The interdisciplinarity of the issues of ethics and law of science and technology create a unique intersection of research fields also at the Central European University, where more and more students choose a topic in bioethical and scientific ethical issues for their MA or PhD theses at the Departments of Legal Studies, Political Science, and Gender Studies. Their interest in this interdisciplinary domain is indicative of the growing importance of this field of study.
This is why Central European University established the Center for Ethics and Law in Biomedicine in 2005. The Center shall assist scholars and students in their ongoing research and represent the University in international research consortia.
As the natural and medical sciences advance in an increasingly rapid pace, legislation is forced to keep up with an equally swift adoption of legal instruments. However, formulating an adequate legal policy is not an easy task as the contemporary ethical questions of science are much more complex than they were when the ethics of science as a discipline was born following the Second World War. At that time, bioethical norms were predominantly grounded upon human rights problems, and the most important legislative issue was the regulation of informed consent or the legal protection of the subjects of scientific experiments. Although these issues are still relevant today, the influence of the expanding pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries on them is still unexplored. The emerging scientific ethical problems require the development of a new, widely interdisciplinary expertise, since the new fields of science that are taking shape, such as genetics, reproductive medicine, stem cell research, are accessible only for a narrow scientific elite. At the same time, while birth and death are extensively medicalized in the economically developed countries, these events still pose grave, yet everyday challenges to the various social groups and individuals who might have vastly different ethical views. Contemporary medical technologies are capable of artificially expanding the human life-span, including keeping alive a fatally ill person for a long time––perhaps even against the wish of the dying person.
- to enhance research and establishment of multidisciplinary research teams in the field of bioethics, biomedical law and biotechnology
- to analyze current ethical dilemmas in the field of science and technology and to work out policy papers in the field
- to organize workshops with the invitation of outstanding international experts in the field.
Major Fields of Research
- Biomedical research
- Biotechnological inventions
- Ethics and Law of Psychiatry
- Genetic testing, screening
- Health care data
- GM Food
- Human embryo
- Human genetics
- Medically assisted reproduction
- Organ transplantation
- Patients’ rights
- Stem cell research
- Responsible Research and Innovation
- Women and health care