Advertisement

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 283–294 | Cite as

Human Rights in Bioethics–Theoretical and Applied

  • John-Stewart Gordon
Article

Introduction

This special issue on Human Rights in Bioethicsfeatures four thought-provoking articles dealing with important issues in the current debate on human rights in the domain of bioethics. For example, Baranzke is concerned with a thorough examination of the history of the notion of sanctity of life and concludes that one should not view it as an “obscure property of physical life” but, rather, see it as a particular “mode of acting”. Cochrane examines some important recent attempts to apply insights from bioethics to the theory and practice of human rights; Ram-Tiktin suggests seeing the right to health care as a right to basic human functional capabilities within a framework of distributive justice in health care; and, finally, Schroeder forcefully shows that a human rights approach should not rely on human dignity as its foundation. It is fair to say that these and related issues are right at the frontiers of current research and will certainly deepen and enhance the...

Keywords

Human rights Human dignity Bioethics 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank the contributors for their interesting and highly stimulating articles, which will hopefully influence and certainly enrich the future debates concerning human rights in bioethics. I particularly thank all referees for their valuable time and helpful comments; I am sure that we all benefited from their expertise. I am truly thankful to the editors of this journal, particularly Bert Musschenga, for making this special issue possible and for all their support from the first steps to the final product. Last, but not least, this work was envisaged in the context of my stay at Queen’s University Kingston in Canada and was funded by the Heinrich Hertz Foundation (HHS, B41 No. 44/08).

References

  1. Andorno R (2008) Warum braucht eine globale Bioethik die Menschenrechte. In: Biller-Andorno N, Schaber P, Schulz-Baldes A (eds) Gibt es eine universale Bioethik. Mentis, Paderborn, pp 59–72Google Scholar
  2. Annas G (2004) American bioethics: crossing human rights and health law boundaries. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Annas G, Andrews L, Isasi R (2002) Protecting the endangered human: toward an international treaty prohibiting cloning and inheritable alterations. Am J Law Med 28:151–178Google Scholar
  4. Arras J, Fenton E (2009) Bioethics and human rights: access to health-related goods. Hastings Cent Rep 29:27–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ashcroft R (2008) The troubled relationship between bioethics and human rights. In: Freeman M (ed) Law and bioethics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 31–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baker R (1998) Negotiating international bioethics: a response to Tom Beauchamp and Ruth Macklin. Kennedy Inst Ethics J 8(4):423–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baker R (2001) Bioethics and human rights: a historical perspective. Camb Q Healthc Ethics 10:241–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baranzke H (2012) Sanctity of life’—a bioethical principle for a right to life? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Special issue: Human Rights in Bioethics (ed: Gordon J-S):N.NGoogle Scholar
  9. Barilan Y, Brusa M (2008) Human rights and bioethics. J Med Ethics 34:379–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Benatar D (2005) The trouble with universal declarations. Dev World Bioeth 5(3):220–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bentham J (1795) Nonsense upon stilts, or Pandora’s Box opened. In: Schofield P, Pease-Watkin C, Blamires C (eds) Rights, representation and reform. Nonsense upon stilts and other writings on the French Revolution. The collected works of Jeremy Bentham. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2002: 317–434. Art. 2:330Google Scholar
  12. Beyleveld D, Brownsword R (2001) Human dignity in bioethics and biolaw. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. Caney S (2007) Global poverty and human rights: the case for positive duties. In: Pogge T (ed) Freedom from poverty as a human right: who owes what to the very poor? Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 275–302Google Scholar
  14. Chapman A (2009) Globalization, human rights, and the social determinants of health. Bioethics 23:97–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cochrane A (2012) Evaluating ‘bioethical approaches’ to human rights. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Special issue: Human Rights in Bioethics (ed: Gordon J-S):N.NGoogle Scholar
  16. Cochrane A (2009) Undignified bioethics. Bioethics 24(5):234–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cranston M (1967) Human rights, real and supposed. In: Raphael D (ed) Political theory and the Rights of Man. Macmillan, London, pp 163–173Google Scholar
  18. Fenton E (2008) Genetic enhancement—a threat to human rights? Bioethics 22:1–7Google Scholar
  19. Fenton E, Arras J (2010) Bioethics and human rights: curb your enthusiasm. Camb Q Healthc Ethics 19:127–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Finnis J (2011) Natural law and natural rights, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  21. Fukuyama F (2002) Our posthuman future. Farrar Straus and Giroux, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Gewirth A (1982) Human rights. essays on justification and application. Chicago University Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  23. Gordon J-S (2008) Poverty, human rights and just distribution. In: Boylan M (ed), International public health policy and ethics, SpringerGoogle Scholar
  24. Gordon J-S (2011) On justifying human rights. In: Boylan M (ed) The morality and global justice reader. Westview Press, Boulder, pp 27–49Google Scholar
  25. Gordon J-S (2012) Human dignity, human rights, and global bioethics. In: Gordon J-S, Renteln A, Teays W (eds) Bioethics and culture. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  26. Griffin J (2009) On human rights. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  27. Harris J (2011) Taking the ‘human’ out of human rights. Camb Q Healthc Ethics 20:9–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Harris J (1999) Genes, clones and human rights. In: Burley J (ed) Genetic revolution and human rights: The Amnesty Lectures 1998. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 61–95Google Scholar
  29. Harris J (1998) Cloning and human dignity. Camb Q Healthc Ethics 7(2):163–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hunt P (2006) The human right to the highest attainable standard of health: new opportunities and challenges. T Roy Soc Trop Med H 100:603–607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Knowles L (2001) The lingua franca of human rights and the rise of global bioethics. Camb Q Healthc Ethics 10(3):253–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kuhse H (2000) Is there a tension between autonomy and dignity? In: Kemp P, Brownsword R (eds) Bioethics and biolaw, Vol II. Rhodos International Science and Art Publishers and Centre for Ethics and Law, Copenhagen, 61–74Google Scholar
  33. Macklin R (2003) Dignity is a useless concept. BMJ 327(7429):1419–1420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Macklin R (1999) Against relativism. Cultural diversity and the search for ethical universal in medicine. Oxford University Press, New York and OxfordGoogle Scholar
  35. Mann J (1996) Editorial: Health and human rights. BMJ 312(7036):924–925CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nickel J (2007) Making sense of human rights, 2nd edn. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  37. Nussbaum M (1998) Capabilities and human rights. Fordham Law Rev 66:273–300Google Scholar
  38. Pogge T (ed) (2007) Freedom from poverty as a human right: Who owes what to the very poor? Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  39. Pollis A, Schwab P (1979) Human rights. a western concept with limited applicability. In: Pollis A, Schwab P (eds) Human rights. cultural and ideological perspectives. Praeger, New York, pp 1–18Google Scholar
  40. Ram-Tiktin E (2012) The right to health care as a right to basic human functional capabilities. In: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Special issue: Human Rights in Bioethics (ed Gordon J-S):N.NGoogle Scholar
  41. Rawls J (1999) The law of peoples. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  42. Richardson H (1990) Specifying norms as a way to resolve concrete ethical problems. Philosophy and Public Affairs 19(4):279–310Google Scholar
  43. Rorty R (1993) Human rights, rationality, and sentimentality. In: Hurley S, Shute S (eds) On Human Rights. The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 1993. Basic Books, New York, pp 111–134Google Scholar
  44. Schroeder D (2012) Human rights and human dignity an appeal to separate the conjoined twins. In: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Special issue: Human Rights in Bioethics (ed Gordon J-S):N.NGoogle Scholar
  45. Schroeder D (2005) Human rights and their role in global bioethics. Camb Q Healthc Ethics 14(2):221–234Google Scholar
  46. Schüklenk U, Pacholczyk A (2010) Dignity’s ‘wooly uplift’. Bioethics 24(2):iiGoogle Scholar
  47. Sen A (2005) Human rights and capabilities. J Hum Dev 6(2):151–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shue H (1996) Basic rights. subsistence, affluence, and United States foreign policy, 2nd edn. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  49. Thomasma D (2001) Proposing a new agenda: bioethics and international human rights. Camb Q Healthc Ethics 10(3):299–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Turner B (1993) Outline of a theory of human rights. Sociology 27:489–512CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CologneKölnGermany

Personalised recommendations