The schedule of The Third International Conference on Bioethics, Multiculturalism and Religion has been finalized. The events will take place from Dec 2-7, 2013 in the metroplis of Hong Kong. Download PDF See list of speakers.
On the evening of Dec 2, there will be the inauguration ceremony of the conference at Hong Kong Baptist University, with welcoming address of the president and dean of the university, the director of UNESCO Chair as well as local government officials. This will be followed by a Public symposium with Panel of Five Religions Representatives on “The meaning of Human Rights and Family”. Religious leaders from Catholic, Daoist, Islamic, Protestant and Buddhist traditions will present their views.
On the evening of Dec. 4, there will be another public conference on Human Rights and the Family, with Prof. Thomas Leing and Prof. Kai Man Kwan speaking and chaired by Dr. Denis Chang and Fr. Joseph Tham. Poster for both events Registration
The Workshop will take place from Dec 3-5 where experts from seven religious groups will discuss the question of human rights and cultural diversity in bioethics. Download poster
Read the papers
At the same time, the winners of the Bioethics Art Competition will be exhibited at the publicsymbosiums of Dec 2 and 4 at the HK Baptist University. An additional exhibit will take place at the Gallery by the Harbour of the Harbour City Shopping Mall from Dec 6-8. The inauguration and prize giving ceremony will take place on Dec 7 afternoon.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 October 2013 16:16
Where will this century’s most pressing questions take you?
This question propelled the UNESCO Chair’s launch of its first Atlanta lecture series this past September 3-6th, led by UNESCO Chairholder, Professor Alberto Garcia. From Atlanta’s oldest hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital, to Emory University’s Center for Ethics, to two local high schools, Prof. Garcia fostered a world-class whirlwind of forums.
The first day of the tour kicked off with St. Joseph’s, which following its founding in 1880 by the Sisters of Mercy to serve neglected patients, grew to become one of the top specialty-referral hospitals in Southeast America and teaching hospital affiliate of Emory University.
Over 50 physicians, allied health professionals, and volunteers crowded St. Joseph’s conference room for the lecture on what one hospital volunteer described as, “critical work that must continue for our patients.” Prof. Garcia presented the growingimplications of recent neuroscientific findings and practical ethical tools to betterunderstand the person and thus address growing challenges for patients’ health, identity, and safety.
“We need a realistic approach to human rights as fundamental goods of every person that we should recognize, respect and guarantee...because human dignity derives not primarily from the complexity of our biological structures, but from our condition of persons and subjects of rights,” Prof. Garcia concluded the Ethics Rounds.
The tour then surged into Emory University’s Center for Ethics where Prof. Garica taught a graduate course on human rights and multiculturalism, before plunging into the city’s heart with Emory’s Aquinas Center-sponsored businessperson luncheon, and finally culminating in the classrooms of 165 students at St. Pius X Catholic High School and 124 students at Pinecrest Academy.
“This is what our UNESCO Chair is about,” noted the Chair’s U.S. Executive Director and Atlanta resident, Michael Gannon, “creating forums of dialogue with leading thought leaders ranging from corporate executives, to hospital ethics committee physicians to Emory-based Jewish, Catholic, and secular bioethicists to high school artists. By fostering the art of convergence and cooperation in global ethics, our scholars cross the globe uniting diverse communities on some of the most critical questions about man in the 21st century.”
Is it possible to reconcile cultural and religious diversity and Global Bioethics? Are the competing claims of various wisdom traditions so diverse as to render meaningful dialogue on key bioethics questions meaningless?
On Thursday August 29, Prof. Alberto Garcìa JD shared his experience of finding ethical convergence as a head of the UNESCO Chair of Bioethics and Human Rights with the students at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. He insisted that it was possible to acknowledge the uniqueness of the Catholic approach to bioethics without neglecting the universal vocation of bioethics to help all men.
He also noted that the life sciences and medicine quickly become dehumanized when bioethical reflection is excluded. The Church shows great willingness to collaborate with others in the common cause of recognize, promotion and protecting human rights through her involvement in international organizations like the United Nation.
Garcìa noted that a truly healthy global bioethics is not one in which faith is excluded as a threat to dialogue. Rather, a robust bioethics should offer a synthesis of faith and reason capable of addressing the complex issues of our time in union with all men of good will.
The UNESCO Chair of Bioethics and Human Rights was proud to join the Regina Apostolorum School of Bioethics in presenting the 2013 international summer course of bioethics from July 1-14 in Rome, Italy. This year´s annual event was named “Bioethics at the Crossroads of Faith, Reason and Science.”
Doctors, professors and lawyers travelled from Italy, the United States, Mexico, Nigeria and other countries to share their experience applying bioethical principles in their given profession. Conferences were offered in English, Spanish and Italian, with simultaneous translation to accommodate the diversity of the group. Group activities and common meals fostered lively discussion of the conference material between scheduled presentations.
Diversity of language, culture and religion marked enriched the group united by a common interest in bioethics. For instance, representatives of the Judaic and Islamic traditions explained how their respective religious traditions confront modern bioethical challenges. Moreover, representatives of the Asia and Africa shared the contributions of their continent to the global bioethical concerns that extend well beyond Europe.
Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, offered a keynote address that transmitted effectively his zeal for the progress of sound bioethical reflection. The presentations that followed during the first week examined the distinction between the disciplines of empirical science, philosophy and theology and the pressing need to achieve a bioethics vision that synthesizes the insights of each mode of knowledge.
The second week began with the presence of Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, president emeritus of the Pontifical Academy of Life and renowned as one of the first major figures of modern bioethical thought. The presentations of the week examined how the interdisciplinary vision of bioethics developed in the first week could address specific contemporary bioethical discussions, such as organ transplants and “transhumanism.”
In preparation for the 20th session of the International Bioethics Committee in Seoul (Korea) this June 19th to 21st, 2013, UNESCO has released a short film on the new risks of discrimination in the field of biomedicine.
The diverse themes of biobanks, access to medicinal drugs, transplant and organ trafficking, neuroscience, HIV/AIDS and nanotechnologies are considered in light of the principle of non-discrimination and non-stigmatization as enumerated in Article 11 of the 2005 Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. The IBC will likely publish a report on these issues at the conclusion of its upcoming meeting.
The UNESCO Chair of Bioethics and Human Rights founded in 2009 at University of Europe in Rome is honored to join 10 other UNESCO chairs of bioethics in the celebration of 20 years of bioethics at UNESCO.
Click the image above to watch the video.
The UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights is proud to announce the winners of its 2013 Bioethics Art Competition. A best of show was chosen from among five winners in the international competition’s three categories. Clicking on the categories below will allow you to view the winning pieces along with the artist’s description of his work.
Best of Show: Giovanni Gasparro
Winners: Eric Carson, Andrea Colella,
Carmelo Maria Carollo, Giacomo Rizzo
Best of Show: Ben DeSoto
Winners: Joni Kabana, Barbara Doran, Jerry Galea, Carlo Paluzzi
Best of Show: Ka Wun Cheung
Winners: Eileen Hwang, John McCabe,
Emma Meyler, Theresa Reed
This exhibit will be on display at the Third International Bioethics, Multiculturalism
and Religion Workshop and Conference, December 3-5 in Hong Kong and several more venues soon to be announced.
UNESCO Chair Fellow Fr. Joseph Tham, LC participated in a conference on “SARS epidemic: ethical reflection and prospects”
in Hong Kong on September 7, 2013. The 2003 global epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome was particularly devastating in Hong Kong. About 1800 people were infected, 300 of whom died, including 8 medical personnel. The Bioethics Resource Centre of the Catholic Diocesan Committee for Bioethics of Hong Kong organized the education event with the sponsorship of different hospitals, nursing and doctor guilds.
Fr. Tham spoke on the challenges medical personnel face in risking their own lives to save the lives of those suffering disease. He organized his presentation according to four major paradigms of the doctor-patient relationship used to understand healthcare delivery to SARS victims.
Military- Doctors and nurses are considered front-line soldiers defending the citizens from the plight of the SARS disease. They see themselves as specially trained to win this battle against the enemy, and sometimes have to sacrifice themselves in this struggle.
Profession- This model emphasizes the duty of physicians and nurses to serve the public. In emergency situations, similar to police or firefighters, abandonment would be considered unacceptable and violate the code of professional conduct.
Legal / Business- Here, the relationship becomes one of provider and client, bound by a reestablished contract, with tendency towards utilitarian calculation and possible lawsuits. In this scenario, healthcare workers may opt not to put themselves and their families at risk.
Vocation / Mission- Doctors and nurses receive a special calling and their duty is not merely professional but also something more. According to Edmund Pellegrino, this would constitute a covenant relationship in which virtues are required. The virtues of justice, prudence, fidelity to trust and self-effacement would be particularly important.
Tham´s talk concluded by addressing the risk-benefit assessment involved when healthcare professionals are asked to treat the SARS victims according to the fourth paradigm. He emphasized the primary importance of prudence in this model and explained the components of the virtue essential for arriving at correct decisions.
A recent publication of of Studia Bioethica explores the relationship between ethics, bioethics and the aesthetical dimension. This is an area of interest of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights. In this number, there were 11 original contributions in English, Spanish and Italian regarding the complex relationship between the moral and aesthical dimensions. One of the articles relates the Bioethics Art Competition organized by the Chair in 2010, with the winners and statements published alongside. It is hoped that this number will contribute to a new area of research in bioethics and human rights.
The Italian journal 21mo Secolo , in collaboration with the Master in Science and Faith of Regina Apostolorum university, published the 10th special issue of Science and Faith dedicated to Neurobioethics, with contributions from some of the members of Neurobioethics group.
Contributors to this issue include: Alberto Carrara, Riccardo Carrara , Paola Ciadamidaro, Marco Forghieri, Alberto García, Adriana Gini, Steven Laureys, Maria Addolorata Mangione, Zamira Veronika Montiel Boehringer, Michael Pope, Rafael Pascual, Eleanor Picerni, Maria Luisa Clean, Andrea Soddu, and Mario Stanziano.
We read from the editorial that, "This special issue dedicated to Neurobioethics is the result of personal, original, and mature teamwork where each of the authors--members of the group for study and research on Neurobioethics--participated with his or her own expertise, experience, specialty, dedication and endless passion!"
Index of articles published in this number:
- Adriana Gini, Rafael Pascual, and Alberto García, A challenge from Neurobioetica the person and his brain at the center of the disciplines, p. 2
- Maria Addororata Mangione, Methodological requirements of Neurobioethics: some reflections, p. 5
- Marco Forghieri, The influence of neuroscience in contemporary society: some pros and cons, p. 11
- Alberto Carrara and Riccardo Carrara, Michael S. Gazzaniga: neuro-anthropologist of contemporary cognitive neuroscience, p. 16
- Zamira Veronika Montiel Boehringer, Consciousness and neuroscience: scientific or philosophical dualism?, p. 23
- Mario Stanziano, Michael Pope, Steven Laureys, and Andrea Soddu, Tracing the boundaries of consciousness "functionals": current and potential contributions of neuro imageries, p. 29
- Paola Ciadamidaro, Empathy and the doctor-patient relationship in the third millennium: therapeutic alliance of Edith Stein, p. 34
- Maria Luisa Pulita, Identity and drug addiction: the contribution of neuroscience and human sciences, p. 38
- Eleonora Picerni, The neurobiological correlates of attachment: meeting point between neuroscience and psychology, p. 44
On April 19, 2013, UNESCO Fellow Fr. Joseph Tham attended the TEDx ViaDellaConcilliazione event on Relgious Freedom Today. Among the many interesting speakers who presented their ideas, there were sessions on "Networks of Common Ground," "Forgiveness and Reconciliation," and "Living Together." All these sessions are very much related to the project of the UNESCO Chair on Multiculturalism, Bioethics and Religion.
There was also a session on Beauty which addresses the role of the asthetic dimension in today's world of images. This is very consonant with the Bioethics Art project of the Chair.
We would like to present one of the speakers, Brian Grim from the Pew Research Centre's Forum on Rleigion and Public Life in Washington DC, who gave an excellent presentation on religious freedom in the world and especially in the Islamic countries. http://youtu.be/cQvDUTOOkiI