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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Happiness and Unhappiness in Bioethical Questions: Decision Making for Organ Donation and Organ Transplantation in Germany and in Japan

 February 2014 - November 0001

Health and cultural differences are central issues not only for happiness research but also for bio-ethics. Happiness research in the social sciences has influenced the discussion on philosophy and ethics. For instance, eversince Kant dealt with the ethics of virtue happiness became an important issue in German philosophy.

The present project about “happiness” in bioethical discussions in Japan and Germany will supplement hitherto largely quantitative happiness research with a qualitative perspective. Hermeneutic studies on bioethical problems in the medical sciences and practice in the two countries will contribute to the “Universalism vs. Relativism” debate and to a deeper understanding of what happiness in present-day society involves.

Specifically, the political and ethical discourse about organ donation and transplantation after the revision of laws (in Germany 2012, in Japan 2009) will be analyzed. The ongoing discussion on euthanasia in both countries is another relevant issue. To avoid a single-edged discussion solely about the end of life, happiness and life satisfaction related to reproductive medicine will also be considered. Since bioethics is an interdisciplinary and practice oriented field, theoretical arguments will be supported by empirical research in the form of interviews and observations.



Miki Aoyama-Olschina (until April 2016)
Philosophy, Japanese Studies