The International Association of Bioethics (IAB) statement on bioethics and structural injustice
The International Association of Bioethics (IAB) was founded with the mission of enriching bioethics, broadening the range of examined issues, as well as increasing the diversity of disciplines and voices in the field of bioethics. It has been a defining feature of bioethics, and a critical mission of the IAB, to foster bioethics work from around the world that calls out and addresses injustice, that identifies practices or social arrangements that violate human rights, that deny the humanity or moral standing of individuals or groups, that silence voices of the marginalized or the oppressed, or that restrict social opportunities on morally objectionable grounds.
While the prevailing focus of early work in bioethics centered on medical and research ethics with a focus on ethical issues that arise in the context of individual rights and autonomy, our field has evolved and expanded to pay greater attention to the ethics of public and global health, with attention to social and cultural diversity. Today, a rich body of bioethics scholarship exists, recognizing that profound structural injustices – including racism, sexism, ageism, and ableism – undermine health welfare and human rights. These and other psycho-social determinants of health are increasingly being recognized by bioethics scholars and practitioners as deserving urgent attention. More than ever, these aspects of bioethics are of paramount importance.
The Board of the IAB reaffirms the mission of expanding the topics included in bioethics and promoting diversity in our ranks. Actively promoting the visibility and impact of bioethics activities around the world remains at the forefront of all we do. As we face new challenges and barriers, it will remain a central mission of the IAB to continue the work, began decades ago, of promoting justice. We are committed – along with the organizers of the 15th World Congress of Bioethics taking place this week – to meet the challenge of making our field inclusive, diverse, and respectful of all. We strive to foster an inclusive vision of bioethics and ensure that the impacts of bioethics are tangible in the lives of communities and persons everywhere.
We acknowledge that we have a long way to go to fully achieve these ideals and rededicate ourselves and our organization to challenge injustices and oppose wrongs. We are committed to listening, learning, and doing all we can to bend the arc of history toward justice.
Vaccine Equity Declaration
The WHO has issued a call to action as part of their campaign for vaccine equity. Click here for more info.