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Bioethics networks and reproduction technologies: theoretical and methodological controversies - DOI: 10.3395/reciis.v1i2.87en

Author(s): Rosa Maria Leite Pedro | Júlio Cesar de Almeida Nobre

Journal: RECIIS - Electronic Journal of Communication, Information & Innovation in Health
ISSN 1981-6278

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 222;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Bioethics | reproduction biotechnologies | networks | controversy

The object of this paper is to discuss some of the theoretical and methodological controversies surrounding the emerging field of bioethics, especially focusing on reproduction biotechnologies, attempting to give some examples of its implications as a network of controversies. Initially, it presents the new reproduction biotechnologies in terms of the effect which they are producing on our understanding about human nature and life, as well as the context of the emergence of bioethics, traditionally conceived of as a critical and analytical example of the relationship between technology and humanity. As an alternative way of explaining these relationships, it outlines the aspect of bioethics as a network effect, in which the technology-society hybrid is shown both in the building of bioethical norms and in the instabilities which challenge these norms. As a way of understanding this heterogeneous and complex network, Controversy Analysis is proposed as a methodological tool. In order to illustrate the richness of such perspective, a brief empirical study is presented, in which an attempt is made to track controversies articulated around the relations between bioethics and reproduction biotechnologies, with a specific focus on stem cell research, as published by the on-line media from January of 2004 until July of 2006, raising questions about subjects such as: life, humanity, artifice and autonomy.
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