Religious perspectives on bioethics and human rights

On 22 February 2018, I attended an online discussion on religious perspectives on bioethics and human rights, tabled by the UNESCO chair on this topic in Rome, Italy. The key question was: Is human rights a western concept? In the discussion between scholars from Buddhist, Confucian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Catholic-Christian perspectives, a distinction was made between formal human rights law and natural law which has much older roots. The former is a modern invention, laid down in UN declarations and conventions after World War II. The latter is common in all religious traditions but tends to be more concerned with community rights than with individual rights. Judgements of individual biomedical ethical cases can differ between the religious and secular traditions. The panel was held to present the book Religious Perspectives on Bioethics and Human Rights, published by Springer in 2017:

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