The Trouble With Universal Declarations
Developing World Bioethics 2005 September; 5(3): 220-224
A number of problems plague universal declarations. To the extent that those drafting and adopting the declaration represent a range of different views, consensus can only be obtained if the declaration makes minimalist claims that all can support, or makes claims that are vague enough that they can be interpreted to everybody's satisfaction. To the extent that a universal declaration avoids these problems, and takes an unequivocal and controversial stand, it does so by privileging the view that is hegemonic (at least among those responsible for the declaration). After discussing these problems I ask whether such declarations could nonetheless do any good.
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