New Book-Laudato si’ the appeal of Pope Francis: Agricultural development and the fight against hunger

New Book-Laudato si’ the appeal of Pope Francis: Agricultural development and the fight against hunger

The recently published book Laudato si’ the Appeal of Pope Francis: Agricultural development and the fight against hunger gathers reflections from the November 2015 event “Agricultural development and the fight against hunger. The call of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’. The meeting was sponsored by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations together with the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum and the European University of Rome and in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights. The volume is edited by Fernando Chica Arellano, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organizations, including the F.A.O., I.F.A.D., and W.F.P. and by Alberto Garcia Gomez, UNESCO Chair Director.

The goal is this book is to response profoundly to Pope Francis’s appeal to care for our “common home.” The work gathers the reflections of experts from different fields of knowledge and experience, including the Social Doctrine of the Church, Theology, Philosophy, Law and Bioethics. Contributors include representatives of international organizations and those who work in service of the Holy See.

Like never before, we need concrete and effective action before it is too late to care for the natural environment. The agricultural sector in particular needs workers who can recover a sense of their mission, which is essentially human and not economic. This text highlights the different lines of thought of the encyclical that can be summarized as a pedagogy to propose possible actions, and above all, to indicate ways in which to form individuals, groups and communities in an consciousness of safeguarding our “common home.”

Confrontation with the various experiences lived in different countries and the unceasing questions for help from the rural world directed toward international institutions are tangible signs of a concern for the support of practical solutions. But Laudato si tells us that this same concern also relates to the limits of policies, actions and interventions that have often brought about the loss of reference to traditional cultures, the legitimate interests of the community and the spiritual dimension of the individuals.

The table of contents of the work can be read here.

Bioethical reflections on betel nut use in Taiwan

Bioethical reflections on betel nut use in Taiwan

Joseph Tham, UNESCO Chair Fellow and Dean of the Bioethics Faculty at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, presented his most recent bioethical investigation at the 30th European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care August 18, 2016. Tham’s work was entitled “A Scientific and Socioeconomic Review of Betel Nut Use in Taiwan with Bioethical Reflections” and formed part of the four days of study devoted to Ethics and Social Determinants of Health at the University of Zagreb in Croatia.

Tham’s study highlighted the oft neglected negative effects linked to the use of the addictive betel nut substance in Taiwan. UNESCO Chair intern Geoffrey Sem aided Tham in his research and is pictured with Tham in this article. The Abstract of his work can be read below:

A Scientific and Socioeconomic Review of Betel Nut Use in Taiwan with Bioethical Reflections

This paper will address the ethics of betel nut use in Taiwan. It first presents scientific facts about the betel quid and its consumption and the generally accepted negative health consequences associated with its use. A visitor to Taiwan may be surprised by the abundance of betel nut stands all over the country, often advertised with neon signs and scantily clad young women. The deleterious health effects of the betel nut are well documented. Taiwan has the highest incidence of oral cancer in the world.  From 2001 to 2012, the incidence of oral cancer increased by 20.7%. Esophageal cancer was the sixth leading cause of cancer death among men in Taiwan in 2003.  Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the second leading cause of death after cancer which accounted for 10.8% of all deaths in Taiwan in 2010. All these can be traced to the chewing of betel nut which is currently one of the most widely used uncontrolled addictive substances around the world, with 10 to 20% of the global population consuming it. In fact, with regard to the worldwide popularity of central nervous stimulants, the betel nut ranks fourth after nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine. Given the dire health tolls of this nut on the population, it is surprising to note a lack of bioethical literature on this issue.  A cursory search on the database of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics did not yield a single result when the words “betel nut” were entered. The paper will also look at the social, economic and cultural factors contributing to its popularity in Asia. The governmental and institutional attempts to curb betel nut cultivation, distribution, and sales will also be described. Finally, the paper will analyze the bioethical implications of this often ignored subject from various perspectives: human dignity in the face of cultural diversity, health as a fundamental good and its tension with local cultural practices, the need to protect vulnerable populations, the need to provide informed consent for decision making, and behavioral ethics in institutional and organizational responses to the problem.


The recreational use of marijuana

The recreational use of marijuana

The Clinical Bioethics and Neuroethics Research Group (BINCA) of the Universidad Anáhuac México Norte has released two videos on “The recreational use of marijuana” featuring Chair Fellow Dr. María Elizabeth de los Rios Uriarte and Dr. Mario Souza. BINCA, coordinated by Dr. Mariel Kalkach Apariciois a sister project of the Neurobioethics Research Group based in Rome and led by Chair Fellow Alberto Carrara. Watch the videos below:

Part I

Part II

15th Annual International Bioethics Summer Course

15th Annual International Bioethics Summer Course


Faculty of Bioethics Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum

Rome, Italy


15th Annual International Bioethics Summer Course

15º Corso Estivo Internazionale di Aggiornamento in Bioetica

15º  Curso de Verano Internacional de Actualización en Bioética



Bioethics Summer course 15


Current Challenges in Bioethics

Los desafíos actuales de la bioética

Le sfide della bioetica oggi

July 4-8, 2016



Family, Education and Society

Familia, vida y sociedad

Famiglia, Educazione e Società

July 11-15, 2016



Introductory course for those who would like to have a greater comprehension of bioethics principles and different bioethical issues.


Un curso introductorio para aquellos que quieran tener una mayor comprensión de los principios y las cuestiones de bioética.


Un corso introduttivo offerto a chi vuole avere una maggiore consapevolezza dei principi bioetici e degli argomenti a essi correlati.


The purpose of this monothematic course is to reflect on the family, which is founded on marriage, and functions as the “cradle” of life and the “original cell” of social life.


Un curso monográfico para reflexionar sobre la familia fundada sobre el matrimonio como célula de la vida y célula originaria de la vida social.


Un corso monografico per riflettere sulla famiglia fondata sul matrimonio come culla della vita e cellula originaria della vita sociale.


Full scholarships available for university students.

Están disponibles becas para estudiantes universitarios.

Sono disponibili borse di studio per gli studenti universitari.



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