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Abstract 摘要

Chinese traditional Confucian ethics recognizes the fundamental importance of the family. Appropriate blood-tie relationships have become a major concern in Chinese marriages and family life. As the Confucian ethical tradition has been established for thousands of years, the core values and meanings of Confucian family ethics are implicit in Chinese life and embodied in everyday activities. The family has been taken as a foundation of the state, and family regulation has been taken as an indispensable element in the Confucian societal ideal of “personal cultivation, family regulation, state governance, and the whole world made peaceful.”

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has benefitted Chinese families who have difficulty conceiving naturally. However, it also poses severe challenges to the traditional model of marriage and family relations according to Confucian ethics. The first challenge is that ART causes a separation between reproduction and marriage – gametes from a person outside of the marriage could be used to procreate children, which presents the grave risk of changing the blood-tie-based structure of the family. We must also face the second challenge posed by ART, which is that the application of such technology may inflict harm to the child thus conceived. There have already been Chinese cases involving disputes over who should be considered the legitimate parents of the children conceived through ART. Such cases are enormously controversial and the children are put into quite vulnerable situations.

From the perspective of traditional Confucian ethics, Chinese society should be very cautious in applying ART. We should recognize that the problems of infertility involve complicated psychological and social factors that cannot entirely be solved by using advance technology. Moreover, necessary laws and regulations should be formulated according to proper Chinese ethical views that reflect traditional Confucian family ethics. It would be helpful to set up hospital ethics committees to provide consultancy and advice in difficult cases. In short, it is essential to understand the ethical problems involved in the application of ART and to promote a positive interaction and coordination of reproductive technology and Chinese bioethics.

以家庭為本位,以血緣關係為紐帶是把握中國傳統的儒家倫理觀和婚姻觀的兩條主線。經過千百年文化積澱,傳統儒家倫理的核心價值和人倫精義早已融入廣大民眾的日常生活和觀念世界,並通過多種多樣的民俗、風俗或習俗得以流傳和積澱,潛移默化地影響和左右人們的觀念與行為。在全球一體化的新世紀,以輔助生殖技術為代表的現代醫療技術在為人類帶來福音的同時,也以前所未有的力量衝擊著傳統的儒家倫理觀念,向傳統的婚姻和家庭關係提出最嚴峻的挑戰。因此,從傳統儒家倫理的視角,理性地審視中國傳統倫理社會的深層本質和家庭婚姻觀念,有助於深化人們對輔助生殖技術倫理問題的認識,促進科學技術與生命倫理的良性互動和協調發展,從而使人類的生殖和繁衍更加科學。

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