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Bioethics: its origins and definition
The term bioethics was born in 1927, when Protestant pastor, professor and philosopher Fritz Jahr defined it in Kosmos magazine as "a panoramic view of man’s ethical relationship with animals and plants" (Vol. 21 pp. 2-4). Years later, in 1970, American biochemist and oncologist are renselaer Potter described bioethics as a bridge to the future;since allowing bidirectional communication between humanities and science. He proposed to develop a new discipline in which the behavior of the human being in the field of science would be studied, examined in the light of values and principles. For Potter, bioethics brings together ethical values and biological facts.
Since 1990, the teaching of Bioethics has taken a fundamental role in the curriculum of the Medicine career, with the mere purpose that the student acquires knowledge about relevant ethical values and principles that allow him to reflect on his responsibility as a doctor towards thepatient and society. The student is expected that, through the implementation of bioethical teaching, develop interpersonal skills, values and social perspectives that allow him to face the ethical dilemmas that may arise from a given society throughout his work as a health professional.
It should be noted that the subject of Bioethics is relatively new;It has been in force for about 15 years, since the first universities implemented it as such subject. Through the subject, it seeks to show the commitment that health sciences have with society. The need to reaffirm the above is due to the fact that medicine has finally taken a reductionist approach;That is, it has reached the point of reducing the facts to be merely biological, which has led to hyper technification and super specialization by health professionals. Because of the mind-body binomial, the measurable has been taken as relevant, which specifically refers to the body;Therefore, contemporary medical practice has conceived the body as a machine and the doctor as a repairman of the breakdown. Taking this paradigm into account, the integral part of the human is left to the side of the equation;It is assumed that what does not work properly of man does not include all of him, but only part of him. Contemporary medical practice has forgotten that it is intended to cure the man "a being of the world" and not only his body.
The above has caused the doctor to submit to constant questions;because medical-patient relationships are increasingly complex. Legal conflicts and demands have increased, as a consequence. In the same way, inadequate professional behavior has been observed, which has given to violate the rights of patients and is now a constant claim of society. These conflicts show the relevance of bioethics teaching as a fundamental part of the curriculum of health professionals;showing the importance of modifying the educational model of scientific and rigid education to a with ethical and social commitment that promotes comprehensive learning.
Starting from the need for doctors with a more humanistic vision, the importance of taking a biopsychosocial approach that motivates the patient by conceiving the medical practice in a new way should be mentioned;Do not see the doctor as a damage reparator, but as a being worthy of imitating. Through this model there is the possibility that the patient, his family and society achieve a more solid commitment to the doctor;So there will be greater health and the development of a prevention habit.
Bioethics tends to stand out from other humanistic disciplines since it is transdisciplinary, because beyond learning and understanding a theoretical content, its true objective is the application in the context. It also stands out due to its objective character;that is, in this discipline the opinion of knowledge separates.
Bioethics education should be clear that it does not solve problems or have a unique solution;but seeks to examine them in the light of values with the objective of providing a variety of solutions to dissolve ethical dilemmas through these deep reflections. Through bioethical education, knowledge can be transformed into a social tool, which will be practiced outside the walls of the educational institution;oriented towards the emancipation of the patient and highlighting its relevance as an ideal framework for the approach to the population.
Therefore, it is important to train doctors suitable for health care that corroborates with the acquired technical knowledge and the needs of the population;All this within a context that emphasizes integrated medical care that provides privileges to the person on the disease.
Also, some other benefits of bioethics implementation have been reflected in the UNESCO statement:
- Respect for dignity and human rights rather than the interests of science.
- Enhancement of the benefits and reduction of risks for people who are treated
- Respect for autonomy
- Ensure consent for any intervention or procedure of a free and interested person
- Respect for human integrity and vulnerability
- Maintain and respect the confidentiality of recovered information
- Avoid discrimination and stigmatization
- Make the equitable distribution of goods and resources
- Moderation of repercussions to future generations (biological, environmental and technological)
- Promotion of honesty, transparency and professionalism in decision making
It mentions the declaration that to promote the principles, obtain the above benefits and better understand the ethical dilemmas raised by contemporary society, states must strive to promote bioethical training and education, as well as develop and stimulate programs for disseminating this informationBioethics.