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Infants, Paternalism, And Bioethics: Japan’s Grasp Of Jonas’s Insistence On Intergenerational Responsibility

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Chapter Summary

To be charged with holding views that are ?paternalistic? has been something that thinkers in Europe and America have been eager to avoid for decades. Bioethicists have been especially sensitive to it. This chapter scrutinizes Richard Wolin?s claim of paternalism in Hans Jonas. But the author will do so in a roundabout way-specifically by first paying some attention to how ethicists and bioethicists in Japan have looked at this matter. Jonas?s work is fairly well known in Japan and, at least from how the author see things, deemed far more important there than in North America to persons doing ethics. The very existence of children and their presence as patients within our medical settings, however, put a serious strain on this theory. Infants give instant trouble to the notion that the principle of autonomy should have sovereign rule.

Keywords: bioethics; Hans Jonas; infant; Japan; North America; paternalism



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