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  • The Role of Bioethics in Armenia:An Overview
  • Karen Ghazaryan (bio) and Susanna Davtyan (bio)

The development of a modern democratic community is impossible without the provision of close cooperation between the system of human rights and fundamental freedoms with bioethical principles and norms. In its origin, realisation and formulation, the history of human rights can be divided into generations. Civil and political rights constitute the first generation, being the oldest generation of universally recognised human rights. Socio-economic rights form the second generation. Collective or solidarity rights can be considered the third generation, and an extraordinarily wide range of human rights make up the fourth generation which is realised in the sphere of bioethics.

In today’s world, the tendency is for modern healthcare development, biomedical technologies and scientific investigations to be connected with the control of ethical norms and human rights observance. Bioethical issues have an expressive disciplined character, with the participation of physicians, biologists, ecologists, philosophers, jurists and religious representatives. Generalising scientific, social and religious views, national peculiarities and traditions, they create integrity of national principles, norms and rules, which they follow in their professional activities. Of special importance are those principles that are consolidated with legislative acts and find reflection in international conventions, declarations and charters. In the course of time, these principles, norms and rules change in accordance with socio-economic transformations in the social condition, state politics and public opinion. This is particularly so in this period of the formation of a system of new relations, democratic community development in our countries, the commercialisation of healthcare and its inclusion in the open market, and the emergence of ethical dilemmas connected with modern [End Page 425] developments in science. Medicine and the health industry need greater moralethic and legal regulation in the allocation and separation of healthcare resources.

The core conception of human rights is the protection of human dignity. Bioethics puts the human being at the centre, being based on respect for each human being’s life and dignity, whose interests must stand above the interests of science and community. This norm, confirming a person’s welfare over the interests of science and community, has become fundamental in all international documents today and is the basis on which ethic and legal regulation of medical practice and experiments on human beings are implemented. The balance between personal and general interests is rather difficult to maintain, and a significant shift on any side can lead to the disintegration of this balance to the detriment of either side.

Human rights are inseparable and interconnected. We can distinguish between different measurements and categories of human rights, the implementation of which is provided on a state level. Legal rights are the minimal realisation of human demands protected by the state, the satisfaction of which can provide for the survival and development of an individual, and consequently the community. For this reason, all human rights are specifically formulated in the legislation. The main function of the state is the defence of its citizens’ rights. Human rights, formulated in the legislation, are not maximal and optimal but minimal standards of civilised inter-human relations. It is the expression of human beings’ claims on the state, as physical and juridical persons, the realisation of which provides some guarantee to their survival and progress. Each human right is an additional factor, an additional possibility of his/her safety and welfare growth. The direction of a nation’s health protection and the provision of conditions are the indicators of the moral politics of the state and one of the most important conditions of its preservation and development.

The community on the whole and each human being in particular must take an interest in the observance of human rights, which should be regulated by law and be rigidly controlled. The realisation of the right to health on all levels of the community presupposes possession of information from the institutions that implement such human rights. Citizens’ possession of information about the rewards and shortcomings of the national healthcare system and the responsibilities at each level of the system is as important as the duty of the state in the provision of this right. Citizens’ willingness to...


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pp. 425-432
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2017
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