Is bioethics meaningless in conflict zones?

Julian Sheather

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2019.068


In his reflections on The meaninglessness of doing bioethics: Reality check from a conflict zone, Aamir Jafarey sharply criticises the role of both academic bioethicists, and the “bioethics discourse” more broadly, in their attempts to bring action-guiding ethical reflection to conflict zones. He describes the provision of bioethics workshops for researchers in conflict zones as little more than meaningless, self-serving academic exercises. Drawing on his recent experience of a bioethics workshop involving researchers from Gaza and the West Bank, he writes, damningly, that bioethics “looks more like an esoteric philosophical exercise for academics sitting in comfortable conference rooms in faraway luxury hotels, rather than an instrument to protect the vulnerable.”

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