Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 431–436 | Cite as

The features of a “Mediterranean” Bioethics

  • Salvino Leone
Scientific Contribution


Even if somebody considers inappropriate any geographic adjective for Bioethics, nevertheless we think that there are some specific features of “Mediterranean” Bioethics that could distinguish it from a “Northern-European and Northern-American” one. First of all we must consider that medical ethics was born and grew in Mediterranean area. First by the thought of great Greek philosophers as Aristotle (that analyse what ethics is), then by Hippocrates, the “father” of medical ethics. The ethical pattern of Aristotle was based on “virtues” and their practice. In this perspective we can already note a strong difference with actual North-European or American principialist ethics. But a second consideration concerns the role that great Mediterranean religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) had in the construction of the ethical thought especially on the matter of life and its respect. So, in our pluralistic and multicultural society is absolutely necessary to rescue an approach that considers both “lungs” of ethical thought (Mediterranean and Northern one) and highlights the role that Mediterranean Ethics still has in this way.


Hebraism Christianity Islam Right to life Greek philosophy Mediterranean Bioethics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Theological Faculty of SicilyInstitute of Bioethical Studies “S. Privitera”PalermoItaly

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