In an increasingly interdependent world we are all threatened by widening disparities in wealth and health, and by failure to achieve the goal of more widespread respect for basic human rights. In such a world, further complicated by significantly different cultural perspectives on the good life, it is necessary to consider how relationships between individuals, institutions, and nations should be structured in order to reduce injustice and improve prospects of human well-being, peace, and security.
In Ch. 43, Solly Benatar outlines global disparities, defines global bioethics, argues that global bioethics is important, and examines how cross-cultural differences could be considered and reconciled in theory and in medical practice without resorting to moral relativism.
In Ch. 44, Jerome Singh examines the legal and ethical responsibilities of health professionals in relation to care of those who are victims of torture and degrading treatment. After defining dual loyalty and describing how dual loyalty dilemmas arise, he refracts the rights of detainees through the “lens” of the principles of biomedical ethics, and shows how international human rights law, several United Nations Resolutions and international medical ethics guidelines provide a framework for protecting such vulnerable persons. His chapter, inclusive of a description of how it is possible for those in authority to become complicit in abusing detainees, is of special topical interest given the recent treatment of detainees in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisons.
The HIV/AIDS era has focused world attention on lack of access to essential life-extending drugs for millions of people.