The Chinese University of Hong Kong Centre for Bioethics is committed to education, research, and collaboration in bioethics, at a time when new developments in biotechnology are having a profound social impact globally. It takes a broad approach to bioethics, looking at the ethics of clinical practice, biomedical research, animal ethics, environmental ethics, and professional ethics, always around a core principle of respect for persons. Geography and Hong Kong’s status as a world city have played a key role in shaping the centre’s approach to key issues in bioethics. Hong Kong has economic, social, and demographic features in common with great cities around the world, as well as a civilizational legacy from China and its contemporary character as the most international of China’s cities. The CUHK Centre for Bioethics will explore opportunities for mutual learning in managing ethical issues reflecting its role as a gateway between East and West as well as its urban character. Almost by definition, cities are at the forefront of biotechnology research because of the concentration of people and resources they represent. At the same time, Hong Kong’s location at one of the great hubs of communication, transport, and commerce within Asia offers natural advantages in collaboration with the emerging bioethics communities in China, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and beyond.
The new Centre’s home is the Medical Faculty of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Founded in 1981, it is one of Hong Kong’s leading institutions in medical research and education, with an annual intake of over 500 students across schools of medicine and surgery, pharmacy, public health, nursing, and Chinese medicine. Starting in 2015, all health sciences undergraduates will be required to enroll in a core curriculum in bioethics, with the new CUHK Centre for Bioethics leading the development of cutting edge pedagogy as well as research and collaboration with other bioethics centres around the world.