UNESCO Chair in Bioethics

Information and inscription

  • Bioethics and Law Observatory
  • UNESCO Chair in Bioethics
  • University of Barcelona
  • Ave. Diagonal 684,
    Faculty of Law
  • 08034 Barcelona
  • Tel. (+34) 93 403 45 46
  • obd.ub@ub.edu

Twentieth Anniversary of the Bioethics and Law Observatory of the University of Barcelona (1995-2015)

18.03.2015

At the end of the 1980s, the group that would eventually lead to the creation - in 1995 -  of the Bioethics and Law Observatory and the Master in Bioethics and Law, began working together with what was then a new and groundbreaking approach: arguing that the treatment of new bioethical questions should be within a framework of respect for and promotion of recognized human rights, and analysing the ethical, legal and social implications of the technoscience involved from an interdisciplinary and secular perspective.

At that time, bioethics was a nascent field of knowledge that emerged from crypto-confessional approaches, advocating a principlist system, almost in the mode of an indoctrination, and providing an updated form of traditional medical ethics. When the Council of Europe (with its Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine in 1997) and UNESCO (with its three declarations on bioethical issues that culminated with the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights in 2005) affirmed our focus, it was easy for our approach, which had previously been sharply criticised, to be adopted by even its fiercest critics.

For these reasons, this year we commemorate the 20 years of existence of the Observatory, the 17 editions of the Master, the 17 years of the Bioethics and Law Association, the 10 years of the Revista de Bioética y Derecho [Journal of Bioethics and Law], and the 8 years of our UNESCO Chair in Bioethics (which is one of 9 UNESCO Chairs in Bioethics established throughout the world and the only one in Spain).

In celebration, we have donated our library to the University of Barcelona, shared our bibliographic collection online, and given fresh impetus to our knowledge networks on Bioethics and Human Rights, which, since the 1990s, have joined together universities and researchers in Europe and Latin America. In addition, the OBD has increased its presence in social networks - which already included Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn –, with two new channels on - youtube and google+ - to encourage participation in bioethical debates.


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