Med.Inter.Rev. 2014, 103, 117-121.

Why we need intercultural medical ethics today – pleading for intercultural reflexion and discussion of ethical norms after the earthquake in Haiti 2010.
Warum wir heute eine interkulturelle Medizinethik brauchen- ein Plädoyer für die Notwendigkeit einer neuen interkulturellen Normenreflexion und Diskussion nach dem Erdbeben in Haiti 2010.


1.Lungen – und Thoraxzentrum Bamberg, Sozialstiftung Bamberg, Buger Str. 80, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
2.Hospital General, Department d´Anestesiologie, Les Cayes, Haiti
3.Hospital Universitaire, Department de Chirurgie, Mirbalais, Haiti
4.Institut für Philosophie der Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg, Josef-Stangl Platz, 97084 Würzburg,Germany


Intercultural medical ethics are a new, necessary approach in ethics, as the example of Haiti dramatically showed during the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake in 2010. For the search term « intercultural ethics » no hits are found in Google. Intercultural ethics are not meant to be a new kind of specialized or universal ethics, but are considered to be an immanent part of general ethical thinking and cover both systematical thoughtful reflexion and analysis of significant ethical subjects in medicine. At the same time it acknowledges and highly esteems interculturally different starting points, ways of thinking and living forms. Intercultural medical ethics respect explicitly a pluralism of moral values and counteracts moral relativism. The central reference is instead represented by anthropology and therefore the individual human being. It’s main instrument is communication (discourse ethics) on the same level. Intercultural medical ethics proceed from the participation of all in human existence and human dignity and do not call for one-sided reflexion, but positively, for responsible action.

Keywords: intercultural medical ethics, intercultural discussion and reflexion of ethical norms, human dignity, responsibility, discourse ethics


Original language: German