Intercultural Reasoning: The Challenge for International Bioethics
Thomasma, David C.
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 1994 Summer; 3(3): 321-328.
In this paper, we describe several examples illustrating cross-cultural dissonance regarding bioethical issues. These examples suggest that problems are associated with divergent beliefs about the meaning and perceived value of ethical concepts and medical practices. We argue that the tension between objective, rational, and analytical ethics on one hand and the complicated reality of lived experience in disparate culural worlds on the other hand can be minimized. Interculural bioethics discourse is enhanced when there is at least minimal agreement over the process of moral reasoning and a shared understanding about the context of particular medical practices. Finally, respect for cultural differences must be maintained without sacrificing the value placed on basic human rights.
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