Special Lecture on Bioethics and Health Law
Rapid advancement of Biotechnology has begun to pose controversial ethical, social and legal issues. For instance, while the Human Genome Project brings about tremendous medical benefits such as the possibility of genetic therapy and prevention of human diseases caused by the defects of DNA, on the other hand, it also raises serious social problems such as genetic discrimination in employment and insurance, etc. Advancement of assisted reproductive techniques not only enable infertile couples to have a child by using such medical technology, but also enable couples who don't want to have a baby with handicaps to select fetus based on their preferences.
The primary objective of this course is to provide a framework to identify and understand the legal and ethical issues in present biotechnology and health care system in comparison between Japan and other countries, especially the USA.
- Introduction: Advancement of biotechnology and its ethical and legal issues
- Medical Ethics and Clinical Ethics: Basic principles of Bioethics (Autonomy, Beneficence, and Justice etc.)
- Basic principles of legal regulations on Self Determination: Harm Principle, Paternalism, Moralism.
- Informed Consent and Right of Self Determination (Right to know and not to know ones own medical information)
- Physician-assisted Suicide (active Euthanasia)
- Death with Dignity (withholding life-sustaining treatment)
- Brain Death and Organ Transplantation, Organ Trafficking.
- Refusal of Blood Transfusion based on the religious reason.
- Assisted Reproductive Medicine (Surrogate Birth, Prenatal Diagnosis and Abortion, etc.)
- Japanese Health Care System: Universal health insurance system and restriction on multiple medical treatments.
- Privacy and Confidentiality of medical information (concealment of fatal diagnosis and prognosis)
- Human Genome Project and Genetic Discrimination
- Genetic medicine (Genetic Enhancement) and the so-called "Order-made Medicine".
- Medical research and regulations: Experimentation on human subjects, Role of the Institutional Review Board