Bioethics deals with the care and affirmation of life from a multidisciplinary and plural approach, in permanent dialog with social and political philosophy and with environmental ethics or ecoethics. Van Rensselaer Potter emphasizes on the necessity of establishing a bridge between biological sciences and humanities through an ethical reflection, inspired by ecologic and the survival of Aldo Leopold.
Other authors, like Albert Jonsen, state that bioethics emerges in the field of medical practice, motivated by the questioning about the research on human beings (Belmont Report, 1978) and of dilemmas posed by the application of technoscientific advances in the field of medicine in our complex, dynamic and multicultural current society.
It is necessary to acknowledge the rights of patients now that the paternalist autocracy of the physician is in the current framework of pluralist society; the biomedicine intervenes more and more in the human beings and life, from conception until death, with predictive, preventive, healing, palliative and transformative (Medicine of Desire) purposes. The decisions of healthcare professionals must have in mind not only the deontological codes, but also the patient's rights, the collective interests of society and the fair distribution of the scarce resources for health.
The ascending costs, the crises of welfare states, the unequal distribution of goods and the scarcity of resources pose difficult questions about their fair assignation on topics regarding Justice in healthcare, pertinent all the world and, specially, in the poorest regions, like Latin America.
Besides, these questions have exceeded the medical field and we attend an ascending participation from diverse perspectives and different interests. This requires an inter, pluri, and transdisciplinary approach for its study, reflection and proposal of actions. Day by day are generated dynamic reflections arisen by the unsuspected progresses of science that revive the controversy around the beginning of life, the embryo status, the advances in genetics, in assisted reproduction, in cloning of human beings, in the care taking of critical, chronic and terminal patients and at the end of life, with controversial topics like assisted suicide, euthanasia and palliative care.
The making of decision in particular situations requires a critic and reflective attitude that keeps in account the interdisciplinarity and plurality. The Bioethics Committees and local, regional, national and international Commissions emerge as essential spaces for these discussions.
Thus, bioethics covers the complexity of different fields like biosphere, technosphere, the individuals and social, cultural, economic, juridical and political aspects.
In the Bioethics Program this rich landscape is studied from an open and deep approach, which allows the students to discover new areas of knowledge, reflection and research that motivate the study in depth of bioethical topics and dynamic exchanges.
The academic activities are directed to the appropriation of knowledge, the study in depth of diverse topics, to develop recognition, reflection, discussion and, as far as possible, answers to ethical contemporary questions; they are also meant to favor the exchanges in search of agreements and consensus, accepting at the same time the explicit dissents, to develop a reflective attitude based on well-founded arguments, trough a creative process of permanent investigation and to a production of rigorous and coherent texts.
Thus we propose, trough the Bioethics Program, to propitiate in its students a multidisciplinary and pluralist dialog that enables the conformation of research groups that achieve academic progresses and favorable exchanges around the decisions and problems that bioethics deals with. In this respect, the graduates from the Bioethics Program will be able to perform in the following fields:
- As consultants for counseling legislators and authorities in the generation of national policies in the healthcare field
- As permanent researcher on clinic bioethics, pedagogy and bioethics, the foundations of bioethics, environment and biopolitics.
- As leaders within their professions in the development and building of a culture of life in the XXI century.
- As participants, advisors and constructors of any kind of ethical committee, such as hospital committees, research committees or national and international bioethics committees or courts.
- As bioethics teachers at different levels, schools, colleges and universities in undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
- As collaborators in the creation of social organizations that allow democratic queries about life care and protection.