Bioethics is moral judgment as it relates to medical policy, practice, and research.
Fritz Jahr coined the term bioethics in 1927 in an article about the bioethical imperative regarding the scientific use of animals and plants¹. In the 1970s the American biochemist Van Rensselaer Potter also used the term bioethics to generate global ethics, a discipline representing a link between biology, ecology, medicine, and human values in order to ensure the survival of humans and other species¹.
Bioethical issues first took their modern spotlight after the human experiments undertaken during the Nazi regime during World War II. They began to reappear in the 1960s with the technological advances that led to easier organ transplants, the development of kidney dialysis, and respirators. Bioethical issues began to boom in the 1990s and 2000s after the US presidents began to focus attention on bioethical issues.
Bioethicists often disagree among each other over the limits of their discipline. Some bioethicists narrow their ethical evaluation only to the morality of medical treatments or technological innovations and the timing of medical treatments. Others broaden their scope to include the morality of all actions that affect organisms that feel fear¹.
Bioethics can also be expanded to include cloning, gene therapy, life extension, human genetic engineering, and astroethics.
In human biology and psychology there are several principles that researchers and researchers must guarantee to humans. Some of these include autonomy, benefice, justice, human dignity, and the sanctity of life¹.
1. Lolas, F. (2008). Bioethics and Animal Research: A Personal Perspective and a Note on the Contribution of Fritz Jahr.