Future Perspectives

  • Bert GordijnEmail author
  • Henk A. M. J. ten Have
Reference work entry


This chapter looks at the challenges of global bioethics in the years ahead. As the particular version of global bioethics favored in this volume has thrown in its lot with the human rights tradition, its fate is closely connected with the latter’s prospects. Therefore, this chapter starts with a brief review of the history of this tradition. It then looks at the relationship between human rights and bioethics in the Universal Declaration. Furthermore, it examines the key pros and cons of linking up with human rights from a global bioethics point of view. Based on these historic and systematic sketches, it finally focuses on the path ahead for global bioethics and endeavors to distinguish its main challenges.


Cultural Diversity Eighteenth Century Human Dignity Universal Declaration Moral Truth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Andorno, R. (2007). Global bioethics at UNESCO: In defence of the universal declaration on bioethics and human rights. Journal of Medical Ethics, 33(3), 150–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andorno, R. (2008). Warum braucht eine globale Bioethik die Menschenrechte. In N. Biller-Andorno, P. Schaber, & A. Schulz-Baldes (Eds.), Gibt es eine universale Bioethik (pp. 59–72). Paderborn: Mentis.Google Scholar
  3. Andorno, R. (2009). Human dignity and human rights as a common ground for a global bioethics. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 34(3), 223–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Annas, G. J. (2003). Bioethics and human rights. Hastings Center Report, 33(5), 3.Google Scholar
  5. Annas, G. J. (2004). American bioethics and human rights: The end of all our exploring. Journal of Law Medicine and Ethics, 32(4), 658–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Annas, G. J. (2010). Human rights and American bioethics: Resistance is futile. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 19(1), 133–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arras, J., & Fenton, E. (2009). Bioethics and human rights: Access to health-related goods. Hastings Center Report, 29, 27–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ashcroft, R. E. (2008). The troubled relationship between bioethics and human rights. In M. Freeman (Ed.), Law and bioethics (pp. 31–52). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ashcroft, R. E. (2010). Could human rights supersede bioethics? Human Rights Law Review, 10(4), 639–660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Baker, R. (2001). Bioethics and human rights: A historical perspective. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 10, 241–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Benatar, D. (2006). Bioethics and health and human rights: A critical view. Journal of Medical Ethics, 32(1), 17–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Byk, C. (2007). La Déclaration universelle sur la bioéthique et les droits de l’homme. Journal de Droit International, 3, 864–882.Google Scholar
  13. Cooper, B. (2010). New birth of freedom. Retrieved from
  14. DDC. (1789). Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen. Retrieved from
  15. DoI. (1776). The Declaration of Independence. Retrieved from
  16. Fenton, E., & Arras, J. (2010). Bioethics and human rights: Curb your enthusiasm. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 19, 127–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gordon, J.-S. (2012). Human rights in bioethics – Theoretical and applied. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 15(3), 283–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hunt, L. (2007). Inventing human rights. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  19. International Bioethics Committee. (2010). On social responsibility and health. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  20. Mann, J. (1996). Editorial: Health and human rights. Protecting human rights is essential for promoting health. British Medical Journal, 312(7036), 924–925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Moyn, S. (2010). The last Utopia: Human rights in history. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Nys, H. (2006). Towards an International Treaty on Human Rights and Biomedicine? Some reflections inspired by UNESCO’s universal declaration on bioethics and human rights. European Journal of Health Law, 134, 5–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sakamoto, H. (1999). Towards a new “global bioethics”. Bioethics, 13, 191–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schroeder, D. (2005). Human rights and their role in global bioethics. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 14(2), 221–234.Google Scholar
  25. Schroeder, D. (2012). Human rights and human dignity: An appeal to separate the conjoined twins. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 15(3), 323–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ten Have, H. (2008). UNESCO’s ethics education programme. Journal of Medical Ethics, 34(10), 57–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ten Have, H. (2011). Bioethiek zonder grenzen. Mondialisering van gezondheid, ethiek en wetenschap. Nijmegen, Netherlands: Valkhof Pers.Google Scholar
  28. Ten Have, H. (2013, in press). Bioethics and human rights. Whenever the twain shall meet. In S. Vöneky (Ed.), The ethicalization of law.Google Scholar
  29. UNESCO. (2005). Universal declaration on bioethics and human rights. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EthicsDublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  2. 2.Center for Health-care EthicsDuquesne UniversityPittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations