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Keywords:

  • bioethics;
  • brain death;
  • conscience clause;
  • human rights;
  • indigenous pluralism;
  • religious diversity

ABSTRACT

David Hollenbach, working within the context of human rights theory, has developed the notion of “indigenous pluralism” as a means of coping with the problems that arise when different religious traditions hold distinct or incompatible interpretations of human rights. It will be argued that indigenous pluralism is a theoretically and practically useful concept for bioethics as well and hence should be incorporated into bioethical methodology and processes of bioethical policy formation. Subsequently, the notion of indigenous pluralism will be discussed in relation to determinations of death as a means of illustrating this concept's applicability to bioethical inquiry.