Abstract 摘要

The four-principles approach to bioethics developed by Beauchamp and Childress in Principles of Biomedical Ethics is no doubt the most well known and influential example in the West of principle-based approaches to resolve ethical issues. The four principles are autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, and justice. This essay explores whether the four principles can be considered a universal core of morality that can be used in China to deal with current bioethical issues. It argues that although the four principles provide general guidelines, their implementation is much more complex. This essay attempts to show that Daoist thought, particularly Zhuangzi’s philosophy of life and death, conveys a certain sense of bioethics and carries profound moral implications that can overcome some of the limitations of principle-based ethics. The synthesis of the two traditions may help contemporary China to deal with various kinds of moral dilemmas. The Daoist notion of the interconnection among human beings and between human beings and nature challenges the Western idea of individualism and individual autonomy.

構建中國生命倫理學基本原則所秉持的根本方法應是整合。筆者認為,莊子的生命哲學思想與比徹姆 (Tom L. Beauchamp) 和丘卓斯(James F. Childress) 的生命倫理四原則從不同的角度,為這種整合提供了理論資源。