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Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal
Deliberative Consultation as an Educational Tool for Teaching Bioethics in Japan: Case of Organ Donation
Sylwia Maria Olejarz
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University, Center for Human Ecology and Bioethics, ul. Woycickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warszawa, Poland
The research was designed to investigate laypersons' involvement in the deliberation process on organ donation. In particular, the objectives of this study were to (1) identify, (2) describe, and (3) assess the roles that might be played by the communities researched in this study in the bioethical debate concerning organ donation. It was also important to test the effectiveness of deliberative consultation as an educational tool (education on conditions of organ donation). In this research changes in attitude are observed using small-group deliberative consultation meetings. The most important theoretical findings of deliberative democracy, deliberative mapping, and capability approach theories are also presented in this paper as a theoretical and methodological framework of this empirical research. The method of deliberative consultation meetings in the Japanese Roman Catholic community produced the empirical observation that well informed laypeople are better able to and more consciously make decisions about organ donation. The meeting gave them the opportunity to discuss this problem and the matter of their will with their own families. The deliberative democracy methods are very promising for introducing the educational, informative, and decision-stimulating role into the field of Japanese bioethics. They can be used as successful educational tools in this field.
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