“Bioethics” may have various meanings depending on its roles. It may mean professional ethics for scientists and physicians, etc. It may also mean an academic discipline using interdisciplinary approach as well as a philosophical or a legal approach. “Bioethics” as an interdisciplinary study should often deal with public policy on bioethical issues. I call this role bioethics as a study of bioethics policy, which has to be developed as a new discipline. From this perspective, I deal with bioethical issues relevant to a human life before birth. There are various and often conflicting arguments about the moral status of a human life before birth such as the fertilization argument, the argument of genetic identity, so-called the “14 days” argument focusing on the formation of primitive streak, the argument of sentient being, and Michael Sandle's argument of an embryo as a being between a thing and a person. I argue that each of them is reasonable. Thus we are faced with reasonable disagreement on the views over whether a human life before birth has the same right to life as that of a person or whether right to life may be considered to be a matter of degree. If we acknowledge reasonable disagreement, as John Rawls pointed out, we should tolerate the views from ours in a plural society. Therefore, we cannot help making a policy that allows abortion and embryonic research with some limitations. When we say a certain act is morally permissible, “moral permissibility” does not mean that the act is morally right for all. Rather it means that the act cannot help being morally allowed for some persons although the others do not believe its moral rightness because they cannot right now rationally persuade others to accept their view.
I. 머리말 II. 생명윤리적 문제들의 다양성과 ‘생명윤리’의 다의성 III. 출산 전 생명의 도덕적 지위에 대한 입장들과 판례의 입장 IV. 생명윤리정책으로서의 생명윤리적 문제들 V. 맺음말 참고문헌 ABSTRACT
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