Chinese Beliefs on Foetal Life and Implications for Social Policies
Leiden, the Netherlands - The existence of different Chinese beliefs on foetal life bears a number of implications for China to make morally sound and culturally sensitive social policies of any foetus-related issues.
Lecture by Nie Jing-Bao (BMed, MMed, MA, PhD)
Associate Professor, Bioethics Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin New Zealand
The moral status of foetal life remains a central challenge in a wide range of public debates and personal dilemmas surrounding bioethics. A widespread myth inside and outside China holds that Chinese, as indicated in the general public silence on abortion, do not treat foetal life with much if any moral significance. Sociological and historical data drawing from an extensive filed work and enormous primary sources, however, provide with overwhelming information on the great diversity and often radical disagreements of Chinese people on abortion as well as foetal life. Although never yet publicly expressed, it is widely believed among Chinese that human life begins before birth, at conception in particular. The existence of different Chinese beliefs on foetal life bears a number of implications for China to make morally sound and culturally sensitive social policies of any foetus-related issues, including not only abortion and population control, but also brave new life sciences and biotechnologies.
This lecture is the first in the series 'Asian DNA at the Forefront' organised within the context of the ‘Socio-genetic Marginalisation Programme’ (SMAP) at IIAS.
18 September 2007
19.30 - 21.00 hrs
Leiden, the Netherlands
Ms Saskia Jans
International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS)
T +31-71 527 54 90
RSVP before 11 September 2007