Developing Medical Ethics in China's Reform Era
Developing World Bioethics 2005 May; 5(2): 176-187
The paper gives an analytical synopsis of the problem of developing medical ethics in the early half of the 1990s in China, as perceived by Chinese scholars and medical professionals interested in medical ethics. The views captured and analyzed here were expressed in one of the two major journals on medical ethics in China: Chinese Medical Ethics. The economic reform unleashed profound changes in Chinese society, including in the medical field, creating irregularities and improprieties in the profession. Furthermore, the market reform also created new values that were in tension with existing values. In this transitional period, Chinese medical ethicists saw the need to rebuild medical morality for the new era. Using the code of conduct promulgated by the Chinese Ministry of Health in 1989 as a basis, assessment and education aspects of the institutionalization of medical ethics are discussed. In addition to institutional problems of institutionalising ethics, there are philosophical and methodological issues that are not easy to solve. After all, to institutionalize medical ethics is no easy task for a country as old and as big as China. Chinese medical ethicists seem ready to confront these difficulties in their effort to develop medical ethics in Reform China.
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