Bioethics on the interaction of scientific and non-scientific knowledge

  1. Lemma
  2. Биоэтика на пересечении научного и вненаучного знания
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ethics - Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology - Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine
  6. 03-10-2018
  7. Мещерякова, Тамара Владимировна [Author]. Биоэтика на пересечении научного и вненаучного знания
  8. Вестник Томского государственного педагогического университета
  9. bioethics - biotechnology - biomedical technology - embryonic - Russian Orthodox Church - Cloning - stem cell research - stem cell technologies - Orthodox doctors
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Мещерякова, Т. В. (2011). Биоэтика на пересечении научного и вненаучного знания. <em>Вестник Томского государственного педагогического университета</em>, (10), 216-221.</p>
    1. The author posits that the problems of bioethics bring up the question of compatibility of scientific progress and morals. In her view, the history of eugenics is a classic example of immoral science in Germany and other western countries in the 20th century. She argues that today humanity faces a new reality in which there is no time gap between scientific discovery and experimentation and therefore no possibility to discuss the ethical side of the process. Thus we discuss the ethics of biotechnologies as they are being used.

      At the same time, there is no consensus on the ethics of science. There are two main ideas that clash with each other: freedom of scientific thought and the moral responsibility of science. A scientist has to be free of any conditioning to make progress happen. At the same time any scientist is a responsible member of society. One solution is to ensure informed consent of those being tested and have the experiment approved by an ethics committee. Informed consent, however, cannot be applied to embryos, and thus religious confessions have to deal with the issue. Some Russian Orthodox Church members have strongly criticized biotechnologies, calling them an evil that hides behind the good intention to help patients. In their view, biotechnologies are not grounded within Christian ethics but rather in a scientific community that has always been hostile to religion. At the same time, certain secular scholars have called bioethics a new form of Christianity because it poses important questions on life and death that society has to deal with.

      The Russian Orthodox Church made a statement on bioethics in 2000 in which it demanded to be heard by the scientific community and the public. The Church in fact called bioethics a space of dialogue between scientists and the clergy. The document, however, lacks precise attitudes of the Church towards specific problems of bioethics. For example, when does human life begin? Basic research in this field is carried out not only on humans but also on human embryos and many of them die as a result of these experiments. The Church opposes human cloning but is not clear on cloning of tissue cells to restore or replace organs. The Church seems to think that if this helps save people then it is good. The author comments that this opinion is contradictory, because this same technology is also based on the use of human embryos many of which die in the process.

      A sociological survey by a Russian Orthodox priest among Russian doctors revealed that doctors who are religious do not have uniform opinion on the subject. 82% of doctors who claim to be religious think that life starts at the moment of conception (37.8% of atheist doctors think the same). All religious doctors are against human cloning, but 42.8% are for cloning of organs. This, the author concludes, shows that the scientific community has failed to establish common ground regarding central bioethical questions.