Bioethical Implications of Globalisation
Delphi Questionnaire

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Globalisation means rapid and largely unrestricted flows of information, ideas, cultural values, capital, goods and services, and people. International economic dynamics, the spread of new technology, and the increasing mobility of people are shaping the world. This growing interdependence has meant that there are also new ethical challenges that require new policies and perspectives and this state of affairs has been dramatically complicated after 9/11 by the war against terrorism. In section A we want to know your general understanding of globalisation and its trends. We are submitting you three scenarios built on the basis of the US National Intelligence Council’s document: Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Nongovernment Experts, one of the most influential foresight exercise carried out on globalisation in the last 5 years. Please choose the scenario closest to your views , or, in alternative, sketch your own scenario by making use also of elements of the other three scenarios (no more than 200 words).
Human mobility is a special feature of contemporary globalisation. Two major trends in the movement of people characterizes our era —urbanization and cross-border migration—each of which poses both opportunities and challenges. The expansion of mobility alters our concepts of space and time. Rapid transportation across space and through time brings out the fluidity of conventional boundaries and borders. New communications technologies – internet, mobile phones, television – create imagined, virtual, and actual mobility by providing nearly instant access to information, storage, and retrieval. Immigration, migration, tourism, asylum seekers, guest workers, and illegal aliens have challenged conventional notions of residence and citizenship. The volume of modern migration across borders, both legal and illegal, has generated major cultural, political, and health problems. In this section we want to know your opinion on some major challenges posed by global human mobility.
Technology drives globalisation and is driven by globalisation. The technology that has driven the rapid globalisation of trade - information technology - may also be used to improve global health. The products and services of the health care information technology industry can make a significant contribution to global health. The recent millennium assembly of the United Nations emphasised this in its statement on the right of access to information and communication. The convergences of bio-technology and information technology can, however, also results in a dramatic divide between rich and poor countries.
In economic terms, globalization is understood as an increase in liberalization of trade, such as removal of import restrictions and tariffs, removal of restrictions on trade in services and linking trade sanctions to protection of intellectual property rights. The question then is what impact these measures have on population health. One of the main challenges is how one should balance legitimate concerns about removing trade restrictions that would impede economic growth, and thereby health status, and legitimate concerns about how liberalization of trade will affect health status adversely, in particular among disadvantaged groups.
After 9/11 globalisation has been challenged by new conflicts stemming from religious and ethnic disputes. Terrorism, and more particularly transnational terrorist networks, is frequently categorized as one element of "uncivil society" or a key feature of the "dark side of globalization”. In the words of UN General Secretary Kofi Annan, networks of terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime are all forces of "uncivil society" engendered by globalization. The forces that made possible the emergence of a global civil society also, unfortunately, facilitate the transnationalization of "uncivil" elements. Terrorists, traffickers in drugs, women and children, and organized crime utilize global networks and flows for their own ends. Technology is still the key feature of this side of globalisation.