Bioethics in Russian culture: expert opinion (summary)  

© 2013 A.S. Kurlenkova

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Key words: bioethics history, ethics of medicine, deontology, biomedical research, medical morality, medical practice, social and cultural values, social justice, interdisciplinary approach, dying and death, confidentiality of medical information

Abstract: This discussion is based on the written survey carried out among Russian bioethics lectors, its participants express their personal opinions regarding an array of issues of bioethics development in Russia: starting point of Russian bioethics history, its relation to prerevolutionary works of Russian doctors on ethics of medicine and to Soviet deontology, factors that promoted the rise and development of bioethics and specificity of bioethics in Russia.

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Bioethics appeared in Russia in the second half of the 20th century. On the one hand, this phenomenon is rooted in the history of ethical reflections written by Russian medical specialists and scientists of the past; on the other – Russian bioethics in many ways is linked to Western (American, European) bioethics that came to our country once the political boundaries were open. The goal of the following discussion is to reflect different, sometimes conflicting experts’ opinions that trace the origins and development of Russian bioethics to a particular scientific/ ethical tradition. In our opinion, it’s interesting to see how the experts formulate specific “Russian features” that characterize the global phenomenon of bioethics adapted to the Russian reality.

This discussion is based on the written survey carried out among Russian bioethics lectors by Alexandra Kurlenkova as a part of her dissertation project “Medical Anthropology and Bioethics in the USA and Russia: historiographical and socio-cultural analysis”. The experts interviewed in the survey were E.A. Veikher (graduate of MA program in bioethics sponsored by the Fogarty International Center; teaching assistant at the department of invertebrate zoology, Biological and Pedological Faculty, Saint-Petersburg State University), U.A. Isaeva (docent at the Faculty of Social and Humanitarian Sciences, Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy), V.I. Moiseev (chair of the Department of Philosophy, Bioethics and Humanitarian Sciences, Moscow State Medico-Stomatological University), F.T. Nezhmetdinova (chair of the Department of Philosophy and Law, Kazan State Agrarian University), Y.M Khrustalev (chair of the Department of Philosophy and Bioethics, First Moscow State Medical University).

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