Bioethics, Mediterranean, Turkey's Experience

Işil Ülman F. Y.

EACME Annual Meeting 2019 Towards a Mediterranean Bioethics, Venice, Italy, 10 - 12 September 2009

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: Venice
  • Country: Italy
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: Yes


EACME Annual Meeting, 10-11 September 2009 Venice (Italy), Abstract for Keynote Lecture in “Towards a Mediterranean Bioethics"


 Philosophy and science are eager to ponder on the human existence and human nature as a whole from the beginning up to the end of life at all stages. While the new medical technology and scientific developments promise a better and more comfortable way of life and facilities to men on earth, those technologies and promises are deeply questioned by philosophical debates. Ethical reasoning has been an indispensable part of this discussion when it is universally accepted that any research or procedure can not be approved unless it has been carried out within scientific and ethical boundaries. The experience of humanity during modern ages has been the struggle for the implementation of ethical standards and principles into all sorts of scientific researches and essays, political and societal searching.

Last decades of the 20th century and the turn of the 21st century have witnessed a new fact and formation. Perception of world as a multifaceted prism, from social, political, cultural to scientific, technological, economical and humanitarian aspects, has necessitated a wider approach and viewpoint to assess the 21st century debates at length. The key to handle the problem has emerged as bioethics. Bioethics is an important part of this inclination as a discipline stemmed originally from the ethical philosophy, and flourished vastly in modern times. As the ethical issues have moved from being internal concerns of the professions to matters of public, political debate, bioethical decision making has immersed much more into the professional and academic resolution and analysis.

As a matter fact, it is hard to define bioethics as a gift or newcomer of the 21st century when it is apparently rooted in a rich tradition of humanitarian experience all throughout the Renaissance, Enlightenment, Positivism and Modernization proceeds inherited over the centuries. Mediterranean region, in this sense, has a unique place in the world’s social geography because of its significant historical and cultural characteristics.

This paper will try to discuss bioethics in the Mediterranean world with special reference to Turkey’s experience through a modern secular viewpoint nourished by Western (American and European) secular approaches, without disregarding the traditional and historical approaches that are undergirded by national traditions, cultures, and philosophies raised in mare nostrum.