Bioethics concerns the relationships between biology, medicine, cybernetics, politics, law, ethics, philosophy, and theology. Disagreement exists about the proper scope for the application of ethical evaluation to questions involving biology. Some bioethicists would narrow ethical evaluation only to the morality of medical treatments or technological innovations, and the timing of medical treatment of humans. Other bioethicists would broaden the scope of ethical evaluation to include the morality of all actions that might help or harm organisms capable of feeling fear and pain. Bioethics involves many public policy questions that are often politicized-used to mobilize political constituencies.
Bioethics issues include:
* Abortion, reproductive rights
* Artificial insemination
* Artificial life
* Confidentiality of medical records and their abuse in interrogation of prisoners
* Direct mind-computer interface
* Donating one's sperm or eggs
* Donated organs when bought illegally (transplant trade)
* Fair allocation of donated organs, class and race biases
* Drug pricing, HIV/AIDs drugs in Sub-Saharan Africa
* Genetic engineering, genetically modified food crops
* Human cloning
* Medical torture
* Non-human animal cloning
* Treating infertility
* Obligations of the individual, corporate employer, local, sub-national or national state and global community to provide health care and/or health insurance.
* Primate rights under law
* Stem cell cloning
* Suicide, assisted suicide and human euthanasia
* Non-human animal euthanasia
* Pain management
* Population control
* Recreational drug use
* Scientific ignorance
* Selling one's own blood or blood plasma
* Spiritual drug use
* When to use, and when to withhold, life-support
* When to use, and when to withhold, artificial hydration and artificial nutrition
* Use of surrogate mothers
* Use of nanotechnology as medical treatment
* Use of artificial wombs
* Treating non-human animals
* Medical research on non-human animals
Bioethicists focus on using philosophy to help analyze said concerns, though bioethics is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary.
Religious bioethicists have developed rules and guidelines on how to deal with these issues from within the viewpoint of their respective faiths.
Some secular bioethicists are critical to the fact that these are usually religious scholars without an degree or training in disciplines that pertain to the issues, such as philosophy (wherein the study of ethics is usually found), biology or medicine.
Most religious bioethicists are Jewish or Christian scholars. However a small number of religious scholars from other religions have recently become involved in this field as well. Islamic clerics have begun to write on this topic. Muslim bioethicists include Abdulaziz Sachedina, at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. There has been some criticism by liberal Muslims that only the more religiously conservative voices in Islam are being heard on this issue. Buddhist bioethicists have focused much of their concern on organ transplantation.