Life, Death, Genes, and Ethics: Biotechnology and Bioethics

By Max J. Charlesworth | Go to book overview

Foreword by the Hon Justice Michael Kirby CMG


BIOETHICS AND DEMOCRACY-- A FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION

The Span of Life Redefined

Professor Max Charlesworth is one of the most prominent and thoughtful of the commentators on bioethical questions now living. His Boyer Lectures show the range of his interests, the penetration of his insights and the delicacy of his judgments on very hard questions. As the pages of this book show, the subject matter of those questions is varied and complex. Bioethics also presents problems of great urgency.

The area covered by these lectures spans the whole of human life. They begin at a point before human life has commenced. The revolutionary developments of biology as they affect conception and the use and limits of reproductive and genetic techniques are by now matters of widespread public debate. The rationing of health care, as it is made available to patients and the community, is a new focus of attention. The standards of informed consent for medical care and the subject of medical malpractice are matters of community concern.

The new challenge of AIDS must now be faced. It presents many problems: medical, legal and ethical. It underlines once

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