Bioethics s.l.

It was Fritz Jahr who came up with the word “bioethics” in 1927 when he published the article: “Bio-Ethik: Eine Umschau über die ethischen Beziehungen des Menschen zu Tier und Pflanze” (Bioethics: A look at the ethical relationships of humans to animals and plants”).

Jahr also introduced what he would later call “the Bioethical Imperative”:

“All living beings are entitled to respect and should be treated not as means but as ends in themselves.”

So “bioethics sensu lato” is about accommodating human and animal diversity and allowing everyone enough space to breathe and flourish, according to their own wishes and without harming anyone.

This obviously means that we have to look after all species’ habitats as well as our own (earth) and it also entails that bioethics includes medical and legal aspects.

Bioethics sensu stricto is clinical or medical ethics. It’s called “zorgethiek” in Dutch. Care ethics. But “bioethics” = “the ethics of life”, and that often boils down to this: