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Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal
SJR: 0.123

ISSN Imprimir: 2151-805X
ISSN On-line: 2151-8068

Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/EthicsBiologyEngMed.2020032826
pages 25-35

Global Bioethical Guidelines: Hindu Perspective on Bioethics

Ram P. Agarwal
Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Venkata Krishna V. Bevoor Sastry
Chancellor, Yoga-Samskrutham University, Sarasota, FL 34236


It is increasingly realized that religion, spirituality, and culture play a role in clinical care. The guidelines for medical practice and biomedical research−autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice−are important, but they are based on Western Judeo-Christian cultural values and have a strong Western hue. Since interpretations of these guidelines differ in Western and Eastern cultures, their universal acceptability is debatable. The world is now becoming a global village with pluralistic societies. Therefore, to provide a meaningful healthcare or to conduct research in a pluralistic society, healthcare providers and researchers must be aware of the ethnocultural values of their patients and research populations. In this presentation, we focus on the Hindu view of bioethics as an example of the Eastern perspective. Hindu ethical principles are embedded in the doctrine of Dharma−a complex and comprehensive term for ethics, philosophy, law, and practice. Even though, unlike Western bioethics, Hindu bioethics lacks a single compilation, relevant Hindu doctrines are spread throughout Hindu scriptures, legends, and folklores. It is hoped that the information presented here serves to (1) educate, mitigate misconceptions, and enlighten biomedical researchers and medical practitioners who may have limited understanding of Hindu perceptions of bioethics; (2) provide a flexible, adaptable, and inclusive approach to Hindu ethical principles for modern practice in a multicultural society; and (3) stimulate further debate on this subject, which, to this point, remains limited.


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