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Bioethics and Self-Governance: The Lessons of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights

Bioethics and Self-Governance: The Lessons of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights

Abstract

The following article analyzes the process of conception, elaboration, and adoption of the Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights, and reflects on the lessons it might hold for public bioethics on the international level. The author was involved in the process at a variety of levels: he provided advice to the IBC on behalf of the President's Council of Bioethics; he served as the U.S. representative to UNESCO's Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee; and led the U.S. Delegation in the multilateral negotiation of Government experts that culminated in the adoption of the declaration in its final form. The author is currently serving a 4-year term as a member of UNESCO's International Bioethics Committee.
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