ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bioethics, Medicine and Society: A Provocative Trilogy

Contemporary technological innovations and social developments have led to enormous changes in human fate and freedom. With ethical complexities and challenges emerging in modern medicine, bioethics seeks ways in which people in societies can work together under the provision of medical care and research. The argument is conducted by means of a brief history of bioethics. The field is supposed to provide an insight into the issues of moral community, and into how society understands political authority and its appropriate exercise. As a social movement, bioethics developed in the mid-20th century as a critical discourse, a response to felt inhumanities in the system of healthcare and biomedical research.

Emergence of 'Scientocracy'

Science administration in Victorian India mirrored colonial administrative policies in general - a top heavy structure as well as the existence of professional jealousies. Even after independence scientists took up administrative responsibilities, and committees became more important than classrooms. By this time, concepts of state science and state scientists had taken up a permanent place in the Indian system and psyche.

Developing a History of Science and Technology in South Asia

The development of a history of science, technology, environment and medicine (HISTEM) in south Asia has not merely to draw on different disciplines, but also has to shape its concerns from unique and divergent regional traditions and histories that prevail in the region. The south Asian techno-scientific tradition has largely been a syncretic one, evolving as a result of socio-politico and cultural interactions through the ages; the colonial experience too played its part. The appeal of HISTEM is therefore wider, it belongs to the mainstream of social and cultural debates in history.

Medical Encounters in British India, 1820-1920

Deepak Kumar Western medical discourse occupied an important place in the process of colonisation. It was a double-edged sword. Even while emphasising the intrinsic difference between the two cultures, it worked towards a scientific hegemony. Colonial hegemonisation precluded the possibility of interaction. Indigenous systems were so marginalised that their practitioners often sought survival in resistance rather than collaboration. This article documents the responses of Indian practitioners to western medicine, and the colonial discourse.

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