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.

To worship the Earth is not to deify her or believe she is any more sacred than ourselves. To worship the Earth is to love her, to take care of her, and to take refuge in her. When we suffer, the Earth embraces us, accepts us, and restores our energy, making us strong and stable again. The relief that we seek is right under our feet and all around us. Much of our suffering can be healed if we realize this. If we understand our deep connection and relationship with the Earth, we will have enough love, strength, and awakening so that we both can thrive.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Bioethics sensu stricto is clinical or medical ethics. It’s called “zorgethiek” in Dutch. Care ethics.

It all often boils down to this:

I had an online course on the topic for a while, with over 4 hours of video and a rating of 3.82 out of 5. My book “We need to talk about this” also fits within this topic.