Olakšanje tjelesne boli i liječenje ozljeda, te napredovanje u istraživanjima uzročnika postojećih i otkrivanju novih bolesti pridonosilo je dominantnoj ulozi medicine u vladanju ljudskim tijelom. Suvremeni razvoj medicine i sve uža specijaliziranost unutar nje doprinijeli su da se promatraju i analiziraju dijelovi ljudskoga tijela, a ne čovjek u cjelini. Medicini i njezinim djelatnicima čovjek je postao važan kroz njegov djelomičan problem - kroz onaj dio tijela za koji su oni usko specijalizirani.
Na neodrživost takvog stanja ukazivali su filozofi, teolozi i pravnici, potom su im se pridružili i predstavnici drugih društvenih i humanističkih znanosti.
U rasprave o ljudskom tijelu uključili su se filozofi usredotočeni na pitanje odnosa tijela i osobnosti te primjene etičkih načela u odnosu prema tijelu; teolozi s gledištima o jedinstvu duše i tijela te uvjerenjima i vrijednostima koje iz tog jedinstva proizlaze; pravnici sa svojim stajalištima o pravu čovjeka da raspolaže svojim tijelom te pravu na prihvaćanje ili odbijanje medicinskog tretmana.
Razmatranje odnosa čovjeka prema svojem kao i tijelima drugih ljudi, zatim tjelesnog preživljavanja emocija, misli, stavova i uvjerenja te analiziranje različitih čimbenika društvene stvarnosti koji - također - utječu na čovjeka i njegovo tijelo proizvelo je dvostruki rezultat. Prvo, u medicinska stajališta o čovjeku i njegovom tijelu unesena su prijeko potrebna humanistička stajališta i gledišta, te drugo, potaknut je interdisciplinarni dijalog i angažman različitih profesija i zanimanja u traženju rješenja kojima bi se, od različitih zlouporaba, zaštitio čovjek i njegovo tijelo. Većina tih rješenja nalazi se i još uvijek traži u bioetičkom okruženju.
The relief of physical pain, treatment of wounds and progress made through research of existing and revealing of new diseases, contributed to the dominant role of medicine that rules the human body. The contemporary development of medicine and all the more narrow specialization within it brought to an observing and analysis of only parts of the human body, and not the entire human body. The human being became important to medicine and its practitioners through only a partial problem - A part of the body for which they specialize.
Philosophers, theologians; and lawyers all pointed out to this untenable condition, and were later joined by representatives of other social sciences and the humanities.
Philosophers concerned with issues on the relationship of the body and individuality and on the employment of ethical maxims concerning this matter, joined debates on the human body. Debates were also joined by theologians with viewpoints, beliefs and values on the unity of the soul and body; and lawyers with their standpoints on the rights of an individual to consent to or refuse medical treatment.
The relationship an individual has with his and the bodies of other people; physical experiencing of emotions, thoughts, standpoints and convictions; and analyzing of various factors of social reality which — also - influence the individual and his body, lead to a double result. First, medical standpoints on humans and their bodies were introduced with necessary humane standpoints and viewpoints; and second, an interdisciplinary dialogue and engagement of various professions and occupations was stimulated to seek solutions for the protection of an individual and his body from abuse. The bioethical environment offers most solutions.
To explain the main guidelines of the bioethical view of the human body, we need to do the following:
* State reasons why a mutual connection of the physical and spiritual was not as important to medicine until this relation brought into question the authority of medicine as a science and profession;
* Research and actualize thoughts and messages of philosophers which demanded observing the individual in whole;
* Consider contributions given by theologians contemplating on problems caused by the scientific-technological progress in the field of biomedicine and medicine, and
* Compare historical and contemporary legal standpoints on the human body.
The existence of a rationalist and empirical standpoint on the human body witnesses a different observing of the human body within medicine. Knowledge gained through research of the stature and functions of the human body influenced standpoint changes in theory and practice. Representatives of the rationalist stream held standpoints on the easy availability of data on illness and health. Believing the human body tο be a part of nature, they concluded that what occurs in the body emerges on its surface, or on the exterior of the body. Oppositely, the empirical standpoint connects the illness and injuries of the body to various life-styles. The progressing development of medical technology and use of its achievements in medical treatment and biomedical research will bring to the neglect, and often, oblivion of this standpoint. This continued almost until the appearance of bioethics.
The twentieth century computerization of medicine and employment of modern technology achievements (dialysis, electrocardiograms, new drugs, equipment and apparatus, and revolutionary surgeries), promoted the process of medical cure and treatment. This article takes as an example scientific achievements in medicine concerning organ and tissue transplantation. This is an issue that conceptually does not exclusively belong to medicine, but demands an equal involvement of scientists and experts of social and human sciences and professions. The research of philosophical standpoints on the individual and the human body presented viewpoints of Plato, Aristotle and Kant. It also pointed out the demand of contemporary philosophers to establish the philosophy of the bodya special philosophical field.
The appearance of ethical theology as a special discipline of theology, marked a field in theology for considering issues on the unbreakable unity of body and soul, as well as health and illness. In modern times ethical theology will reflect on issues brought up by the scientific-technological achievements for giving life, life and death. The article quotes contributions of Joseph Fletcher, Karl Rahner, James Gustafson and Paul Ramsey in the establishment of bioethics. Since the American National Advisory Commission1 for Bioethics opened a debate for religious groups in the U. S. A, this article takes it as an example to illustrate theologians' engagement with actual medical-ethical issues, which include the human embryo, researches on fetuses, genetic researches and cloning. The text represents then stated fundamental guidelines of Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Roman Catholic and Islamic religious beliefs on the mentioned issues.
»The body in legal regulations« is a part of the article that witnesses two approaches to the human body in legal regulations. Foucault describes the first approach in his book Supervision and punishment (the birth of prison). It witnesses the abuse and torture of the human body in certain moments of history. The second part points out the engagement of lawyers who search for legal solutions and regulations tο protect the human body and human rights in cases that arise specifically in medicine and in health.
The final part of the article titled »The body in bioeihics« studies and explains key guidelines of the bioethical view of relations to the human body. These are:
1. Pointing out how circumstances and causes of illness, concepts of health, recovery, illness, affection, incompetence, are factors which cause diseases and belong to different areas of reality and therefore demand of medicine a different relationship to man;
2. Turning attention to the inequality of patients in confront to physicians and other medical workers;
3. Insisting that medical treatment equally takes care of the body and individual,
4. Considering the individual patient and his/her right to be informed of his/her condition, to independently consent to or refuse an offered treatment or medical intervention and right of protection from possible malpractice;
5. Demanding a rightful distribution of the achievements of medical technology and search for criteria that would enable its distribution to those that need it the most.
The conclusion is that the pluralistic viewpoint, approaches to the human body in theory and practice and religious beliefs offered in this text point out to a demand for the confrontation of various knowledges, visions, values, and beliefs and considering of appropriate ethical standards.