40. Buddhism and Biomedical Issues
- Steven M. Emmanuel
Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy
How to Cite
Keown, D. (2013) Buddhism and Biomedical Issues, in A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy (ed S. M. Emmanuel), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324004.ch40
- Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
- Published Print: 25 MAR 2013
Print ISBN: 9780470658772
Online ISBN: 9781118324004
- biomedical issues;
Medical ethics in Buddhism involves essentially the application of the wider principles of religious ethics to problems in a more specialized field. The “Four Principles” approach can be only partially successful in the context of Buddhism. This chapter considers Buddhist view on substantive biomedical issues. The topics discussed include abortion, death and dying, brain death and organ donation, and cloning. Buddhism has had a particular interest in the analysis of stem cell research, psychology and neuroscience. Caution must be exercised when drawing conclusions about Buddhist perspectives on bioethics, as there is a risk of inadvertently superimposing Western categories on the discussion. The doctrine of karma and the belief in rebirth make Buddhism distinctive from an ethical perspective, and it is also renowned for its emphasis on benevolence and compassion and a scrupulous respect for living beings.