Bioethics deals with norms and value conflicts in health care and life science research. Issues covered are such priorities in health care, informed consent, neurobiological explanations of human consciousness, animal welfare and the use of biotechnology. The subject deals with philosophical, theological, legal and social aspects of
medicine and biology.
Norm and value conflicts arise every day in health care and research. For example, the priorities in health care, when people’s privacy must be balanced against research interests when it comes to saving biological material in biobanks, when the neurobiological research comes up with new explanations for how our minds work, or our view of animals and what is natural behavior.
Consent for research on biological material or to the care and treatment raises questions of integrity, autonomy, and how information should be designed and in meeting with patients arises clinical and medical ethical issues. Bioethics is also about rules and guidelines for research.
The same DNA that makes it possible to determine paternity or identify perpetrators raises questions about the integrity of the people who submitted samples to our bio, but the issue is not limited to living persons. Retrospective DNA studies in which genetic material from historical figures studied also raises bioethical issues.
Doping and other ways to improve performance also raises the chemise distinct ethical issues. The modern brain research offers another example. When neuroscience produces results that are changing the neurobiological description of human consciousness, what is left of the notions that humans have free will and personal responsibility for their actions? New information about the place of morality in the brain also blowing new life into the debate about the existence of a universal morality. These issues are picked up by neuroethics, a subject that deals with the specific philosophical and ethical issues raised by neuroscience and cognitive research.
Uppsala University conducts research on bioethics within the framework of the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics. We work together with the Karolinska Institute and Swedish University under the Network for Research Ethics & Bioethics (NRB).
Research in Ethics is also being conducted at the Department of Philosophy and Theology Department.
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