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22 Pages

Hindu Bioethics

ByCromwell Crawford

Three features of Hindu bioethics set it apart from other approaches to bioethics, both religious and secular: (1) its connection to a particular form of medicine, Ayurveda; (2) its philosophic grounding; and (3) its ethical orientation. While Hinduism shares with most faith traditions a positive attitude toward medicine and the healing arts, Hinduism is distinctive because it has its own system of medicine known as Ayurveda, based on medical manuals that comment directly on health issues. Hinduism includes diverse philosophical schools of thought, such as Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisesika, and Vedanta, that are attuned to matters of medical inquiry and are suited to the demands of our pluralistic age. The contextual structure of the Hindu approach to ethics gives it the flexibility and adaptability necessary for thinking about bioethical dilemmas.