) Food
- Jayapaul Azariah, Ph.D
President, All India Bioethics Association, No.4, 8th Lane, 5th Cross Street, Indra Nagar, Chennai- 600020 India
World hunger is a reality and a common problem for humanity to solve. For one common problem there can be many solutions. But all solutions may not be ethical. Such solutions may create many additional problems. Sometimes the alternate solution may be better in minimising the projected risk. As India crosses one billion mark in its population size, it faces greater population pressure for food. India is now feeding the world population that existed during the time of Malthus. The ethical dilemma is: should we maximise the food production or minimise pressure? It is estimated that by the year 2030, India may be short of 45 million metric tons of food. When Indian population reaches 1.5 billion during 2050 the prediction of Malthus that the gap between the demand for food and the predicted Indian burgeoning population size will be too great. The present paper is written on the assumption that another catastrophe is around the sharp turn ahead. If by coercion GM foods and its products are introduced in India, the unwitting public and others who are concerned about the integrity of human health will be taken by surprise. Therefore, a concerted pre-disaster preparation is necessary. There is an immediate need to evolve a framework for making value based ethical assessment of introducing GM food onto the market.
Due to biotechnological revolution in genetic engineering the rate of change in the gene pool of food crops has increased rapidly, even faster than information technology revolution. Rapid environmental degradation due to industrial revolution has created the need for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The release of GM food crops into the environment has been equated by opponents to the release of industrial effluent, a process by which the quality of natural water is altered physically and chemically. Just as the release of polluted industrial effluent into the environment is inevitable, in the near future when GM crops are introduced into the cultivable land, it is predicted that there may be "gene pollution" in the environment. Therefore, there is a need to address the conflicts of interests, and develop the procedures that can predict the likely environmental impacts of the release of GM food crops.
The proposed Value Impact Assessment (VIA) is a management tool which will take into consideration questions like can the GM crop function in the environment without serious risk of danger to the integrity of the existing plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, biosafety, socio-economic impact of biotechnology and long term health effects, both to the environment and the human beings? Suitable procedures are to be developed to foresee and to prevent possible negative long-term environmental effects of biotechnology such as the erosion of genetic material and narrowing of the genetic basis of cultivated crops. At the present, there is no precise method to assess the environmental safety of GM crops as well as the health risk management. The paper outlines a few methodological details.
Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Protection
Napoleon M. Mabaquiao, Jr.
Department of Philosophy, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
When one talks about the major contributors to environmental damages, one cannot lose sight of the big business institutions or the corporations. The corporations, after all, are the ones getting raw materials from and dumping wastes to the environment on a massive scale. This reality gives rise to the issue of what responsibilities corporations have towards the environment or towards those affected by what these institutions do to the environment. In analyzing this issue, one, however, is confronted with certain difficulties. One of which concerns the proper perspective one ought to use. Because of the nature of the issue \ that it involves the corporations and the environment, two disciplines are easily relevant: Business Ethics and Environmental Ethics. But these two disciplines have different ways of dealing with the problem. This means that the moral duties of corporations are dealt with differently in the field of Business Ethics from the way moral duties towards the environment are dealt with in the field of Environmental Ethics. More particularly, when one talks about the moral duties of corporations in the field of Business Ethics, one usually talks about the various theories of corporate social responsibility like the stockholder, stakeholder, and social-contract theories. On the other hand, when one talks about onefs moral duties to the environment in the field of Environmental Ethics, one usually talks about theories like homocentrism (or anthropocentrism), ecocentricism (or ecological holism), and utilitarianism. The question that arises in this regard is that in considering the moral duties of corporations towards the environment, should one talk about the corporations adopting one of the theories of corporate social responsibility or one of the more general theories on environmental protection as discussed in the field of Environmental Ethics? Or should one perhaps make a synthesis of some sort between certain theories from both fields? My paper will attempt to respond to this problem.
Nuclear Allergy and Nuclear Anergy
- Shinryo N. Shinagawa, MD
Emeritus Professor of Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Fugimi-cho 32-3, Hirosaki 036-8223, Japan
After a short introduction of medical terms such as allergy, absolute anergy and negative anergy, the relationship between nuclear weapons and Japanese mind will be discussed from historical and ethical viewpoints. Although the effort was unsuccessful because of the lack of human resources, funds, uranium and disorganization of the project teams, it can not be denied that Japan tried to develop atomic bombs during World War II.
In the 1930s and early 1940s it was widely said in Japan, especially among the young scientists, university students and medical officers that Nazi Germany will soon succeed in developing new weapons such as atomic bombs and rockets, and very surely defeat the British Empire and USSR. This rumor was probably one of the reasons why Japan allied with Germany militarily and opened the war against USA and the British Empire in 1941.
On the development of new powerful weapons, only military advantages were discussed, and almost nothing was discussed in Japan from a moral and humanitarian viewpoint on possible hazardous issues and victims of new weapons as far as I experienced and remember. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not the first cases of indiscriminate killing and wounding by bombing. Many cities in China, Germany and Japan had already experienced the same style of indiscriminate bombing and massacre. However, the scale of hazards and disasters in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was completely different not only quantitatively but also qualitatively.
After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese public reacted very promptly and very strongly, and the minds of Japanese people changed into nuclear allergy from previous (absolute) nuclear anergy. Needless to say, the main origin of nuclear allergy (oversensibility) to nuclear powers in the minds of Japanese people is their own experience in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, it cannot be denied that nuclear allergy and anti- nuclear movement in Japan were exaggerated by the propaganda and agitation of the domestic and international leftists who classified nuclear weapons into 2 categories: they were good and bad, defensive and offensive, and imperialist and peace-loving.
Today in Japan, however, not a few persons are not allergic but rather nuclear anergic. The tide of nuclear anergy is spreading rapidly among people who are making money and obtaining jobs either directly or indirectly in nuclear industry (positive anergy); belonging to nationalistic or rightist groups (positive anergy); jobless or unemployed (negative anergy); young generations with no knowledge and experience of nuclear hazards (absolute anergy ); to innocent or not educated on nuclear hazards and the future of humankind and the earth.
On the contrary the nuclear allergy is common among people who experienced Hiroshima, Nagasaki, World War II, American Hydrogen bomb tests in South Pacific, Chernobyl and Tokai-mura; who understand the limits of modern medical treatment for nuclear victims; who understand well the ignorance and hazards of war, especially of nuclear war, and arms race; who are humanitarian, environment protecting and peace loving and who belong to leftist groups.
Finally, a few words will be added on the three Non\Nuclear Policies of Japan. Probably it will be possible to ban the manufacturing and the use of nuclear weapons. However, is it possible to ban and confirm the introduction of nuclear weapons from abroad by Americans and American bases in Japan? And furthermore, Japan is covered and protected under American nuclear umbrella under the bilateral Security Treaty. Japan is a country of 2.5 Non-Nuclear policies.
In conclusion, the nuclear allergy and anergy (of Japanese mind and behaviour) should be adjusted to a more neutral way and reaction. Today no one can deny the co-existence between nuclear energy and power. In hospitals and airports X-rays are necessary. But the use of nuclear power and energy should be minimized and limited to peaceful and civilian level use. Even medical use should be minimized. For the avoidance of military use nuclear weapons should be abolished as early as possible and we should never produce more.
* The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius said "Supreme indeed is Mean as a moral virtue. It has been rare among common people for quite a long time."
12:00-13:45 Optional outside activities (weather dependent)
13:45-18:00 Session 2: Methodology for Cross-Cultural Global Bioethics
Use of Descriptive and Interactive Bioethics to Inform Prescriptive Policy
Darryl Macer, Ph.D.
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan
This session is included in each roundtable as a session where different methods of bioethics can be explored and developed. The emphasis is on practical approaches. Bioethics is both a word and a concept. The word comes to us only from 1970, yet the concept comes from human heritage thousands of years old. It is the concept of love, balancing benefits and risks of choices and decisions. This heritage can be seen in all cultures, religions, and in ancient writings from around the world. We in fact cannot trace the origin of bioethics back to their beginning, as the relationships between human beings within their society, within the biological community, and with nature and God, are formed at an earlier stage then our history would tell us.
There are at least three ways to view bioethics. 1. Descriptive bioethics is the way people view life, their moral interactions and responsibilities with living organisms in their life. 2. Prescriptive bioethics is to tell others what is ethically good or bad, or what principles are most important in making such decisions. It may also be to say something or someone has rights, and others have duties to them. 3. Interactive bioethics is discussion and debate between people, groups within society, and communities about 1 and 2 above.
Developing and clarifying prescriptive bioethics allows us to make better choices, and choices that we can live with, improving our life and society. The choices that need to be made in the modern biotechnological and genetic age are many, extending from before conception to after death - all of life. We can find various definitions of bioethics, the simplest would be consideration of the ethical issues raised by questions involving life (gbioh). We also should examine whether the set of principles or ideals which people use as a common ground for bioethics apply across human culture, and can be applied for any gmoral agenth. How can we define love, and therefore bioethics.
A Cross-Cultural Perspective on the Relation Between Science and Bioethics
- Richard Evanoff,
School of International Politics, Economics, and Business, Aoyama Gakuen University, Japan
This presentation will argue that while science can inform decision-making on bioethical issues, disagreements over ethics cannot be resolved by simply appealing to scientific evidence. While the goal of science is to help us understand the world better, the goal of ethics is help us make better decisions about how to act in it. Since the world itself underdetermines how humans should think about and act in it, there can be cross-cultural differences with regard to both how the world is understood and how the world should be acted in. Rather than adopt a postmodern stance which sees nature as nothing more than a "social construct," however, the presentation will argue, following Habermas's discourse ethics, that cross-cultural differences on bioethical issues can only be resolved through a communicative process in which all of those who are affected by a particular decision have the right to participate in its formulation. Contextualism in ethics means not only respecting cultural differences when appropriate but also recognizing that cross-cultural interactions create entirely new contexts which by their very nature span different cultures. Since the norms which govern interactions across cultures do not yet exist, cross-cultural conflicts cannot be resolved through appeals to science but only by engaging in a process of cross-cultural dialogue in which new norms are actively created.
Thai attitudes to Bioethics 1993-2000
Chalobon Kachonpadungkitti & Darryl Macer
Dept. of Employment, Thailand & Masters Program in Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Thailand is a strongly Buddhist country, with rising living standards and a rapidly developing economy. It is therefore of particular interest to see how attitudes bioethical dilemmas have changed over the 1990s. This paper compares the results of a survey in year 2000 with those of the International Bioethics Survey conducted by Macer and Srinives in 1993 in Thailand. The results are not yet complete, as some surveys are still to be returned from Thailand, but some trends can be observed among the 225 respondents to date. When asked goverall do you think science and technology do more harm than good, more good than harm, or about the same of each?h, 44% said more good in 2000, compared to 54% in 1993; with 5% saying more harm compared to 3% in 1993, and the rest of the people who said it was the same of each. However the 2000 sample did have a higher self-indicated knowledge of science and technology with the exception of computers. There is a 20% decline in the proportion who see benefits from pesticides in 2000, although a similar degree of worry is seen. Genetic engineering however sees a drop of 30% in the perceived benefits in the 2000 sample, from 77% to 46%, with only 20% saying they have no worries. The reason for the worry was investigated in the open question, and it was for ethical concerns, or interfering with nature, rather than for personal health concerns. The results of questions on specific applications reveal that there has been a halving, of the support for gene transfer from plant to plant, and even greater drop in support for plant to animal.
The survey also explores environmental issues, and shows that 70% say that they have bought foods labeled as pesticide free in 2000, up from 47% in 1993. There was also an increase in recycling activity, but not in other actions. There were few people who could think of a specific positive impact of science upon employment. When given a case of constructing a new factory, and asks, gDo you support a company that wants to build a new factory that will create 1000 new jobs, but it will convert 100 hectares of forest?h, 88% disagreed. The reasons given were that it damages the environment, and the forest. Actually only a quarter were specifically anthropocentric in their comments, which is interesting. In conclusion, we can see that although this sample had a positive view towards technology, when they come to some environmental issues they show much concern.
Images of Public and Scientists towards Bioethics in Japan
Chika Takeda & Darryl Macer
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan
One of the basic issues in bioethics is to define what bioethics is? This paper reports results of surveys conducted by Macer and colleagues since 1993 which ask people of different occupations what comes to mind when they hear the word bioethics. The open comments were analyzed for ideas, concepts and key words, and the results are compared. The answers to different samples may be influenced by the surrounding questions and topic of the questionnaire, but provide some comparison. There was a high proportion of comments about respect for life and natural providence among all groups in Japan. With the same question among high school teachers in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore more practical ideas were expressed than the vague concepts. Among the Japanese academic 1995 and physician 1995 samples there were more comments about medical decisions and human choice, which are practical, compared to teachers, however, there was still less practicality than in those other three countries. The balance between practical and theoretical concepts could be an important of the maturity of bioethical reasoning, yet we could not say that doctors were not practical, having had to face decisions about saving life. One feature of the 2000 survey is the high frequency of natural providence responses, which we think is because it follows a open question on images of biotechnology, rather than just the trend towards more negative attitudes to biotechnology that are seen in 2000.
Indian Scientists' Attitudes to Ethical Issues in Medical Biotechnology
S. Visalakshi and Surjit Singh
National institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, New Delhi \ 110 012, India
Developments in Biotechnology (BT) in the last decade have brought new products and methods of production in different walks of life of interest to human society. Medical biotechnology has brought new products and methods in the categories of diagnostics, therapeutics and prophylactics. The leading multinational companies (MNCs) have invested heavily in ventures to create, produce and market such products for the large margins and being less alien to human system hence could create less unwanted side-effects.
The literature mentions many new products, which have already hit the market in the advanced countries and tried to be introduced in the developing country markets. The same also mentions about large number of efforts in the pipeline at the R&D level for coming out with newer molecules that could be used for diagnosis, as vaccine or as therapeutic molecules. Under this there are new diagnostic aids, new types of vaccines etc. Now there are methods to detect genetic deficiencies, to identify gene based dispositions to certain diseases at some point of time in onefs life, or even before the birth of a child while in the womb of its mother, the behavioral abnormalities coded in the genes which may manifest some time etc. The research also includes identifying gene sequences of specific races and tribes with certain defined characteristics like resistance to certain pathogens, etc.
Though one has questions about the way the research agenda is set for private interests rather than the nagging problems of specific regions or communities, in this piece the authors are going to look into the attitudes of community which is exposed to science, a discipline which trains men to logical reasoning, to different products and methods which are available as an outcome of efforts in Medical Biotechnology in the Indian context. The underlying argument is the social upbringing and religious inclinations set up certain perception patterns leading to formation of attitudes. The training in certain disciplines which increase the awareness and reality of what is being done or talked about affects the former one. Hence scientists working in India brought up with Indian ethos with certain socio-cultural and religious influences react in a particular pattern to certain developments in medical biotechnology that evoke certain ethical questions.
Our survey of about 200 scientists of different disciplines in science consisted of administering a questionnaire containing questions which first checks the awareness, understanding of certain developments in medical biotechnology and new biology and then checks their attitudes towards them for introduction and use in Indian context from bioethical standpoint. The results of the analysis of the responses, show, the biologists who have more awareness and understanding do not see ethical problems in the introduction and use of these new techniques and products. Even among non-biologists who may score lower in the awareness and understanding of the new field do not differ much. Those who consider religion as very important in their life have differed with others in questions relating to pre-natal detection and decision to put an end to life. In general there seems to be no quams from ethical aspects about accepting outcomes of medical BT.
Novel Challenges of Bioethics as a Dentist for the Handicapped
Noriko Kojima, Ph.D.
Department of Anesthesiology,Osaka Dental University, Japan
I myself was very interested in Bioethics area through my thesis entitled "Any Issues about Artificial Insemination" at Kobe College. After that I graduated from Osaka Dental University and worked as an anesthetist at Kobe Children's Hospital. Currently I am working as one of dentist at a mental hospital and am studying about reproductive medicine and wider QOL for handicapped. Through the above-mentioned experiences, I would like to introduce my scope or future directions about Bioethics at TRT6. I hope my presentation will drive elabolate discussions for novel activities by medical scientist as well as social researchers.
Bioethics should be Helping the Medically Deprived People of the World
Frank J. Leavitt, Ph.D.
The Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion Univeristy of the Negev, P.O.B. 653, 84105 Beer-Sheva, Israel
Most of our bioethics is for rich people with rich people's diseases in medically advanced countries. But our bioethics centre is working on something different.
I shall tell about the philosophical background to, and our practical progress with a Mother and Child Health Education Project, which we have conducted twice -- in January and in October, 2000 -- for sixty Dalit ("untouchable") village women in the Palar River Delta region of Tamil-Nadu State in Southeast India.
Ethics in Food and Agriculture: Views from FAO
- Minakshi Bhardwaj, Fumi Maekawa, Yuki Niimura, Darryl Macer
Eubios Ethics Institute, Tsukuba Science City, Japan
Contact to Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper will examine some of the conclusions reached from time spent at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1999. A series of interviews were conducted in July and August with persons across all divisions of FAO. The study showed that although ethics was not openly discussed at FAO until now, many of the programs and policies were founded from the principles of bioethics. There are a number of international guidelines, conventions and projects that are attempts to alleviate food insecurity and to lead to sustainable rural development. Some of the key areas that need urgent ethical reflection in the ethics of food and agriculture, including forestry and fisheries, will be introduced. It is high time for a proactive stance to be taken by this intergovernmental organization in issues such as balancing the interests of present and future generations in the conservation and management of natural resources, in biotechnology questions and in the implications of the rapid modernization of agriculture. The participatory approach should be effected by stimulation of persons at all levels in recipient countries, and this is based on the foundation of autonomy and justice. Political obstacles to reaching a real recognition of the right to food need to be overcome if the target of the World Food Summit to half the number of people who are starving by the year 2015, is to be achieved. This impetus may come only by stirring the conscience and love that is found in the hearts of people in all culture, into some practical measures to enable global distribution of appropriate technology that makes people more self-reliant. Lessons from seeking a balance of love, politics, ethics of need, and global food and agriculture will be discussed.
The Influence of Culture, Ideologies, Religion and Political Boundary Determines the Universality of Bioethics
- Baby Joseph and M.Selvanayagam
Loyola Institute of Frontier Energy, Loyola college, Chennai-600034, India.
The ecological crisis reveals the urgent moral need for a new solidarity facilitating cognitive, effective and psychomotor domain. Ecological responsibility stemming from freedom, law and conscience is a felt need and a must . universal bio-ethics has its roots in religious ethical codes( Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism) and scriptural (Vedas, Upanishads, Bible, Koran etc.) value systems. Lack of respect for life leads to destruction rather than construction. Life is not a problem to be solved but it is a mystery to be shared. Anthropogenic activity turned morality upside down. Irreversible damage inflicted on creation is a scandal and crime. In despoiling nature people are destroying the hand work of God and violating our sacred trust as caretakers of the environment. The environment is our mother, our common body, our lives and ourselves. Therefore, restoration of ecological imbalance and building fellowship is needed. Eco-spirituality and Eco-morality should pave way for bioethics.
Bioethics, communication problems: Need for Media and Pressure Group Activism
- R.N. Sharma,
Former Deputy Director, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune \ 411008, India
The last few decades have seen the emergence of a universal trend towards formulation of ethical, and bioethical principles transcending man - made divisions of geography, politics, religion, ideology, language, race, color etc. However, consensus, wherever reached, and elaboration of it, have been slow in reaching the common person in nearly all countries. Not surprisingly, therefore, the concept of bioethics, with its eco-centric primacy, has not been well received in many developing countries plagued with essentially human problems, sometimes of actual survival vintage. Communication, therefore, has been a problem, if not a failing. The media, with its penchant for the sensational, and the controversial, has also not been portraying the nuances of Bioethics Philosophy in their correct perspective, or in a sympathetic fashion. Likewise, important pressure groups and activists , if any for bioethics, do not seem to have made much impact on public perceptions about need or validity of the movement. The media, and influential pressure groups have to be persuaded to undertake bioethics activism as a desideratum complementary, and not antagonistic to basic human aspirations, especially in the backward and underprivileged communities often struggling for a square meal, or sometimes their very survival. Absence of meaningful and explanatory communication would stymie the Bioethics movement in entirety, pushing the clock back to medieval indifference on global / environmental issues. The consequences will, in ultimate analyses, be a throwback, and an atavistic retrogression of essential humanist philosophy. However, even this requires adequate transfer to the mass mind through progressive modern communication technology, as well as pressure group activism, both of which have hitherto been sorely lacking.
Motivation of media, and pressure groups in especially the developing countries must be encouraged and supported by the more well endowed developed nations, since the rewards of such activism will inevitably be global.
28 October, 2000 Appropriation and Recreation of Nature and Life
9:00-12:00 Session 3. Ethical Dilemmas of Biotechnology and Genetics, Biomaterials and Cyborgs
Bioethical issues in GM plant research
- Martin Hajduch (Slovakia), Hiroshi Tanaka, Yasunori Koga-Ban
Laboratory of Reproductive Engineering, Department of Biotechnology, National Institute of Agrobiological Resources, Kannondai 2-1-2, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan
New coming technologies based on recombinant DNA give new possibilities for production plants with improved quality, such as oilseed crop with improved oil composition, pest-resistant corn, soybean, potatoes, and cotton, FLAVR-SAVR tomatoes, etc.
Despite the number of genetically modified plant species used in agricultural practice, bioethics issue of GM research has been not fully satisfied. If we talk about bioethics in GM research, we will tough issue of biosafety of GMO. Cordle et al. (1991) have described a step-by-step safety assessment which include:
1. Determination the level of safety concern for the unmodified organism.
2. Consider how the genetics affect safety.
3. Combination the evaluation in steps above.
One of the barriers for utilization of transgenic plants in breeding is lack of public acceptance. For the purpose of obtaining public acceptance, first we have to explain the benefits and the demerits of using transgenic species. Then we should create an ethical basis for use, which will help us to communicate with the public.
Reference: Cordle M.K., et al. 1991. Regulation and oversight of biotechnological applications for agriculture and forestry. In L.R. Ginzburg (Ed.) Assessing ecological risks of biotechnology. p. 289-311. Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston
Biotechnology in Philippine Agriculture - Ethical Issues
Leonardo de Castro, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
In the Philippines, much as in many other countries, the introduction of genetically modified organisms has generated controversy. Mainly, the battle lines have been drawn along the lines of agricultural development and public and environmental safety.
I believe that these battle lines have been constructed artificially, i.e., using imported models that do not address the problems as seen by Filipinos. In other words, the problems addressed by the introduction of genetically modified organisms have been structured (thus, effectively distorted) in order to invite a desired solution.
A useful approach will take lessons from attempts to introduce agricultural technology into ethnic communities in the past. Learning from these failures, one can identify constructive ways of dealing with controversial technology, while taking into account important values and traditions that have become integral parts of the way of life of these ethnic groups.
Cybofree - Cyborgs, Fantasy, Reality, Ethics and Education
V.R. Manoj & Jayapaul Azariah
University of Madras, Chennai, India
Current rapid technological advancement has made it possible for a merger between the technological advances and biological systems. The fusion of noosphere and the biosystems the technology of Cyborgation. Cyborgation typically refers to a genre of technological supplementation of the human body with mechanical devices. It is a hybrid between machines and organisms that seeks to rectify and overcome restrictions imposed by in a biological body either due to deficiency or deformation or loss of a part of the body. Cyborgs have been derived from CYBERNETICS which is the study of control and interactions between various systems. Cyborgs have been the main theme and an important factor in several works of fiction, including those of William Gibson and Donna Haraway. Cyborgs have also been glorified as superheroes and villains in the mass media like movies and printed newspapers. Such a fantasy laid the foundation for its reality .
The present paper is an attempt to project and predict the possible changes that may emerge due to the socialization of cyborgation. It is a compilation of what cyborgation offers in the coming years/decades/centuries. The fantasy, reality and the ethics of cyborgation clearly implies the impending radical changes of the human body. Also, this paper shall try to ascertain the human identity and the projected human values in the face of such an advanced technology. Such a radical change may include cyborgs of fantasy with bionic chips, neural interfaces and bionic body parts.
This paper concerns itself with the qualities of self-identity, self-consciousness and identity in a body that would be a merger of the natural and the artificial. What are human identity and dignity? Is cyborgation a hypothetical fantasy or will it invite further discussions pertaining to the commodification and artificialization of the human body? What will be the ethical dilemma in such progressive technologies? The paper addresses answers to a few questions and issues raised above. Based on a critical analysis, it is recommended that suitable educational materials may be prepared for educating the common man. Further, suitable curricular changes may be implemented so as to equip the younger generations with skills and knowledge, not only to accept future challenges but also to solve any technology based and induced social problems.
Commercial Biotechnology and Bioethics
Makina Kato & Darryl Macer
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan
The scientific field and in particular biotechnology is dominated by commercial research and industry. Most multinational pharmaceutical companies have more research scientists than the whole continent of Africa, and in the genomics age we have seen more than half of the genome sequences already completed have been completed by private companies. A number of issues relating to intellectual property, justice and trade arise from the increasing use of patents as a form of property protection.
We will present the results of a study that is ongoing in Japan on how business ethics and bioethics interact in the real world. International comparisons of literature, both academic and industry, reveal differences between the concerns expressed in different countries over the above issues and their relationship to justice and concepts of fair-play. The real world is increasingly dominated by an ideal, claimed to be universal, of international trade. We can see these arguments being used to justify positions such as objections to labeling on the products of genetically modified organisms, disregard for environmental impact, and trade and technology transfer sanctions on developing countries who fail to adopt the universal intellectual property systems. Recent trends in farmerfs rights and indigenous knowledge suggest that more diversity is being accepted in benefit sharing, however there are still many concerns. These will be discussed, and the question asked whether we can really expect textbook bioethics to be a realistic approach to the ethics of the biotechnology industry.
Concerns of NGOs over GMOs in Japan
Mikiko Chikaoka & Darryl Macer,
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba Science City 305-8572, Japan
Email: email@example.com; Macer@biol.tsukuba.ac.jp
Consumerfs attitudes are one of the most important issues of GMOs. It is interesting why public opinion towards GM food and GMOs dropped significantly at the end of the 1990s, as shown in recent surveys. We want to know how much a role NGOs have played in this drop in public support, and so have started a study of some NGOs in Japan involved in the GMO debate. In this initial report we include the following NGOs, Japan Offspring Fund, Simogou farmers cooperative, Campaign for enforcing the labeling of intergenic recombination food, Save Organic Safe, and Consumers Union of Japan. Although society is still divided on this issue, the impact of NGOs has been quite significant in Japan. Some international NGOs like Greenpeace are not so active directly, but there are a number of indigenous NGOs and unlike some earlier issues in the environmental movement, in the GM food case, the NGOs have joined together with some common messages.
Comparisons of Philippine and Japanese Scientists Views on Biotechnology
Mary Ann Chen Ng1 & Darryl Macer2
1. Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines (presenter)
2. Eubios Ethics Institute, Japan
There has been much public concern expressed about the application of modern biotechnology, especially genetically modified organisms (GMOs). One way to explore these concerns is by use of surveys to seek people's hopes and concerns. This research explored some of the ethical issues raised by genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In order to examine the public acceptance of GMOs in Japan, a survey on biotechnology and bioethics was carried out. In order to make comparisons between people with low and high familiarity with biotechnology, two national random samples were taken, of the public and scientists. Comparisons with surveys since 1991 find better awareness of GMOs, but an increase in the perceived risks of GMOs. Distrust of government officials and industry is also evident as in previous surveys (those conducted by Macer and collaborators, in 1991, 1993 (International Bioethics Survey) and 1997(Eurobarometer). From the comments we can ask whether the decreased concern was the result of bioethical reflection, to examine the benefits and risks of choices, or whether it was simple distrust of authority and/or science?
Comparisons between interviews and surveys conducted in the Philippines in the year 2000, and the previous Philippine 1993 International Bioethics Survey, will be made. This will allow the results of the trends observed in Japan to be compared, to examine the similarities in two Asian countries that have been experiencing growth in discussion of bioethics in the 1990s.
Ethical Aspects of Animal Cloning
Brigitte Jansen, Ph.D.
Brigitte E.S. Jansen, Direktor, Europaeische Akademie fuer Umwelt und Wirtschaft e.V., Auf dem Kauf 12, 21335 Lueneburg, Germany
13:00-16:15 Session 4. Medical Genetics (Gene therapy and screening)
Bioethics and Gene Therapy
Guido Van Steendam, Ph.D.
Director, International Forum for Biophilosophy, Craenendonck 15, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Hopes and Concerns about Gene Therapy in Japan through the 1990s
- Makoto Nakagawa and Darryl Macer
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan
One medical application of genetic engineering that has been widely discussed is gene therapy. Gene therapy has been discussed for several decades and used as in attempts at experimental therapy in clinical trials for a decade. The attitudes that the public have to this therapy has been surveyed through the use of opinion surveys in 1991, 1993, 1995 and 2000, in Japan. This paper presents the results of these surveys and examines the open comments that people made in response to being asked whether they would personally use gene therapy if they were suffering from a fatal disease.
There is little difference between the public and scientists in attitudes to gene therapy at the same time, but there is a significant drop in support from 1993 to 2000. Scientists in 2000 were twice as more likely to say "very unwilling" compared to 1991. This decrease is also seen in another question presenting a range of cases for gene therapy. Public respondents who were against using gene therapy to cure a usually fatal disease, like cancer increased from 5% to 18%. Rejection of enhancement remained strong, however to improve the intelligence level that children would inherit, we see a drop from 49% very unwilling to only 22% now.
The overall results find that the most common reason given to support gene therapy was saving life, and the most common response for disapproving were that it is unnatural or that it presented risks to health. In this paper we want to look at some of the key words resulting from this analysis and see whether the concerns have changed over time.
Human dignity as regulative principle
Juergen Simon, Ph.D.
University of Lueneburg / European Academy for Environment and Economy, Research Center Biotechnology and Law, Lueneburg, Germany
The principle of human dignity is a regulative fundamental starting point for the Bioethics and the law of Biotechnology. This is the conception of Germany and many other countries. But because of the different handling of artificial insemination, embryo research, predictive diagnosis, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, germ-line gene therapy, human cloning and actually embryonic stem cells in the various countries there has to be found out if the protection of human dignity has not become an unfounded formula which can be used for all kind of argumentation. In Germany, in juridical and ethical controversies the formula of the protection of human dignity will help to displace each opposite conception from the bottom of the Constitution. Finally human dignity can be understood as flexible and dynamic ãgeneral clause" to help changed point of views to come to stay and to contribute to a social consensus.
This argumentation neglects the active part of human dignity, the development of personality in form of autonomy and free self-determination of the individual person. Both sides, protection and autonomy, and the regulative aspects should be treated in the lecture.
The Challenges of Cross-cultural Research: Experience with Two Surveys of Geneticists' Ethical Views
Dorothy Wertz, Ph.D.
Shriver Centre, Boston, USA
A pioneering study in 1984 of ethical views of 683 geneticists in 19 nations by Wertz and Fletcher demonstrated that 62% of geneticists were sufficiently interested in ethics to respond to complex, lengthy ethical questions presented as case vignetts in a mailed anonymous questionnaire. A larger study in 1995 included 2901 geneticists (63% of those asked to respond) in all 36 nations with ten or more practicing medical geneticists. Both studies had some weaknesses: they left out much of the developing world where there are few geneticists. Some questions were based on ethical problems experienced primarily in North America and Europe; language translations were perhaps not always cultural translations.
Nevertheless, the 1995 survey provided some global outlines for discussion. Some major findings: A growing trend toward respect for patient autonomy is threatened by purposely biased counseling that the patient may not realize is biased. In most nations (except in North America, the UK, Australia and South Africa, which are influenced by UK traditions), the majority of geneticists would provide intentionally slanted information after prenatal diagnosis, most of it pessimistic, so that the patient would what the counselor thought best without the counselor suggesting it directly,. Most patients have little recourse if biased information is presented as medical "fact." Globally, geneticists hold a pessimistic view of disability, even in countries with good services for people with disabilities. There is still no consensus about balancing the needs of genetic families with needs of individuals for privacy.
Some Issues of Eugenics and Healthy Babies in China
- Baoqi Su & Darryl Macer
Beijing Capital Medical University; and Masters Program in Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Since the 1980s China has been in transition and has undergone rapid social and economic change and development. We will explore the issue of healthy babies. This is a very broad topic, covering not only issues from the Chinese eugenics debate, as it relates to genetic screening, sterilization, and marriage laws, but generally maternal and fetal health. China's one child family policy may be on factor in gender biased and sex selection. There is evidence of neglect of female babies that may be an indirect consequence of small family size. Earlier survey questions regarding genetic screening and gene therapy suggest positive support for eugenics among a significant portion of the population, especially in China, as well as India and Thailand. The 'Mothers and Infants Health Care Law' of 1995 will be discussed. Healthy babies is a very broad topic, covering not only issues from the Chinese eugenics debate, as it relates to genetic screening, sterilization, and marriage laws, but generally maternal and fetal health. There are also non-genetic interventions being used to reduce birth defects. One of the simplest remedies that is now being introduced is prenatal and preconception folic acid, to lower the risk of spina bifida; and neural tube defects).This will also consider treatment of sick babies (Downfs syndrome or Trisomy 21).
The work of UK Human Genetics Commission on the Storage, Protection and Use of Personal Genetic Information
- Philip Webb
Human Genetics Commission, UK
UK Government Review: Last year the UK Government carried out a public consultation on developments in the biosciences and also reviewed the advisory and regulatory framework for biotechnology. The public consultation found that: a) people have a low awareness of scientific and technological advances b) although people see medical advances as being of greatest benefit they are suspicious of all advances in biotechnology where they cannot identify direct benefit to humans c) people see effective regulation as being extremely important d) Government advisory bodies are generally a trusted mechanism for decision making but should be broadly based e) there is a demand for as much public information as possible and Government advisory groups would be a trusted source
Need for a New Approach: The Government concluded that a new approach was needed and decided to set up a new, comprehensive strategic advisory structure for biotechnology that took much greater account of the views of the public, environmentalists, ethicists, the industry, medical practitioners, patients and consumers. As a result, the Human Genetics Commission (HGC) and its sister body, the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission (AEBC) were set up.
The Role of HGC is to consider the potential impact of developments in genetics for humans and healthcare - in particular, the ethical legal and social aspects of such developments.
Broad Membership is reflected in the wide range of disciplines and backgrounds from which membership of the Commission has been drawn, including ethicists, law, industry, patients, consumers, social scientists, geneticists and other healthcare professionals. I was particularly pleased to be appointed to the HGC, having previously served more than three years on the Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing. As well as being a member of the Human Genetics Commission I Chair the Sub-Group on Genetic Testing, that considers the technical, social and ethical impacts of such testing.
What will the HGC do? The Human Genetics Commission will look at the gbig picture of where developments in human genetics are heading and what regulatory and advisory frameworks are needed now and in the future. It will need to be aware of what is happening internationally aswell as nationally in order to advise Government Ministers effectively.
How will HGC work? HGC will carry out its work in an open and inclusive manner, so it can quickly gain public respect and confidence. A crucial part of its work will be to promote public debate through public meetings and the media and to consult widely using a range of different approaches and techniques including papers, questionnaires, focus groups, polls and conferences.
HGC Workplan: After much consideration and public consultation, the HGC has developed a workplan and top of the list is the storage, protection and use of genetic information. This will form a major part of HGCfs work over the next year and to enable this to happen effectively, a Working Group has been set up to take this forward.
In this presentation I have given you just a few of the many complex and important issues facing us now and in the future. To carry out public consultation and produce guidelines for all those involved in the storage protection and use of personal genetic information is a huge task, but I am certain it will be done well and be of great benefit to society !
Chinese Views on Genetic Information
Center for Applied Ethics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China
Email: Email: Ameliaw@ihw.com.cn
The 21-century could be named as the era of Genetics knowledge and technology. Ethical, legal and social implications of the genetics knowledge and technological applying create many issues for Bioethics. Predictive and therapeutic knowledge following genotyping for drug metabolism and genetic disorders will allow individuals to gain access to safer and more efficient medicine and to provide them with individualized health risk profiles. Thus, genetic information contributes to individual self-determination and health literacy.
However, new moral risk included risk to privacy and family relations, exploitation and discrimination come associated with genetics knowledge. Thus, Preliminary policy recommendations will be presented for the protection of individuals, cultural, and societies. A questionnaire including physician ethics and carrier ethics for an empirical study among the Chinese was made. Questions include that "Must the physician ask carrier to inform all members of family?" "Does the physician has moral rights and a legal obligation to inform all members of family?" "Do carriers have the obligation to inform family?" "Do minor genetic disorders warrant disclosure and so on. From the Chinese evaluation by responding on a scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree, Chinese views on genetic information have been revealed.
16:30-18:00 Session 5. Bioethics Education, and the Public
Bioethical Reasoning in Student Reports from Bioethics Classes in Japan
Fumi Maekawa and Darryl Macer
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Contact Email: Macer@biol.tsuukuba.ac.jp
A report on the methods being used to assess the development of bioethical reasoning skills in students at the University of Tsukuba, after ten years of bioethics classes. One of the central questions of bioethics education is does education actually work? What impact does education have on the minds of the receivers, and providers? In order to examine the styles of education, we are conducting a long term analysis of the homework and comments that students gave in all the bioethics classes of Darryl Macer, since 1990, in the University of Tsukuba. This work is still in the early stages, but we want to share some results and to discuss the methodology and get your feedback.
To examine whether students are becoming more discerning about technology, the most objective records we have is a complete set of photocopies of all homework made. We then look at the common ideas and thoughts expressed in student reports. Overall there are well over 6000 homework reports to analyze. We will just present the results of a set of 12 persons who, as second year students, took the Bioethics and/or Bioethics and Genes class in the year before the compulsory English discussion classes, to give an example.
Changes of Students Opinions After a Clinical Anthropology Class
Shinichi Shoji, M.D. and Katsuko Kamiya, Ph.D.
Institute of Clinical Medicine, and Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Clinical anthropology class is an educational method characterized by 1) to consider concrete clinical scene which must make the immediate judgment that is related directly to birth, aging, illness, or death, 2) to consider as a problem of self at first, 3) the discussion of the small group by various people, and 4) to consider life of the self and the significance. Course was started multidisciplinary subject the clinical anthropology for the general student of all major fields in fiscal 1996. The enrolled student number increases year by year, and 400 persons are exceeded in fiscal 2000, and 30 seminar rooms are used. Actual class progresses as following, presentation of the scene, presentation of representative opinions, information of necessity minimum necessary for the judgment, questions and answers, small group discussion, general discussion, presentation of tutors private opinion, and writing students own opinion.
Purpose: The change of the consciousness of university student by this class is examined.
Object and method: The questionnairing was carried out to the student of the attendance in the last class in fiscal 1999. The representative opinion of each problem was raised, and just before class and present idea was described.
Result: The opinion of the student significantly changed in before and behind of the class for following problems, the utilization of the surrogate mother, the positive euthanasia, that other child is produced as a candidacy for the donor of the bone marrow transplantation to the child, the fetus was proven with the Down syndrome, the organ transplantation of the child of the self who becomes brain death, the sterilization of the sister of the self with the intelligence lowering, and the emergency operation of the self of the HIV positive. The opinion did not changed significantly for following problems, the nurture for the organ transplantation of an anencephalic infant of the self, the mercy murder, the birth of the child of the woman homosexual, and man and woman sexual selection.
Conclusion: The opinion of university student changes according to the theme in before and behind of the clinical anthropology class.
Current Ethical Issues in Japanese High Schools
Haneda High School, Tokyo, Japan
Biology and Life Views Through a Class on Brain Death
Adachi-shinden High School, Tokyo, Japan
Over the past decade I have been trying to introduce bioethics to senior high school biology students (the last 3 years of secondary school). I hope to help students make biologically right judgments to bioethics questions after understanding. I will focus on the classes and surveys conducted in these classes on the topic of brain death. There are differences between two schools I have taught at, and the factors relating to this will be discussed.
29 October, 2000 Health and Environment are Inseparable
9:00-12:00 Session 6. Clinical dilemmas across cultures
Ethical Dilemmas in Genetic Counselling and Predictive Testing in India
- I. C. Verma, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Consultant and Head, Department of Medical Genetics, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi 110060, India
Genetic disorders cause a great socio-economic burden in India, due to the accelerating demographic switch from infectious and nutritional to non-communicable disorders, a high birth rate, large number of consanguineous marriages, and lack of rehabilitative facilities. For reducing this burden genetic counseling is the most important method, in the absence of satisfactory therapy for most genetic disorders.
Genetic counseling can be defined as the application of genetic knowledge to help the individual patient or a community. Predictive testing and counseling are a specialized category. Counseling involves diagnosis of the disorder and its inheritance, and conveying the information to the proband best suited in his socio-economic context. Thus the ethical issues involved in genetic counseling and predictive testing vary in different countries.
An important ethical issue in genetic counseling in India, as in many other countries, is its denial to the poor and deprived. This is due to lack of information, as well as their high cost. Secondly while in the West, non-directive genetic counseling is the hallmark, in India due to the poor knowledge of the people in science and in probabilities they want directive counseling. The choice regarding the final course of action they keep with themselves. In making that choice women have less say. Prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorders is easily accepted due to the burden of treatment of genetic disease as well as approval accorded to abortion by the government. For example, in India there is a much greater demand for prenatal diagnosis in hemophilia and albinism, as compared with the western countries.
In India, the presence of a son in the family is highly desired, especially in business communities, and in those families where there is already a child with disability or genetic disease. If the couple already have one daughter, another daughter is not desired and if the fetus is female such couples readily opt for abortion. One feels sympathetic with their views, although the Government has thought it fit to pass legislation not to allow sexing of the fetus for social reasons and has banned the abortion of a female fetus. This measure has, however, been only partially successful in stemming such abortions.
Predictive genetics involves testing and counseling of someone who is currently normal, but at risk of inheriting the mutant gene as in autosomal dominant disorders. The situation is trickier in testing for genetic susceptibility disorders such as Alzheimerfs disease, diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, hypertension, and inherited cancers. There are limitations and risks of susceptibility testing as one deals with probabilities, not certainties.
We have counseled about 50 subjects from families with Huntington disease, myotonic dystrophy and spinocerebellar ataxias. Benefits of such testing are that a negative test creates sense of relief, and eliminates the fear of being affected in the future. A positive test on the other hand may cause great worry, and result in depression and even suicide. It does however relieve uncertainty, and can lead to informed decisions about the future. One cannot apply the usual criteria laid down in the west, as the situation is vastly different in India. There are very few geneticists for one. Secondly distances are large and patient may come for the test once, but may not be able to come for the subsequent counseling after the result is known. One often has to explain all this on the telephone. Indians are fatalists and are willing to accept the apportioning of the genes as a fate willed by God. As most people live in joint families there is tremendous support by the other family members in the hour of need.
Of 17 families with Huntington disease three families refused the diagnostic test in the symptomatic subject saying that if there is no treatment then why test. International guidelines suggest that after counseling there should be a gap of at least one month for the asymptomatic persons to decide whether they really want to go through with the diagnostic test, when the counselee has come from a distance of 1000 km to have the tests it is difficult to adhere to such advice. Ten affected subjects after counseling immediately expressed the desire to test their offspring to enable them to plan their future. In this group of patients all the families, except three, opted not to have predictive testing in the offspring, after the pros and cons of this course of action were explained to them. In a family where the father was a doctor one daughter came for asymptomatic testing. She was to go to USA, and wanted the test in order to plan her future. She was found not to carry expansion of the triplet repeat, and was thus assured that she would not get the disease in the future. This brought great relief to her. Subsequently the other sister, who is married and is working as a physician in the USA, also opted for the test. She turned out to be carrying the expanded allele, and is therefore likely to develop the disease. She is now planning a pregnancy, and would like to have genetic testing in a future pregnancy. She said she would not like to have this test in USA and would come to India for the test, in order to avoid any possible discrimination by the insurance companies in USA.
One 50-year-old subject was one of many in large family who were affected with spinocerebellar ataxia. Initially the disorder remained undiagnosed. Then suddenly with new information that became available it was identified that the family had SCA type 12. He had two children \ one 21-year-old daughter and one 19-year-old son. He was very keen to know their results. They lived in another city and there was no medical geneticist in that city. Although I resisted initially, then I gave in and provided him the results of the analysis in his two children.
Privacy of the person tested has to be respected, and the knowledge gained has to be protected from family members, insurance companies or employers. Very few people in India are presently insured for health. Whatever little health insurance is available, will not provide coverage if the disease is congenital (i.e. present from birth, which includes all genetic diseases). The geneticists, genetic societies and patient groups must lobby to prevent this discrimination by the insurance companies.
It will be some time for the Indian doctors to become familiar with the new scenario brought in by the molecular technologies, and utilize it for the benefit of the people. However, genetic testing remains a delicate issue and needs to be tackled with care and sensitivity.
AIDS Problems in India and Ethical Issues
- A.K. Tharien, M.D.
Christian Fellowship Hospital, Oddanchatram, Tamil Nadu, India
AIDS and the entire spectrum of diseases connected with HIV infection is pa pandemic that threatens progress in human rights and society. India has more people infected with HIV than any other country in the world. In India about 80% of the transmission is by sexual contact. This paper will discuss the Indian situation, and a variety of ethical issues faced by persons with HIV.
Social Implications of HIV
- Kaustuv Nayak
Department of Zoology, Loyola College, Chennai-600 034, Tamil Nadu, India
Email: Kaustuv_Nayak@ hotmail.com
The rate of HIV infection is very high in India. AIDS patients and others infected with HIV face discrimination of various sorts the world over, and high cost and the long- term nature of treatment aggravate quandaries that occur to a lesser degree in other serious diseases. Major battles revolve in particular around ensuring access to therapies and testing new ones in an ethical manner.
Fear of contagion has some times led to discrimination against HIV infected people not only by the public but also by medical personnel. Yet discrimination is only one of the ethical issues that HIV has raised for medical professional and the society. Disclosure of HIV positive status of a patient will only lead to stigmatization and social ostracizes. The rate at which science and technology is advancing brings into our view the ethical and social issues are concerning AIDS vaccine trials.
Though the alarming situation with respect AIDS infection demands the need in the future to go for mass screening tests, how the society and patient will react to open disclosure of HIV infection needs careful study. The trauma a epatientf under goes under the cases of false positives he is also looked into.
The protection of human rights is essential to stop the spread of HIV, and to ensure that every one has access to information and education about it to the means of preventing infection to an environment supportive of behavior change. To be ethical our responses must be both honest and humane.
Value Preferences of Medical Students
Annabelle Rajaseharan, M.D.
Annabelle Rajaseharan, Archana Bhaskaran, Priyavarthini, Parvathavarthini
Institute of Pharmacology, Madras Medical College and Research Institute, , Chennai, India.
The entry into the medical college seems to be the most attractive of all choices open to those who want to become professionals. However the exodus of doctors is ever increasing despite the implementation of more stringent laws. The reason why medical students work towards their goal, while still undergraduates, may be complex. Their value preferences in view of the future what they want for themselves and what could possibly be their goals were analyzed. A survey of the relative value preferences of Medical students like their urge to earn, do research, have good amiable working conditions ,a challenging job, preference to teach, was done with the help of a modified questionnaire constructed by our national experts in behavioural sciences.
The paper summarizes the analysis of ethical values among medical students with special reference to the Indian ethical scenario.
Attitudes of Japanese Nurses and Students Towards Living Organ Donors
Ralph Seewald, Ph.D.
The Netherlands; and at Kyushu Institute of Design, Fukuoka, Japan
Both in the West and in Japan anthropologists have commented on the reluctance of the Japanese to accept organ transplantation as a standard form of treatment. The assumption is that elements in the Japanese culture; like the Japanese folk religion, view of the dead body, and distrust in the medical profession make it very difficult to see organ transplantation as an acceptable medical treatment. I will report the results of a survey on the attitudes of Japanese nurses toward brain death and organ transplantation; and the beliefs of Japanese nurses about bodily remains as related to organ transplantation.
Some remarks on the revision of Japanese Transplantation Law in 2000
Integrated Arts and Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Gakuencho, Sakai, Osaka 593, Japan
Criticism of Principlism and a New Definition of Bioethics Without Bioethics Principles
- Ivan Segota, M.D.
Medical Faculty, University of Rijeka, Croatia
The appearance of the first Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 1978, which gave a definition of bioethics ("Bioethics is the systematic study of human conduct in the area of the life sciences and health care, insofar as this conduct is examined in the light of moral values and principles") and soon after a capital bioethics work "Principles of Biomedical Ethics", 1979,by Beauchamp and Childress, made an essential link between bioethics and ethical principles, especially with their four main principles: Autonomy, Nonmaleficence, Beneficence and Justice. However, the criticism of their and encyclopedic principlism followed and it eventually resulted in the fact that a new definition of bioethics in the second, revised edition of Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 1995, did not mention principles as essential guidelines of bioethics ("Bioethics is the systematic study of the moral dimensions - including moral vision, decisions, conduct and policies - of the life sciences and health care, employing a variety of ethical methodologies in an interdisciplinary setting"). The author in this paper discusses both definitions in the light of the criticism of principlism and the replies to that criticism by Beauchamp and Childress, and Warren Reich, as the editor-in-chief of the both editions of Encyclopedia of Bioethics.
The Role of Ethical Codes in Warfare-Applicable Research
Jacqueline Simon, Chemical and Biological Warfare Project, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Sweden
This presentation will address the role that ethics, and ethical codes more specifically, can play in scientific professions involved in research applicable to chemical or biological warfare. Both biological warfare and biotechnological advancements are hot topics in the media of late, but there is little awareness of the links between the two issues. The application of biotechnological advances to warfare has rarely been discussed outside security studies, and ethical issues are rarely raised in the security forum. There is a need to bridge this gap and to increase awareness among researchers of the ethical implications of their work.
This issue remains important despite the existence the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention as both international treaties allow for research for defensive or prophylactic purposes. The problem is that much of this research and technology, especially in the field of biology, is dual-use \ that is it can be used for peaceful or hostile purposes. As a result we cannot rely upon regulations to ensure that chemical or biological weapons are not created or used, we must also attempt to influence the individual researchers who perform this research.
A survey of the various professions involved in applicable research reveals a dearth of ethical codes in these professions. Moreover, there is an absence of ethical content in the education that these researchers receive. In addition, there is a lack of education on the international legal and normative prohibitions that apply to certain types of research. Steps to remedy this situation and increase awareness about this important issue will be the focus of this presentation.
Ethical Codes in Medical Research & roles of Ethics Committees to Protect human subjects
Alireza Bagheri, M.D.
Iran; currently, Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, 305-8575, Japan
Biomedical advancement and the discovery of new methods in diagnosis and treatment of the diseases are due to of medical research. No doubt, that all of these new methods are not free of risk, furthermore that animal testing might not guarantee the same results in human subjects. Therefore all of these new treatment methods might be tested on human subjects. Today developing and revising of ethical codes in biomedical research and the establishment of bioethics committees in order to protect of human subjects is one of the world`s more important priorities in biomedical research systems.
As are cultural, social and religious considerations which are important in the establishment of such codes. some differences related to the afore-mentioned factors exist among different countries. In this paper the influence of religious and cultural issues to develop of ethical codes and also the role of bioethics committee will be surveyed.
Health and environment@Health and environment@in Europe: the role of the newly created watchdog agenci
Christine Thayer, Conservatoire National des Arts et M_tiers, Paris, France
As the general public in Europe struggles to come to terms with the complex problems of oil spills and food contamination within the context of a modern industrial society, governments have felt obliged to respond to the anxieties felt by voters. The first reaction has been to seek inspiration elsewhere, and in this case, the example of the American Food and Drug Administration with its Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition seemed like a useful model.
This paper seeks to analyse the reactions in France and the United Kingdom to these issues and to examine in some detail the background to the setting up of, and the powers and modus operandi of the new agencies. The analysis will take place against the background of the European Unionfs action in this field. The possible role for a European Food Safety Agency, as proposed recently by Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, will also be examined.
13:00-18:00 Session 7. A Healthy Global Environment and Public Health
Challenges of Global Bioethics for Developing Countries
M.K. Tadjudin, Chairman, National Accreditation Board for Higher Education, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Globalization has a great impact on political and economic structures, lifestyles, even to communities, families, and personal identity. The frontiers between State, Market, and Culture have been breached and may cause instability. For me the keyword in globalization is sharing, preferably through networks. If only the aspects related to competitiveness is put forward, then the developing countries will suffer. According to he Brundtland Commission Report "Our Common Future", development is sustainable only, if we ensure that present development is not the result of a mortgage of the future.
Ethics is concerned with what is morally good and bad, right and wrong. Although most concepts of what is morally good and bad, right and wrong are universal or global, there some concepts which are different in different societies. Most of the developing countries are nation-states and in the era of globalization these nation-states, which are mostly welfare-states and poor, is being attacked by globalization in the form of multi-national corporations or non-governmental organizations. They are being pressured to privatize, transform itself into a free-market system, and adopt global standards of ethics.
Bioethics is especially concerned with biological research and the applications of that research. Most of the basic research in biology, even those using materials from the developing countries is done in the developed world and because of its commercial value the intellectual property rights are strongly protected. Some traditional technology have also been researched and the results patented. This may cause people in the developing world to be unable to use their traditional technology legally because that technology is now protected by patents. The big question on bioethics applied to developing countries is whether we should adopt an "ethic of outcomes" principle which assumes that we have a moral duty to produce good outcomes for people irrespective of who has been responsible, or an "ethic of responsibility" which assumes responsibility only for past wrong doings caused by ourselves. If we believe that it is our duty to relieve poverty in the developing countries, irrespective of past wrong doings, then the general approach should be an ethic of outcomes.
Maternal Education as a Strategy for Ensuring Childrenfs Survival and Health in Developing Countries, with Special Reference to Bangladesh
- Wardatul Akmam
Lecturer in Sociology, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh.
Currently, Ph.D. student, Institute of Agricultural and Forest Engineering, University of Tsukuba, Japan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
From a sociological point of view, illness and mortality are products of certain socio-economic, socio-demographic and socio-psychological factors like income, occupation, education, and social class. In my paper, I reflect on the relationship between maternal education and the survival and health of children in developing countries, with special reference to Bangladesh. My aim is to find out the ways in which maternal education influences the survival and/or health of children in these countries. Also, I focus on the question, whether maternal education can be used as a strategy for reducing child mortality, and what its limitations, if any, might be. Moreover, I suggest some possible interventions based on the facts revealed by the studies carried out so far in this field.
In the course of discussion, I want to reflect on these issues: (1) the extent to which the function of maternal education can be attributed to overall socio-economic conditions, (2) the mechanisms through which maternal education can help reduce child mortality, (3) the relative importance of general education and health education for childrenfs survival and health, and (4) maternal education as a strategy for childrenfs survival and health. It has been found that even though education is very much intertwined with overall socio-economic status, it does have a perpetuating effect on the survival of children in Bangladesh, if not equally so, in other countries. Although health education may be effective for short-term purposes, it cannot be a substitute for general education. Maternal education is important to better ensure childrenfs health and survival, provided that the people have sufficient income and the appropriate environment and facilities, to put their knowledge to use.< P ALIGN="JUSTIFY"> A report from Guine Bissau
Briama N'bemba Balde and Vasco Ambal Alberto,
AGECARE (NGO), Guine Bissau
Biodiversity and Sustainable Development
M. Selvanayagam, Fr. Francis P. Xavier S.J and Ramya Peter
LIFE, Loyola college, Chennai-600034, India
Human life affects other organisms and the environment and its always will. We can see the effects of human activity everywhere in the world, from the atmosphere to the ocean from the poles to the tropics and from the coastal lowlands to the highest mountains. The amount of land that we use to live in and grow our food, the amount of resources we use and the substances and wastes that we produce, can be easily seen.
At no time in the past has nature been more dynamic than today because humans are rapidly changing it. In the midst of growing awareness of environmental change and damage we should be aware of the need for sustainable living. Sustainable living involve not just efficient agriculture but also minimizing our energy use and pollution.
In the long-term the most important approach is a lasting change of human attitude to those that are compatible with sustainable life. We need life style change, we cannot isolate any environmental problem from the whole crisis of modern life. The environment is influenced mainly by human behaviour, national and international development, economic and politics. This paper will focus on the most important change required for sustainable living namely, life style change and bioethical maturity.
'The Role of Deforestation in the Endless Cycles of Poverty - a Look at Rural Haiti
P.O. Box 303, Putney, Vermont 05346, USA
Soon after the French and Spanish landed on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola 5 centuries ago, it soon become known as the 'pearl of the Antilles' because of its abundance of natural resources, wonderful climate, and lush tropical beauty .Today, its composite environmental/ecological problems constitute a primary national emergency with eventual international environnental consequences. A land that was once 94% forested is now almost completely desertified, with 3% forest cover remaining. No suprise, either, that Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Western hemisphere as it continues to lose ground, literally and figuratively, its scant remaining topsoil washing easily off the bare hills by heavy seasonal rains. This presentation will look at the (unfortunately) uniquely human causalities behind this disaster - political, cultural, economic - and its continued, cumulative downhill course - using the rural mountain settlement of Jansolm , Commune de Jeanrabel, Section Nord-Ouest , as illustrative of what we have all come to know so well - that everything is inter-dependent/inter-related . A short look at an American-orchestrated 'intervention' , the total annihilation of the rural peasants' principal security, the native Kreyol pig, should underscore how short-term 'profit' for some is little more than long-term misery for others.
A Healthy Global environment and Public Health: A Christian perspective
Rev. E.W. Christopher
Pastor, The House of Prayer, No. 2, Sardar Patel Road, Chennai 600 113. India.
The only people to have enjoyed a healthy global environment were Adam and Eve. It is stated that Adam lived for a astounding period of 950 years (Gen 5:5). In the Old Testament it is reported that people who lived before Noah lived for a longer time. The life expectancy was in the order of 800 plus years. However, life expectancy of people who lived during the post Noah's was drastically reduced. The Bible states that the life span of modern man is about "three score and ten" years (Ps.90:10). The secret of such longevity of people was the prevalence of a healthy environment without much pollution. However, the present day man always goes in search of the earlier utopian environment, which is fast becoming a rare phenomenon. It is possible to regain the erstwhile situation during the post civilization era or post western Christian era?
One of the principal reasons for such a situation is that of human interference with nature. A decline in life span, as recorded in the Bible, may be traced to anthropogenic activities like interference with the ecosystem, uncontrolled exploitation of natural resource, rapid and unplanned industrialization, various types of pollution and the absence of environmental auditing. Incidence of wars in different parts of the globe and acute famines are yet another major cause for concern. It is known that such undesirable change in the ecosystem and total environment affects public health.
Public health related pollution areas are water pollution both chemical and pathogenic microorganism, deforestation and acid rain, oil spillage, automobile exhausts (carbon monoxide and lead) and radiation due to nuclear explosions and accidents.
The paper stresses the need for a change in the outlook of human beings. It is recommended that peoples attitude should change from a mere materialistic way of life to spiritually mined life style. The paper examines some spiritual principles that enabled human beings to mind the environment and ensured public health. The paper also recommends that spiritual cosmic outlook of life may reduce the incidence of life destroying technological practices and enhance the sanctity of human life.
Some Young Reflections on the Environment in Japan and Other Countries
Sayoko Kanamori, Tomokazu Kawashima & Mutsuki Kuwabara
College of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan
The results of a survey among young people on their attitudes to recycling and the environment, to pets and animals, and of their behaviour during animal loving week are presented. We also want to know whether animal loving week is used as a method of making school students appreciate animals in other countries, in addition to Japan.
Teaching about the Environment in Japan: a Personal View
Michael Morris, Ph.D.
Faculty of Systems Engineering, Dept. of Environmental Systems, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Fukasaku 307, Omiya-shi, Saitama-ken 330-8570, Japan
Environmental courses in Japanese educational establishments are often taught by foreigners with limited Japanese language ability. Barriers to communication mean that it is often difficult to teach the subject in any depth. One solution to this problem is to publish environmental text books in simple English. Another is to give practical, rather than classroom based courses. I have had various positive comments from students after using this approach at Shibaura Institute of Technology. Students have learned to grow crops on the campus field, to observe the behaviour of woodlice, and have been on field trips to various local and artificial ecosystems. This approach does not need a great deal of language ability, but has been effective in getting students to actually become aware of what is under their noses. Overseas teachers concerned about language barriers should therefore not be discouraged from teaching in Japan.
Ethics of Health and Environment - Focus on Water Pollution and Health Impact
- Natarajan Rajalakshmi, Ph.D., S. Poonguli, Ph.D., Hurjit Singh
Department Of Economics, University of Madras, Chepauk, Chennai 600 005, Tamil Nadu, India.
Health and development are closely inter-linked. A poor state of health slows down economic development and insufficient economic development perpetuates a bad state of health. Health is a pre-requisite as well as an integral part of development.
Ethics of health and water pollution problems and diseases related to water pollution are main focus of this paper. The human environment has been defined as the aggregate of all social, biological and physical or chemical factors which comprise the surroundings of man. Environmental hazards relate to the chemical, physical and biological changes in the environment through contamination or modification. The chemical nature and biological behaviour of air, water, soil, food and waste as they are affected by manfs agriculture, industrial and social activities.
The study of the input of water pollution and health reveals series lacunae. A sample taken from the hand pump of a house showed the worst possible contamination and impurities. The most probable number of coliform bacteria per 100 ms. water was alarmingly high at 34,800 where it should have been zero. Similarly, the total colonies per ml. on agar at 37oC was 1,850 where it should have read zero for disinfected water and 10 for non-disinfected water used for rural distribution.
The water was not found feasible chemically with high iron content at 4.50 mg/l (permissible limit 0.3 mg/l) for drinking water. The report said, gThe water has picked up turbolity and iron due to some leak in the distribution lineh. Though necessary in required quantity, such high iron content can cause malabsorption syndromes, anemia, eosonophilea, vitamin deficiency and in extreme cases paralytic illness.
Massive improvement can be made in health, economic efficiency, and equally through better provision of sanitation and water. The key is firmly in the hands of governments and policy makers.
Ethical Configuration in Developmental Attitudes of Range Resources: A Microwatershed Reflection of India
Dipankar Saha, Agriculture Research Service Scientist, Indian Council of Agriculture Research, IGFRI, Jhansi-284003, India
C.R. Hazra, Agriculture Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi-110001, India
Individuals in every spheres of life as well as organizations in many fields, by their values and the sum of their actions, will have to shape the world environment of the future. For the past two decades various institutional developments have proceeded in parallel and close associations with the evolution of international policy and philosophy on environmental issues. But a major share of responsibility lies ahead on the part of the individuals, communities, associations and societies at large in order to achieve the goal of protecting and improving the environment for future. At community level, individuals can create awareness among other individuals and communities by educating them in the field of environment and particularly the extent to which the natural resources could be harnessed so that they can meet the needs of the coming generations. How to inculcate this sense of responsibility and awareness amongst the people on the Earth is another major issue that emerges in the context of environmental bioethics. While individual circumstances and priorities differ, the ethic of care for "People" and the "Earth" has to be universal. By recapitulating the word of Prof. Rane Dubos, the late well known bacteriologist i.e. "think globally act locally" can help in bringing about a desirable ecological state of affairs. Exposition of newer ecoparadigm enforcing us that the age-old features is not supposed to be kept under an oblivion. The ecolinguistics expatiate the bioethical resolutions play a havoc when multiple demands on resources call for solutions and conflicting objectives of different users and interests groups are in oscillation. Agriculture being into the crux of Indian economy and that too specifically the range resources mobilisation has become altogether a different dimensions with respect to environmental resources conservation as well as its multifold productivity regeneration. A multianalogised microwatershed developmental module in Indian semi-arid tropics is proved to be authentic in multi-resource range management wherein the biosystems' goal functions can be perceived to be governed by multiple decision makers. This paper is an exposition of diversified reflections with a multianalogous perceptive network of microwatersheds microcosm for greening the range lands with the help of rural resources development clearly depicting also the adopting principles of ecorestoration and developing principles of ecolinguistics. For us, responsibilities , limits and restraints must be self- directed rather than externalized . This is our global duty towards the environment; let us make it a part of not only our local culture and tradition but also an integral part of universal consciousness, vision and acceptance. But, in order to raise the human spirit and create a world wide family or community of ecologically sound and sustainable order ,an universal charter of environmental bioethics is required.
The Government Nominated Committe is above the Elected Municipality in Tikapur
- Radha Kandel Koirala,
Coordinator : Women , Environment & Sanitation Program, Tikapur Municipality , Kailali , Nepal
Tikapur Municipality is located in the farwestern region of Nepal. It is situated in the western bank of river Karnali on its eastern parts & the other side of the river is Bardia National Park. Before 1996 it was just a Village Development committee.
In Nepal Tikapur is the only planned and new settled municipality. Forty years before there was a dense forest with wild animals. The government constituted a committee which sold the land to the people . All over Nepal this is the only town which is developed in a planned way & it is now the main market to the surrounding villages especially the local Tharu tribes. Due to the well managed modern school, the town became a educational center of the region.
Tikapur municipality is 14 k.m south from the national highway or the east west highway. Most of the roads in the municipality are muddy , only few kilometers is graveled. The link road to the highway also black-top. In the rainy days the municipality become an island. The mayor Mr. R.P. Sanjyal personally and the municipality board time and again demanding the blacktop road, with the government of Kathmandu. After a long process the bridge construction is over .
Last month in the municipality council meeting mayor Mr. R.P Sanjyal presented the programs and policy . The municipality is mobilizing its resources to uplift the Badi community women who are involved in flesh-trade. In the same way the municipality is planning to settle with employment to more than 400 land-less Kamaiya's who were recently freed by the government from bonded laborer. The municipality is planning to provide clean and hygienic water to the people. Most of the villagers, out of the town have no habit of using toilet. Under a sanitation policy , we are encouraging the villagers to use toilets.
When there was a dense forest , population was very low and the life was very natural . Now everything has changed but people in villages are not changing their habits . So we are facing different types of environmental and sanitation problems.
The main problem it faces now is power centralization. The government has nominated Tikapur Development Committee. All the land, financial resources and transportation are under this committee. The elected municipality has not been delegated any power till this date .
The municipality board, its council and Federation of Nepalese municipality time and again has demanded to dissolved the nominated body and hand-over all the powers to the elected body according to the newly promulgated Local Government Act 1999. We want full autonomy to the elected local government . After the reestablishment of democracy in Nepal ,everything is changing but in a slow pace. The leader or their parties , they do not want to delegate power to the elected authority. They are chanting the slogan of democracy but the behavior is very undemocratic. They want to rule through their pocket men over the people. They are not respecting the law in reality . Local Development Ministry is time and again giving assurances only . The nominated committee is under the Physical Planing Ministry and whoever is in power nominates the ruler in Tikapur Development Committee . The corruption & malfunctioning is so high but the taxpayers are unable to take any action to the centrally nominated committee.
Tikapur municipality is planning to develop itself according to the concept of the Park and People. In its eastern part which is the bank of river Karnali it is planning to develop forest and wild-life.In the urban area , there is a plan to develop it as an educational center. But all the resources are under the centrally nominated committee's hand. The elected municipality is handicapped. Its plans and programs are only the dreams and to fulfil them into reality will only be possible after the heavy pressure on government of Nepal from the international democratic society. By which I hope that it will change its nature of authoritarian and anti-people centralized power policy.
European Approaches to a Healthy Environment
IALES, Paris, France
POSTERS (On display in Tsukuba and Tokyo)
A Study of AIDS Prevention Policy and Ethical Issues in China
Center for Applied Ethics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China
The purpose of this study is to determine if there were significant changes in the AIDS prevention policy and ethical issues in China. The methods used in collecting and analyzing information are from the data published, the files and laws promulgated by the government of the Peoples Republic of China, the investigations made by scholars and so on.
A short history of the AIDS epidemic including the first case reported, the three phases divided in ensuing 15 years of AIDS epidemic in China, the styles of AIDS epidemic in China has been given in the first part of this study. A review of AIDS prevention policy including the work of a network of Anti-epidemic Stations and Monitoring centers charged with responsibilities for the control of AIDS, the laws and regulations issued, the Chinese medium plan and multisectoral medium- long-term plan elaborated for the prevention and control of AIDS has been given in the second part of this study. An analysis of the AIDS prevention policy and ethical issues about HIV/AIDS population, the AIDS prevention policy and ethical issues about drug users, the AIDS prevention policy and ethical issues about homosexuals and prostitutes has been given in the third part of this study. The conclusion is that there are significant changes in Chinese AIDS prevention policies and ethical issues marked from intolerance to tolerance.
Role of Information Technology in Bioethics Awareness
University of Madras, Chennai, India
Bioethics refers to the right and wrong in life, or the love of life. Our aim is to create a world where new advances in technology and its challenges can be met with a prepared state of mind. Such a state of mind requires the presence of proper information, which demands awareness. Once this is achieved, then an "informed decision " could be taken which would fulfill the need for preservation of what we pursue in Bio-ethics. Once a mass audience is captured through awareness consisting of proper information, then the true power of the communities can be realized. Therefore, the power of information and the need for awareness should not be underestimated.
How can this awareness be brought about? Or what are the attributes of a proper awareness program? Awareness is incomplete without proper knowledge. There is now a need to increase the pace of awareness because of the sheer volume of new innovations and discoveries with challenges every day, whether it is the uncovering of the human genome or cyborgation. There is an immensity to the world of information that often impedes there searching scrutiny if mankind is to maintain mastery of it's own creative outpouring. Such a level of volume demands Information technology to play its role in Bio-ethics awareness.
But is this medium free from flaws? What are the issues that surround the judicious use of this medium? This paper shall try to answer some of these questions in explaining the role of bio-ethics awareness. This paper shall follow the following sequence:
1. The layman: the common people: what are his views as an individual and as a group? The importance of community.
2. The power of information and the need of a good awareness program. What are the attributes of an awareness program?
3. The prevailing relationships between media and people / communities. A study of it's impact on society and culture.
4. The role of information technology in meeting these challenges and demands.
5. Special mention of role of Internet as a major player.
6. The challenging issues of using information technology.
7. Conclusions .
Water use social behavior - a theosophical awareness and approachRev. E.W. Christopher,
Pastor, The House of Prayer, No. 2, Sardar Patel Road, Chennai 600 113. India.Biblical account of creation is the basis of Christian theology of water use. If there is a Supreme Intelligent Being who has designed and brought into being our biosphere, which is interdependent, beautiful systems and yet constantly changing then what could have been His purpose in this creation? (Ps. 8:3-3). God did put this beautiful creation into the hands of his creative human beings and said "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over every living thing that moves upon the earth (Genesis 1:28). His admonishment of human beings to "keep" the biospheric system (Genesis 2:1) is indicative of the stewardship entrusted to human beings.
In the Garden of Eden, there were rivers and there are other innumerable reference to water, rivers, springs and rain in the Bible (Jermiah 17:8, Ezra 17:10, Psalm 1:3),. The first evidence of urbanization is the creation of a city by Cain, the son of Adam who named it after his son Enoch (Genesis 4:1-2). Later the people who lived during the post Noah's flood built a city and a tower to reach up to the heavens (Genesis 11). The process of urbanization still continues.
Food and water are related. Industrialization of agriculture and improved agricultural practices have resulted in environmental pollution. The production of chemical fertilizers is increasingly a complex chemical synthesizing process and both beneficial and adverse effects at the same time. Rivers have been considered as a fair ground for the deposition of all sorts of domestic and industrial wastes and sewage arising out of towns and cities. Besides there are other organic wastes that are put into the environment. It is suggested that organic wastes can be used as natural fertilizers (compost) and with the compulsory construction of a biogas unit in each sector of towns and cities for converting a waste into a resource. Secondly, it must be made mandatory for industries to have in-house reprocessing unit to extract useful chemicals from effluents and recycle the water for industrial use. * Those marked are subject to funding.Travel from Tsukuba (TRT6) to the Tokyo sessions on the morning of 30 October