THE ITALY BASED INTERNATIONAL NEUROBIOETICA MULTIDISCIPLINARY STUDY AND RESEARCH CONSORTIUM: ONE YEAR’S EXPERIENCE IN A CONSTANT SETTING
A.Gini, MD, R. Pascual, PhD, A. Garcia, J.D. and M.A. Mangione, MD, PhD.
Neurobioetica Consortium, Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, Rome, Italy.
The term “Neurobioetica” is the Italian translation for the English neologism “Neurobioethics”, introduced by James Giordano, US neuroscientists and neuroethicist in 2005, to emphasize the fundamental role played by Multidisciplinarity and the Humanities in the evaluation of recent Neuroscientific discoveries and their application to man. Founded in March 2009, the Italy Based International Neurobioethics Multidisciplinary Research and Study Group of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum (APRA) in Rome has gathered experts from different disciplines, like Medicine (Neurology, Psychiatry, Pathology, Forensic Medicine, etc), Biology, Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Moral Theology, Sociology, Bioethics, Law, Psychology, Media and Communication, etc., to discuss recent neuro-biotechnological advances from an Anthropological perspective that attributes value and dignity to every Human Person, regardless of her status or condition. As part of the Science and Faith Institute and the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Right of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum, our Neurobioethics Group is so far the only Italy based group with a strong emphasis on the application of an interdisciplinary methodology using a sound anthropological perspective and monthly meetings. A seminar on “Consciousness and the Dignity of the Human Person” has been hosted in September 2009 and one on “Neuroeconomics” has been scheduled for October 2010. Within our aims are the study and discussion of the following issues: 1) The Dignity of patients with severe impairments of consciousness, like the so called “vegetative state” and similar conditions; 2) The mind-brain-body dilemma; 3) The question of neural enhancement in healthy subjects using pharmaceuticals developed for conditions of impaired memory; 4) The methodology of an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach to modern Neuroscience; 5) The possible application of an Aristotelian-Thomist model to the most recent studies on the neurobiology of morality. The people, mission, international collaboration also through videoconferencing and future projects of the recently founded Italy Based International Neurobioethics study and research group will be addressed through the use of selected iconographic material.