Prof. Fr. Joseph Tham,LC, at the World Medical Association’s Regional Expert Meeting in Pacific on the WMA Declaration of Helsinki

On December 1st, Prof. Fr. Joseph Tham, LC,  Full Professor in Bioethics and Research Scholar of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, will present during the ‘World Medical Association’s Regional Expert Meeting in Pacific on the WMA Declaration of Helsinki’ organized by the World Medical Association.


Ethics of research in conflict settings

Research and trials would pose a significant challenge in conflict settings due to political instability, depravations, and lack of infrastructure.  Humanitarian organizations naturally prioritize aid over research and may need more expertise, resources, and infrastructure to conduct valid research.  Nonetheless, some advocates see value in them as they can measure the cost of the conflicts and the feasibility and effectiveness of interventions.  The ethical challenges are informed consent, research design and review, and benefits to participants and vulnerable groups. p Declaration of Helsinki has not addressed research ethics in conflict settings. However, paragraphs on the necessity of research (26-28), informed consent (25-32), vulnerability (19-20) and benefits to participants (8, 34) are pertinent to this analysis and may benefit from further reflection.  The presentation will end with a virtue ethics approach that can bridge the East-West gap in addressing this topic.

Prof. Fr. Joseph Tham, LC, at the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, The University of Hong Kong

On December 5th, Prof. Fr. Joseph Tham, LC, Full Professor in Bioethics and Research Scholar of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, will present during the three-day conference “Regulatory Governance of Emerging Health Technologies” in the “Reproductive Technologies” session. The conference is organized by Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, The University of Hong Kong.


Personalist (Dignitarian) approach to the governance of reprogen medicine.

This paper will first analyze the different notions of personhood and dignity in contemporary debates in philosophy and bioethics. These questions touch on the foundation of identity and selfhood from the viewpoints of essence, nature and metaphysics, and in contrast with those of changing human experience and existence.  These two positions, or “Sources of the self” according to Charles Taylor, have great significance on the human reproductive act.  The essentialist position conceives dignity as derived from the natural sex act, where love and life are intrinsically bound while rejecting physicalism.  The latter existentialist position does not preclude the making of life through technology, where sexuality and gender can take on various expressions. Most traditional religions espouse the essential view of self and generation in contrast with the secular tendency towards existential or ¨liquid¨ understanding of self and reproduction.  Regarding the governance of reprogen technologies, the use of embryos is politically linked to the debate on abortion, as we see in the US Hyde amendment.  In terms of governance, the unsettled questions are therefore: a) embryo status, human dignity and vulnerability at the beginning of life; b) safety of reporgen technologies at the individual level and potential impact on society and future generations; c) fairness in terms of racial, geographical and economical difference affecting the access of such technologies especially in view of the distribution problem of the COVID vaccine; d) transhumanism and its endpoint in view of perfectionism and ablism; and finally e) the place of religions and traditions in a globalized bioethics. Simply put, the dignitarian approach asks: “What does it mean to be human?” and “What does it mean to love?”

Further information:

Master in Global Bioethics Online

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

Objectives & Outcomes:

  • Training future university professors, health care professionals, biomedical 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.


  • 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,

Academic Load: 1500 hours of student work

Duration: Two years studying part-time

Hours: Available all day

Scholarships: Available


UAM: Master Certificate*

UNESCO Chair: Diploma


*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 Approved Num. 01-0832-18

The next generation of Bioethicists

Help us support training of the next generation of bioethicists in Malawi, India, Nigeria, Philippines and other countries in need. To develop professors, health personnel, researchers to be able analyze and propose solutions to the global bioethical dilemmas.

Training Course in Neurobioethics VII Edition




August 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction – in the scientific arena – of the neologism “neuro-ethics” by Harvard neuropsychiatrist Anneliese Alma Pontius (1921-2018). Since 2009, thanks to the work of the Interdisciplinary Research Group in Neurobioethics (GdN) of the Faculty of Philosophy of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum (APRA) in Rome, the term has acquired a personalist connotation.

After 15 years of research experience – and since 2017 having delved into the contexts of transhumanism, the so-called “head transplantation” in humans, robotics (roboethics), artificial intelligence (algor-ethics), neurotechnologies and current developments in virtual reality, augmented reality, and the Metaverse, from September 2023 to June 2024, the GDN will be offering a training course on neuroethics with the aim of critically “remapping” this interdisciplinary context of reflection on the neurosciences and their interpretations.

The Course also aims to raise the participants’ awareness about the relevance of neuroethical reflection in the multiple contemporary scenarios in which we live, move, and are. This 7th Advanced Training Course “Neurobioethics: remapping the territory” will offer a package of 10 seminars, round-table discussions, and the conference in March 2024 within the framework of the Brain Awareness Week promoted by the DANA Foundation, through which the historical genesis of the birth of neuroethics and the different paradigmatic models encountered today will be compared. Along the way, various areas of this reflection will be specifically presented: from the context of consciousness to neuroaesthetics, from neurolaw to sexual difference, and even including trans and posthuman backdrops.

The course will be in Italian and English and streamed online. Participants will be able to follow the course in synchronous and asynchronous modes.


Faculty of Philosophy

UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights

Institute of Science and Faith


September 29, 2023 to 27-10-2023

The course consists of a monthly two-hour meeting (seminar or round-table), 5-7 p.m.

29/09: 17-19:00
27/10: 17-19:00
24/11: 17-19:00
15/12: 17-19:00

26/01: 17-19:00
23/02: 17-19:00
15/03: World Brain Week Conference

19/04: 17-19:00
24/05: 17-19:00
21/06: 17-19:00

The specific contents and speakers will be communicated month by month and will range from technological, neurological, neurosurgical, psychiatric, psychological, ethical, bioethical, legal and theological aspects related to the concept of “Metaverse”.

The program is aimed at all those who wish to learn more about neuroscience and its interpretations to better understand themselves, the advances, and risks. In particular, politicians, engineers, physicians, bioethicists, philosophers, theologians, teachers, and formators. At the end of the Course, participants will be awarded a certificate for the advanced course and 3 ECTS credits will be awarded after the evaluation of a written synthesis paper.


350 euros by 29-09-2023

400 euros by 27-10-2023

Training Course Coordinator:

Prof. Fr. Alberto Carrara, L.C.

For further information

Faculty of Philosophy

Renato Zeuli

Tel.: +39 06 91689913