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Introduction to the Project on Bioethics for Informed Choices - page 94 / 115





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624Challenges for Bioethics from Asia

People harbor many and varied lacks, physical and mental, also individual and social. This is why we support one another, and each try to make up for what the other lacks. It is through doing this that we are able to survive. By understanding disability not as something special, but as just as one of these “lacks” that we all have, we can treat problems involving the disabled as problems of us all. Then, can’t we in fact say that there is not one of us without some disability.

The topic “ Health and Sickness” is one which education on bioethics can deal with, and is also subject matter for teaching materials for use in education on coexistence and human rights. Thus we ought not to limit education on bioethics to those various problems involving cutting-edge medical technologies or biotechnology. More than anything else, the way of life of the tutor is put to the question..


Sakamoto: I would like to respect your attempt to teach this topic in high school.  Thank you.  We have the Japan Bioethics Association, and are you a member?

Koizumi: Yes, I am a member, and I have participated one of the meetings held here in Tsukuba.  

Sakamoto: You mentioned that bioethics started as an American civil rights movement.  But actually, Potter was the first person to mention Bioethics.  Why did you think so?  Why didn’t you include these bioethicists?

Koizumi: I believe Potter included environmental ethics.  I understood there were two lines of American bioethics and European bioethics.  I thought that the European community approach to bioethics should be taught in Japan, not just the American approach.  

Sakamoto: What do you mean by the European community approach?  Where did you get this idea?

Koizumi: I’ve read in some bioethics materials.

Sakamoto: You should be selective of your reading.  Also, it is important to sort and research what is the actual discussion in Europe or America.  Not all Europeans are communitarians, and maybe they are more anti communitarianism.  What is bothering me is that the American approach to bioethics doesn’t suit Japan.  How do you consider this and how you teach this.

Koizumi: I have the feeling that to teach only about advanced medical technologies it self is an American approach.  So I tried to make a different approach.

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