VIII International Bioethics Conference in Bogotá

VIII International Bioethics Conference in Bogotá

By Santiago Marcet – 

The Director of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, Dr. Alberto García Gómez, attended the VII International Congress of Bioethics held by the Universidad Militar Nueva Granada in Bogotá, Colombia, during the 3rd, 4th and 5th of October.

 

In his lecture titled “Neurobioethics, Placing the Human Being at the Center of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Law” Dr. García reviewed some of the most prominent topics in the field of neurotechnology, and as the title suggests, he was able to explore the ways in which the human being ought to remain the gravitational center of such a rapidly evolving reality.

The first issue Dr. García addressed was the need to re-formulate the ways in which we think about our brain. What is the relation between mind and brain? Despite the common claims that both are one and the same thing, we are still unable to locate the human sense of identity and self within any of the 28 substructures of the brain. The intangibility of human singularity invites us to think of the human being not only as an material entity, but also as a transcendent one: by means of rationality, we are able to place our inclinations beyond the contingencies of our material body, interact with others in society and foment virtue.

 

This perception of the human being introduced Dr. García’s next discussion, namely the bioethics of neuroscience. As he insisted, a position open to progress and change must belong to all bioethicists, as long as the overarching anthropological view is not lost. Moral judgement, he stated, must focus on two elements when talking about neuroscientific ends: the means by which they are achieved and their intention. Drawing on this distinction, Dr. García talked about the essential differences between therapy and enhancement, which lead him to address Transhumanism in a neutrally critical way: the disposition to endow the human being with a higher degree of dignity by means of biological enhancement can prove to be a slippery slope, and common good must prevail over individual dispositions. Many questions surround this topic: does all scientific advance constitute progress? Will enhanced human capabilities increase the already existing gap between the rich and the poor? Will the transhuman being constitute a new paradigm that will make the concept of human singularity blur? These and many other issues should always be addressed bearing the idea of human dignity in mind.

 

Reversing the actors of his previous discussion, Dr. García talked about the neuroscience of ethics. Or in other words, the ways in which neuroscience can help us understand the intricacies of our moral thought. He explained the problems that arise from the implantation of recent theories that deny the existence of human free will. If there is indeed a measurable relation between certain brain structures and human behavior, if human choices are nothing more than the end of a chain of causality that is merely material, he states, the concepts of responsibility (in moral terms) and imputability (in legal terms) lose all meaning.

 

Dr. García finished his lecture reminding us that human dignity is not derived from the complexity of our biological structures nor from our mental functions and faculties. Rather, it is found in the metaphysical reality that goes along the fact of being human: transcendence.

Master in Global Bioethics Online

Master in Global Bioethics Online

The UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights in collaboration with The University of Anáhuac (Faculty of Bioethics), the Holy Spirit College, and the Ateneo Regina Apostolorum is lannching the NEW Master in Global Bioethics online.

Objectives & Outcomes:

  • Training future university professors, health care professionals, biomed researchers, social and political agents with high academic knowledge and skills in bioethics.
  • Providing an integral formation in the field of global bioethics, allowing participants to develop their professional activity, both in the private and public sphere, with social responsibility and grounded in person-center approach.

Addressed to people interested in:

  • Promoting human dignity, human rights and duties in the field of life sciences and medicine as well as in social, legal and political environments
  • Studying and researching about the biomedical, philosophical, social and legal aspects of the contemporary important and cutting-edge bioethical dilemmas
  • Developing capacity for interdisciplinary, international and cross-cultural dialogue to explore new solutions for the preservation of health and the improvement of individual well-being and social welfare.

Program:

  • Concept of Human Being in Bioethics and Global Bioethics
  • Trends and Currents of Thought in Bioethics
  • Research Techniques and Databases
  • Ethical Fundamentals of Bioethics
  • Clinical and Bioethical Aspects at the Beginning of Life
  • Bioethics, Sexuality and Human Reproduction
  • Bioethical and Clinical Aspects at the End of Life
  • Bioethics and Medical Act
  • Bioethics and Health Management/Health Care Policies
  • Bioethics and Biolaw
  • Global Bioethics
  • Global Bioethics and International Human Rights: The Human Right to Health
  • Emerging Technologies and Global Bioethics: Neuro-Nano-Info Technologies
  • Cross-cultural Dialogue in Global Bioethics
  • Public Health Ethics
  • Bioethics and Social Problems
  • Bioethics and Environment
  • Research Methodology in Bioethics

For further infromation and application contact: Marinés Girault, maria.girault@anahuac.mx

Start: January 14, 2019

Academic Load: 1370 hours of student work

Duration: Two years studying part-time

Hours: Available all day

Scholarships: Available

Certifications:

UAM: Master Certificate*

UNESCO Chair: Diploma

HSC: 30 US Credits

APRA: 60 ECTS

*Validity of Studies Recognition issued by the Secretary of Public Education by means of Presidential Decree, published in the Official Journal of the Federation in November 26, 1982. SEP Approval in Process
Beauty, Living Beings and People: A Look from Bioethics, Aesthetics, Technoscience and Biolaw

Beauty, Living Beings and People: A Look from Bioethics, Aesthetics, Technoscience and Biolaw

Beauty, Living Beings and People: A Look from Bioethics, Aesthetics, Technoscience and Biolaw

 

The UNESCO Chair will host a cultural and academic encounter on the “Beauty, Living Beings and People: A Look from Bioethics, Aesthetics, Technoscience and Biolaw” in Madrid from November 27th to December 2nd.

The scheduled meetings of this event will shape the investigation and work of the International Network of Bioethics, Aesthetics, Technoscience, and Biolaw. Members of the International Research Group Bioethics and Aesthetics will review the chapters of the book project written in collaboration with the UMNG on “Global Bioethics Genomics and Human Improvement in the 21st Century.” Researchers will also discuss the participation into the Summer Course that will offer the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum of Rome, on “Human Enhancement: Bioethical Challenges of Emerging Technologies” that will take place on July 2018, under the direction of the Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, Prof. Alberto García.

Among the participants in the program, Prof. Alberto García, will talk about the “Challenges of Global Bioethics, Beauty, Aesthetics, Justice and Human Rights.” On the other hand, Dr. Amparo de Jesús Zárate Cuello (Universidad Militar de Nueva Granada) will speak about “Challenges of Bioethics for the Baby Design in Relation to the Assisted Human Fertilization.”

This event is one of the fruitful initiatives of our “Bioethics Global Art” endeavor, intending to bridge art and bioethics by studying the relation and interaction between bioethics and art and the impact of art in human behavior, evaluate the impact of the transformative power of arts in research and medical ethics as well as in environmental ethics and bridging the gap between academics involved and working in bioethics and the art world by carrying research activities and publications.

Read the full program