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South Med J. 2007 Jan;100(1):115-7.

Eye on religion: considering the influence of Buddhist and Shinto thought on contemporary Japanese bioethics.

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  • 1Center for Biomedical Ethics and Law, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Religious traditions can play a significant role in the shaping of bioethical thought. In Japan, traditional Buddhist and Shinto thought continue to influence contemporary bioethical perspectives. To better define this relationship, this paper examines the correlation between Japanese bioethical perspectives and Buddhist and Shinto thought. An in-depth discussion explores how Buddhist and Shinto scholars have used fundamental concepts with each religious tradition to agree and disagree with the disclosure of an incurable disease to a patient, brain death, and brain-dead organ transplantation.

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