Vol 13, Iss 3 – Sep 2021

We are proud to present the September 2021 issue, the third issue of this year’s volume 13.

The contributions in this issue are a testament to the breadth of coverage to which the journal is committed. Thus, the article by Siraj on the working of the Human Organ Transplantation Act in Bangladesh is a good illustration of how to bring values-based analysis to law. In this example, an account is given of the Bangladeshi legal framework that was implemented in 1999 and recently reformed in 2018 to extend the living donor pool from immediate family to more extended family members. The analysis that is offered explores how far the law reform reflects the teachings of the Quran that encourage Muslims to be sympathetic to any member of humanity but recognises the particular value of saving the life of a family member. The paper also offers insights to the ethical dilemmas that arise from incentive schemes to donate, especially relating to support of post-operative care (or the lack thereof). 

The paper by Amin et al. explores the ethics and governance of the MyCohort Project in Malaysia that was established in 2005, and now represents the largest and most comprehensive resource of its kind in the country. This involves hundreds of thousands of human samples stored for research. The phenomenon of biobanking on this scale is now over two decades old, but the contribution of this paper – a particular focus for which the journal provides an outlet – is to juxtapose the experiences in Malaysia against the extensive discussions on biobanking in other countries and regions. Thus, while the ethical issues relating to biobanking are by now well-rehearsed, this paper nonetheless provides important insights from the Malaysian perspective.

In stark contrast to the previous two papers, the paper by Simkulet does not offer any particular insights from or about Asia. It is not designed to do so. Rather, it is a further illustration of the broad spectrum of bioethics scholarship that this journal seeks to support, including papers from all countries and with value to multi-cultural bioethical studies. In this article, Simkulet examines mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRTs) as these potentially implicate the classic non-identity problem in philosophy. The paper is valuable for its review of several attempts to address the problem and it is novel in its proposal of a solution. By these means, the journal is delighted to contribute to a long-standing debate in the field.

The final Original Article in this issue brings us back to the current pandemic crisis. This contribution by Chan asks questions about the core ethical values and concepts that are implicated by the advent of the pandemic and how bioethics might help to craft novel ways to address the same. In this particular article, Chan examines the possible role of reciprocal trust in designing and delivering effective COVID-19 responses. Defined as ‘…the trust that results when a party observes the actions of another and reconsiders one’s trust-related attitudes and subsequent behaviours based on those observations’, reciprocal trust is developed as a concept in this paper drawing on the experiences of South Korea and Taiwan as instances of this kind of trust in action. A synthesis approach is offered to learn lessons from these distinct experiences, and a defence is mounted as to how a greater commitment to reciprocal trust might be a way to reconcile better the need for on-going restrictive social measures with the due protection of individual freedoms and rights.

The last paper in this issue is an example of a Perspective Article. In the current instance, we re-published here – with minor amendments – a paper by Matsui et al. that was originally published in Japanese, and which proposes a model of core competencies for research ethics consultants. This particular service is particularly prevalent in the United States, and the comparative value of the paper is therefore self-evident beyond its own independent worth. Moreover, this kind of contribution reflects the journal’s commitment to capturing and demonstrating the value of bioethics in action both for professional training and for capacity building.

Our publisher Springer Nature allows you to read all articles online for free, even if you do not have a subscription to ABR – simply click on the title. Additionally:

  • Free2Read articles can be downloaded and printed as well, if you have a subscription.
  • Free or Open Access articles can be downloaded and printed, even without a subscription.
  • Our articles since 2018 are also accessible via PubMed Central (PMC), where they become Free Access after 12 months.

The copyright of Free2Read and Free Access articles is shared by Springer Nature and the National University of Singapore. The copyright of Open Access articles remains with the respective authors.

Editorial – Free Access
Meeting the Publishing Needs of the Bioethics Community
Graeme T. Laurie
September 2021 – 13(3): 279-282 – doi: 10.1007/s41649-021-00

Original Article – Free Access
The Human Organ Transplantation Act in Bangladesh: Towards Proper Family-Based Ethics and Law

Md. Sanwar Siraj
September 2021 – 13(3): 283-296 – doi: 10.1007/s41649-021-00170-6

Original Article – Free2Read
Current Status and Future Challenges of Biobank Research in Malaysia

Latifah Amin, Angelina Olesen, Zurina Mahadi, and Maznah Ibrahim
September 2021 – 13(3): 297-315 – doi: 10.1007/s41649-021-00171-5
Free Access from 1 Sep 2022 via PMC8245627

Original Article – Free2Read
Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques, the Non-Identity Problem, and Genetic Parenthood
William Simkulet
September 2021 – 13(3): 317-334 – doi: 10.1007/s41649-021-00176-0
Free Access from 1 Sep 2022 via PMC8245604

Original Article – Open Access
Reciprocal Trust as an Ethical Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Hui Yun Chan
September 2021 – 13(3): 335-354 – doi: 10.1007/s41649-021-00174-2

Perspective Article – Open Access
A Proposed Model of Core Competencies for Research Ethics Consultants

Kenji Matsui, Yusuke Inoue, Hiroaki Yanagawa, and Tadao Takano
September 2021 – 13(3): 355-370 – doi: 10.1007/s41649-021-00178-y

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