Original Research

Respect for cultural diversity as a global bioethical principle. Own reasons from a Protestant perspective

Riaan A.L. Rheeder
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4705 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4705 | © 2017 Riaan A.L. Rheeder | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 June 2017 | Published: 22 November 2017

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Riaan A.L. Rheeder, Faculty of Theology, North-west University, South Africa

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In the development and acceptance of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights, the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) did not involve the Protestant faith tradition in the consultation process (other traditions were indeed consulted). This brings the universality (UNESCO perspective) as well as the acceptability of the Declaration and its principles (democratic perspective) into question. In order to address this issue, it is necessary to involve the Protestant tradition in the discourse by presenting own reasons that support the universal principles in the Declaration (theological perspective). This discourse has shown that respect for cultural diversity, pluralism and the priority of universal shared values can be grounded from a Trinitarian perspective; therefore, the appeal of the Declaration to consider this principle seriously in the field of bioethics can be supported by the Protestant religious tradition.


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