UNESCO Chair in Bioethics


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


The OBD and the Bioethics UNESCO Chair UB present a new book on human dignity


The OBD and the Bioethics UNESCO Chair at the University of Barcelona present a new book on human dignity

- With the publication of this book, the Bioethics and Law Observatory commemorates its 10th anniversary and the 15th anniversary of the creation of the Masters in Bioethics and Law UB

- It is an unprecedented, collective and multidisciplinary work that analyses each of the articles of UNESCO’s “Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights

Barcelona, october 2009.- The Bioethics and Law Observatory (OBD) of the University of Barcelona (UB) -located at the Barcelona Science Park- presents the book Sobre la Dignidad y los Principios: Análisis de la Declaración sobre Bioética y Derechos Humanos UNESCO, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of its creation and the 15th anniversary of the creation of the Masters in Bioethics and Law of the UB.  This book is a collective and multidisciplinary effort -coordinated by Maria Casado, director of the OBD and holder of the UNESCO chair in Bioethics of the UB-, which analyses each of the articles and principles of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights adopted by UNESCO in 2005 to complete -in terms of the impact of biotechnology and biomedicine on human beings and the environment- the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The book has been published by Civitas (ISBN: 978-84-470-3261-7).

In this work, the authors analysed the universal framework of principles and procedures that serves as a guide for all countries in the formulation of legislation, policies and other intervention guidelines in the field of bioethics, placing special emphasis on the analysis of the concept of “dignity” in the face of the challenges presented by the technosciences.   Its immediate background can be found in the working sessions that were conducted in the 2nd International Meeting of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics, which took place on January 26 and 27, under the title Human Dignity as the basis of UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights.

Several authors from very different fields, ideologies and geographical areas have participated in the elaboration of this book, providing numerous analyses from the perspectives of philosophy, anthropology, ethics, law and the history of thought.  Most of these authors are members of the OBD, the Consolidated Research Group “Bioethics, Law and Society” of the Catalonian Government and the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics of the UB, whilst the rest of them are part of the Spanish Bioethics Committee, UNESCO itself and other international institutions of renowned relevance in this field.  This wealth of approaches and perspectives demonstrates how it is possible to address the same problem from several standpoints and in different ways and enables the analysis of a substantive principle of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights.

The book’s structure follows that of the Declaration itself. Following the Introduction, each co-author examines -from his/her own personal, academic and professional perspective- an article/principle of the Declaration, assesses its contributions and delves into the problems it entails.  The scope of human dignity and its implications in bioethics is the connecting thread that guides its development.  The work ends with an overall assessment of the Declaration and a Note on the Authors. 

Rights is a landmark in the field of legal, philosophical and bioethical literature, given that it breaks away from conventional models and fills the void that exists within this genre in the Spanish bibliographic stage.  Although there were several publications on the “Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights” in 2005, none of them offer the comprehensive and multifaceted approach that this work does, an approach that is a requirement for the analysis of the intrinsic quality of human beings that we call “dignity”.

The book will be in bookstores starting on the aforementioned date and will also be available on the Civitas publishing house (http://civitas.es).