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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


FIGUEROA C, Gustavo. Is bioethics Circe, the enchantress of medicine?. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2001, vol.129, n.2, pp.209-217. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Recent development in the biomedical fields have led to considerable moral perplexity, about the rights and duties of health professionals, patients and research subjects. Since about 1970 bioethics have become involved in an ongoing discussion of the complex ethical issues raised by these developments. Objective: To review the precise relationship between Nietzsche’s ontology and an eventual bioethics. Method: The author intends to give a picture of how ontological factors have influenced the beginnings of bioethics. Results: Ethics for Nietzsche symbolizes Circe, the enchantress in Homer’s Odyssey. Nietzsche’s task is to proclaim the emptiness (devaluation) of all traditional values, thus soliciting a rejection of them. But bioethics must not be content with merely replacing the old values by new ones. v.g. by filling the place left by the supreme values. Conclusions: Despite the efforts to overcome technicity, bioethics remains locked in the subject-ism of which technicity is but a consequence. Nietzsche’s special insight is to perceive that the interpretation of beings currenthy prevalent is valueless, for it is an interpretation that has returned to values that are precisely without an value at all (Rev Méd Chile 2001; 129: 209-17).

Keywords : Bioethics; Education, medical; Ethics, medical.

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