Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Henk ten Have


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05544-2_43-1


In this entry, the field of bioengineering will be discussed, including the large field of biomedical engineering and the nonmedical fields of biosystems and bioprocess engineering and biomimetics. The focus is on ethical issues in bioengineering. Associated ethical issues include clinical-related issues concerning manipulation of the human genome, the development of prosthetic organs and limbs, engineering of the human brain and nervous system, and human enhancement. In the nonmedical fields, there are ethical issues concerning agriculture, food production, environmental risks, and dual use.


Biomedical engineering Tissue engineering Prostheses Imaging Neurotechnology Agriculture Food Biofuels 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access


  1. Beynus, J. (1997). Biomimicry: Innovation inspired by nature. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar
  2. Brey, P. (2014). Prosthetics. In J. B. Holbrook & C. Mitcham (Eds.), Ethics, science, technology, and engineering: A global resource. Detroit: MacMillan Reference.Google Scholar
  3. Crafa, D, & Nagel S. (2015). Traces of culture: the feedback loop between brain, behavior, and disorder. Transcultural Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  4. De Vries, R., Oerlemans, A., Trommelmans, L., Dierickx, K., & Gordijn, B. (2008). Ethical aspects of tissue engineering: A review. Tissue Engineering Part B, 14(4), 367–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Illes, J., Kirschen, M. P., Karetsky, K., Kelly, M., Saha, A., Desmond, J. E., Raffin, T. A., Glover, G. H., & Atlas, S. W. (2004). Discovery and disclosure of incidental findings in neuroimaging research. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 20(5), 743–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. LeDuc, P., Agaba, M., Cheng, C.-M., Gracio, J., Guzman, A., & Middelberg, A. (2014). Beyond disease, how biomedical engineering can improve global health. Science Translational Medicine, 6, 266fs48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Nagel, S. K. (2010). Ethics and the neurosciences. Ethical and social consequences of neuroscientific progress. Paderborn: Mentis.Google Scholar
  8. Nagel, S. K. (2014). Enhancement for well-being is still ethically challenging, Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 8 (72): doi:10.3389/fnsys.2014.00072.Google Scholar
  9. Parens, E. (Ed.). (1998). Enhancing human traits: Ethical and social implications. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Thompson, P. (2012). The agricultural ethics of biofuels: The food vs. fuel debate. Agriculture, 2, 339–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Further Readings

  1. Fielder, J. (2007). Biomedical engineering ethics. Morgan & Claypool, San Rafael, CA, USA.Google Scholar
  2. Thompson, S. J. (2014) (ed.). Global issues and ethical considerations in human enhancement technologies. IGI Global, Hershey, PA, USA.Google Scholar
  3. Varello, D. (2007). Biomedical ethics for engineers: Ethics and decision making in biomedical and biosystem engineering. Academic, Waltham, MA, USA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands