Buddhist Bioethics Prospects

This entry has offered an overview of the relationship between Buddhist ideas and bioethical issues. The fundamental logic introduced concerning abortion, for example, also pertains to Buddhist discussions of other bioethical dilemmas. Most likely, ongoing Theravada and Mahayana debates over the morality of euthanasia or human cloning will also pivot on concepts of nonharm and compassion.

At least three areas remain for further study that will undoubtedly raise new and important questions about Buddhist bioethics. First, the Buddhist textual record that currently exists represents mostly the views of Buddhist males. What are the ethical perspectives, both past and present, of Buddhist women? Do Buddhist women have different views of bioethical issues than men? Second, as medical technology continues to impact traditionally Buddhist cultures, what new conflicts and challenges will emerge? Finally, in what ways will Western Buddhist (for instance, American Buddhist) syntheses of bioethical issues impact traditional Buddhist bioethics?

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