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Intercultural Reasoning: The Challenge for International Bioethics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 July 2009

Patricia Marshall
Assistant Director of the Medical Humanities Program, Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine
David C. Thomasma
Medical Ethics and Director of the Medical Humanities Program at Loyola University Chicago Medical Center and the Director of the International Bioethics Institute
Jurrit Bergsma
Director of the Institute for Medical and Psychological Consultations, Utrecht, The Netherlands


The exportation of Western biomedicine throughout the world has not resulted in a systematic homogenization of scientific ideology but rather in the proliferation of many forms and practices of biomedicine. Similarly, in the last decade, bioethics has become increasingly an international enterprise. Although there may be consensus regarding the inherent value of ethical discourse as it relates to health and medical care, there are disagreements about the nature and parameters of medical morality. This lack of consensus exists because our beliefs about morality are culturally constituted, embedded in social, religious, and political ideologies that influence particular individuals and communities at specific historical moments.

Special Section: Cross-cultural Perspectives in Healthcare Ethics
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1994

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