The Unit for Bioethics is an inter-disciplinary research and advisory body that concerns itself with the problems which arise from the application of ethical norms to decision-making practices in the research and therapeutic procedures of modern science, medicine and biotechnology. The Unit is (together with the Units for Business Ethics and Environmental Ethics) part of the Centre for Applied Ethics, which provides services and research in the field of ethics, focussing on the wide array of ethical questions arising from rapid and far reaching developments in the areas of business, the environment and medicine. Administratively it is seated in the Philosophy Department of the University of Stellenbosch.
In accordance with the aims of the Centre for Applied Ethics, the Unit for Bioethics focuses its activities on the examination, discussion and formulation of solutions to those ethical questions that exist as a result of the continuous and rapid progress in the medical and other bio-sciences. Attention is particularly paid to socially relevant issues, such as the distribution of health care, abortion and AIDS.
The Unit has the special aim to function as an inter-disciplinary body, coordinating the research done by various other departments and bodies into an organized forum for discussion. As such, the Unit strives to stimulate further discussion and research, which would lead to concrete results that should be of worth to organisations concerned with the formulation and application of health care policies.