Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

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

Human Rights in Bioethics–Theoretical and Applied

  • John-Stewart Gordon


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...


Human rights Human dignity Bioethics 



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).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CologneKölnGermany

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