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Allgemeinmedizin 30. Mai 2016

Bioethics internationally and in Austria

A sense of solidarity

UNESCO and bioethics

Since the 1970s, the rapid development of the life sciences, with its unprecedented possibilities to interfere with basic aspects of human life, has triggered the necessity to confront bioethical questions worldwide.

While ethics is a fundamental component of medicine and has been well integrated since ancient times, the atrocities committed by Nazi medicine have required a novel approach, which has ultimately resulted in the framework of modern bioethical standards.

For bioethics, a broad definition is mandatory: one has to include health sciences, natural sciences, and social and human sciences. Although the advances in medicine have given hope for mastering many deadly diseases and increase the quality of life of human beings, the possibilities of life sciences to interfere—especially at the beginning and end of life—have raised concern about the social, cultural, legal and ethical implications.

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