Religion and Culture and Their Impact on Bioethics

Religion and Culture and Their Impact on Bioethics

This module addresses general questions concerning who legitimately speaks for religion in public bioethics, what religion can add to our understanding of justice, and the value of faith-based contributions to healthcare. The lecture focuses on the role of religion in bioethics. Since the inception of the field, exploration of the role of public policy reform has been in terms of sociology, critical studies, philosophy, and religious studies. Questions about the distinction between public policy bioethics and clinical care are to be answered. How does religion shape questions of justice in patient care and the ethical tools provided by Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and Evangelical Christianity? However, over the last decades, the religious impact on bioethics has subsequently diminished. What is the effect of this diminished influence on the way we do bioethics today?


Shirin Karsan, Board Member, Global Bioethics Initiative; Center for New Pennsylvanians.


Caplan, Arthur. “When Religion Trumps Medicine.” Bioethics Today. American Journal of Bioethics. 4 Dec. 2015. Web. 2 June 2015

Goldberg, Stephen. “Religious Contributions to the Bioethics Debate: Utilizing Legal Rights While Avoiding Scientific Temptations.” Fordham Urban Law Journal 30.1 (2002): 35-45.

Hughes, James. “Buddhist Bioethics,” in Principles of Health Care Ethics, Second Edition (eds R. E. Ashcroft, A. Dawson, H. Draper and J. R. McMillan), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. (2006): 127-134.

Rosen, Jeffrey. “The Brain on the Stand.” The New York Times. The New York Times. 11 March 2007. Web. 2 June 2015.

GLEUBE: The future of religious bioethics

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