Ethics and The Treaty of Waitangi

Sharron Cole
Issue 1, August 2000

The Treaty of Waitangi is regarded as the founding document of New Zealand. In signing the Treaty the Crown agreed that, within our society, the values and traditions of both cultures (Māori and British) would be reflected in society's customs, laws, practices and institutional arrangements. There was also an agreement to share control of resources and decision-making. The Treaty guarantees Māori equal status and power within New Zealand society, and it also legitimates the rights of Pakeha New Zealanders. This concept was explained by Judge Eddie Durie at his Waitangi Day address in 1989: the Treaty of Waitangi is not just a Bill of Rights for Māori. It is a Bill of Rights for Pakeha too. It is the Treaty that gives Pakeha the right to be here. Without the Treaty there would be no lawful authority for the Pakeha presence in this part of the South Pacific. The Pakeha are the Tangata Tiriti, those who belong to the land by right of that Treaty.

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Editorial: Bioethics and Poverty

Michael McCabe
Issue 2, November 2000

"Fear ... has a definite object ... which can be faced, analyzed, attacked, endured. One can act upon it, and in acting upon it participate in it – even if in the form of struggle. Courage can meet every object of fear, because it is an object and makes participation possible... One could say that as long as there is an object of fear love in the sense of participation can conquer fear."

—Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be

A foundational insight of the interdisciplinary science of bioethics has been the belief that no single discipline was considered adequate to address the challenges brought about by the rapid development in medical technology and by a growing awareness of individual rights and the potential for the abuse of these rights. An interdisciplinary approach enables an appreciation of the fact that ethical issues centre on competing goods. Equally, it provides a richer context for debate on the complex issues in healthcare and the life sciences. Nevertheless, it is still relatively easy in bioethics to lose sight of the person so much so that the individual can appear quite isolated and removed from any ethical discussion.

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Editorial: Bioethics and Decision Making

Michael McCabe
Issue 3, April 2001

Making decisions about the use of biotechnologies has become increasingly complex. The speed of technological development is tending to overwhelm our moral and ethical decision making.

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"When is a rose not a rose?" : Reflections on Moral Decision Making

John Kleinsman
Issue 3, April 2001

We live in a time of increasing complexity, some would even say "chaos." Quantum technological advances are for the first time enabling us to envisage such possibilities as human cloning and designer organs, possibilities hitherto only dreamed of. In the light of these developments we are confronting questions and challenges never before faced by the human race. Yet, somewhat paradoxically, it is my perception that many people remain very certain about their judgements of what is right and wrong. Why is this?

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