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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
Abstract of "Bioethics−an Evolutionary Perspective"
Pamela S. Saha
Department of Psychiatry, Department of Public Health, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634; and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 450 Clarkson Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11203
The principles of ethics in clinical practice and in biomedical research have been approached over the years from a variety of viewpoints. We have drawn on the expertise of philosophy, religion, sociology, psychology, and other areas within the humanities to enhance our understanding of how we make moral choices. We have even had discussions of ethical dilemmas and have tried to parse out our decision-making process using principles of ethical theory. Only recently have we come to realize the possibility that moral ethical reasoning could be something quite different from a logical exercise of reason. It could well be an innate process that has evolved naturally with roots evident in the animal kingdom. As a result, it could be subject to flaws and inconsistencies requiring refinement through the use of rational thought. In this presentation I will explore the evidence of the possibility that our moral system has evolved, and the implications of that evidence.
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