>The United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization has unanimously approved a declaration on Human Rights and bioethics.
The bulk of criticism about the Declaration has been about the ambiguity of the term, “human dignity.” Humans are the only species debating “dignity” and “rights,” so all of our children, out of respect for the dignity of the species, are deserving of being treated with the “Golden Rule,” as though they have “human dignity.” In the US, especially, we are governed under documents based on our Declaration of Independence, which states that we are created with certain rights – no one can give or take away our rights.
As to “rights,” I prefer the explanation by Bastiat, in his Law.
From the UNESCO press release:
The first principle established by the Declaration is the respect of human dignity and human rights, with an emphasis on the following two points: “The interests and welfare of the individual should have priority over the sole interest of science or society.” and “If the application of the principles of this Declaration is to be limited, it should be by law, including laws in the interests of public safety, for the investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences, for the protection of public health or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. Any such law needs to be consistent with international human rights law.”
In these days of global concern about avian flu, when our pharmaceutical companies can afford to conduct experiments in third world countries where poverty and lack of access to medical care can come close to coercion in themselves, and when we are called to recognize the plurality of morals and cultures, I believe that it is vital to treat each human life without discrimination.