Original Research - Special Collection: Virtual Ecclesiology

Respect for privacy and confidentiality as a global bioethical principle: Own reasons from a Protestant perspective

Adriaan L. Rheeder
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 52, No 3 | a2316 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v52i3.2316 | © 2018 Adriaan L. Rheeder | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 August 2017 | Published: 14 June 2018

About the author(s)

Adriaan L. Rheeder, School of Church Sciences, North-West University, South Africa


In the development and acceptance of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (UDBHR or also refer to as ‘the Declaration’), the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) did not involve the Protestant faith tradition in the consultation process (other traditions were consulted). This given brings the universality (UNESCO perspective) as well as the acceptability of the Declaration and its principles (democratic perspective) into question. In order to address this issue, it is necessary to involve the Protestant tradition in the discourse by presenting own reasons that support the universal principles in the Declaration (theological perspective). This discourse shows that respect for privacy and confidentiality as universal shared values can be grounded from a theological perspective. Therefore, the appeal of the Declaration to consider this principle seriously in the field of bioethics can be supported by the Protestant religious tradition.


Privacy; Confidentiality; Universal bioethics; Universal God; Hidden God; Revealing God


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