Global Bioethics in the Post-Coronavirus Era: A Discussion with Roberto Andorno

Published: Jun 29, 2022
global bioethics biolaw coronavirus pandemic human dignity moral realism public engagement precautionary principle bioethical education
Roberto Andorno
George Boutlas

A discussion with Roberto Andorno about global bioethics and biolaw, the Coronavirus pandemic, and its impact on human dignity and rights. Can we foresee the emerging new profile of global bioethics and biolaw in the post-Coronavirus era? How significant are they going to be in the future, after the enormous pressure that the Coronavirus pandemic has exercised on key political, legal, and ethical values? Must the voice of bioethicists -compared to the ‘hard’ scientific data- be louder in the future concerning decisions about emergency social and medical measures? Is there a hope that public empowerment will support robust, global public engagement and meaningful deliberation? How much does Roberto Andorno’s view on human dignity reveal a supposed commitment to moral realism? The massive deaths of elderly people living in hospices of Sweden, Spain, and Italy, based on an implicit ‘fair innings’ view, has recently posed certain questions on the moral unacceptability of such practices. The same questions arise in the case of the legalization of euthanasia grounded on the implicit acceptance of the view that life is not worth living under certain circumstances. Is it possible that the human rights bodies worldwide will acquire executive power, and how could this become possible? How influential the ‘precautionary principle’ can become regarding clinical and research ethics in the future? How urgent is the importance of the introduction of bioethical education in the curricula of ‘hard’ empirical studies? Roberto Andorno discusses with us all these controversial and under heated public debate issues, giving sometimes provocative answers.

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Author Biographies
Roberto Andorno, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Biomedical Ethics of the University of Zurich, Switzerland. 

George Boutlas, National and Kapodistrian University Athens, Greece

MD, PhD; Research Fellow, NKUA Applied Philosophy Research Laboratory, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Philosophy.

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