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Introduction to the Project on Bioethics for Informed Choices - page 75 / 115





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Bioethics Education605


Bhardwaj: You said that teachers need to be educated as well. But who should teach the teachers?

Su: I think all the people here are maybe teachers in other universities. You, yourself need to be continually educating yourself.

Leavitt: In China, the appropriate teacher should be Baoqui. I like what you said about trying to bring in Chinese ethics such as Taosim, Marxism. I’ve been wanting to ask the previous speaker about Marxism. Is there anything of bioethical significance that can be learned in the writings of Marx, Engels and Mao? I’m asking seriously.

Su: Thank you for your question, but I think I am not interested in that.

Bird: How old are the students in your class?

Su: There are 2 different classes. College students, they are about 18 to 19 years of age. The other class is composed of students a little bit more than 20 years old.

Bird: Right, your students were about 18,19,20 years of age. And you even said that you felt it would maybe advantageous to use Chinese material since you found it difficult to use the English material?

Su: Yes, that’s true. I and the other Chinese teachers had problems before and after and even during teaching. My colleagues and I found the English materials very difficult as well and we would like to have Chinese materials.

Bird: Yeah, because I tried one class using the English material, but it was difficult in Japan.

Su: We used the English materials but we used Chinese in teaching and also in discussing with students.

Konishi: You are not interested in Taoism, Maoism. And the content of your class sounds Western, how do you then incorporate Chinese ethics in your class?

Su: Actually, maybe I misunderstood Frank’s question.  I am not so interested in Maoism, but I am very interested in Confucianism. I actually gave a talk on it last TRT8. I think that instead of teaching morality of the physician, it is better to teach traditional Chinese Ethics.

Konishi: But I think that sometimes Confucianism and Western Ethics conflict, how do you cope with that?

Su: I don’t agree with you. I think there are a lot of common merit between our traditional ethics and western ethics.  For example the basic Confucian idea is ren, which is loving people. And I think it is consistent with the Western principle of “do good” and not to do harm.

Konishi: But the content and the meaning are different, I think.

Wang: In Bioethics, we first translated western bioethics textbook, but we are now developing, we are trying to explain, using Confucianism just like what Bao Qui mentioned and other forms of thought to explain how Chinese think about these issues. So we just came from this period of translation and now we are thinking about bioethics in the Chinese cultural context. For example in stem cell research, we would like to use embryos before the 13th day, and we try to use Confucian theory to explain what time a person begins.

Wawrzyniak: Let me have one remark in reference on what Frank said particularly on the young Chinese intellectual bioethicist who doesn’t want to hear and think about Marxism. Because Marxism has two roots, and the only value in Marxism is dehumanization and this is anti- bioethical ideology.

Wang: Baoqi should think about this question. Since in China, every student should study Marxism and scholars use Marxism to teach ethical issues. So we have to think about Marxism when we discuss bioethics in China.

Macer: Comrades, we have to go to the next speaker. By the way, Baoqi was upset at first when she learned that she had to teach Hegel and Marx in university. But I told her that every type of philosophy was useful to study bioethics.

Su:  Sorry, I misunderstood what Frank said. I thought he said Maoism. Of Marxism, I thought about that.

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