Ethics in Biomedicine


The origins of bioethics are manifold. This relatively new discipline follows a two-fold objective: to reflect on the practices of medical research on human beings, and to critically rethink paternalistic conceptions of traditional medical ethics, shaken by the therapeutic revolutions and social changes of the 20th century. In addition to this concern to reform biomedical practices, the 1980s saw a growing interest in medically assisted procreation and genetic engineering, and then in biotechnologies in general, with or wothout medical applications. Today, social and ethical issues related to medicine and health are an important part of bioethics. Thus, over the years, it became unavoidable for healthcare profesisonnals as well as, increasingly, for scientists and other professionals concerned with life sciences and their philosophical and social implications.

The Institute for Ethics, History, and the Humanities coordinates training in bioethics and clinical ethics for the Bachelor and Master's degrees in human medicine. It also offers pre-graduate teaching in bioethics to students in life sciences, philosophy, political science, as well as to students enrolled in master's programmes in neurosciences. Postgraduate courses in bioethics and clinical ethics are integrated into the training courses in psychiatry, internal medicine, medical genetics, as well as in the training of clinical investigators.