Chuyuan Qiu

Abstract 摘要

Head transplant surgery has aroused extensive concerns in the field of biomedical ethics since it was put on the clinical medicine agenda a few years ago. This paper shows that analyzing the ethical controversy over head transplant surgery from the perspective of Confucianism not only helps to avoid the intuitive disgust at “Frankenstein” medical action from a Western tradition, but also provides an innovative perspective different from the instrumentalist rationality and individualism that prevails in Western thought. Under the guidance of the Confucian Principle of Life, people must respect the lives of others and should regard the body and mind as comprising an integrated life. From the Confucian viewpoint, the self is part of the transmission of family generations, which means that one should consider the place the self in one’s family network when making ethical decisions. As stated previously, these cultural and intellectual Confucian views constitute a useful framework through which Confucian bioethics can respond to the ethical controversy generated by head transplant surgery.