Signed in as:
Signed in as:
Itziar de Lecuona (Bioethics and Law Observatory, University of Barcelona)
María de Jesús Medina Arellano (National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM))
Ignacio Mastroleo (FLACSO/CONICET)
Florencia Luna (FLACSO/CONICET)
María Casado (Bioethics and Law Observatory - UNESCO Chair in Bioethics, University of Barcelona)
Débora Diniz (Anis - Institute of Bioethics, Brazil)
Why an Ibero-American network?
The Ibero-American network includes Latin American countries as well as Spain and Portugal.
While geographical, historical and idiomatic differences makes this group of latin countries heterogeneous they also share common features in their “Latin” traditions, historical connections, and the strong presence of the Roman Catholic religion. So, even though dissimilarities exist between these countries, there are common ties that impact on their understanding of bioethical problems.
This network wishes to promote a dialogue and a deep understanding of the similarities and differences among these societies. It also wants to foster research and a critical analysis without a dogmatic or religious view. Moreover, it aims at boosting new and creative interactions among academics of these different countries.
One of the innovations that this network proposes is the possibility to carry out its activities in the main languages of the region (Spanish and Portuguese). Our experience has confirmed that language has often proved to be an obstacle for bioethical debate: even when participants of IAB Congresses make the effort to understand a lecture and communicate in English ―which is the official language of the IAB―, it is far more difficult for them to express themselves accurately. Hence, presenting their own work and discussing it in English has become a barrier for many Ibero-American researchers. With this initiative we seek to lift this barrier and help those in the region benefit from everything the IAB Congress can offer.
The Ibero-American network initiated its activities on an informal basis during the 8th World IAB Congress of Bioethics in Beijing (2006). Its active organizers were initially Débora Diniz (ANIS, Brazil) and Florencia Luna (FLACSO, Argentina). After the first session Asunción Alvarez (Bioethics College A.C., Mexico) and María Casado (Bioethics and Law Observatory, Spain) joined us and became elected members of the board. This has led to a balanced spread of activities with centers and persons in strategic parts of Ibero-America: Argentina and Brazil in South America (Brazil being the Portuguese language member of the network), Mexico as another focus of influence in North and Central America, and Spain as the European section of this network. The research centers and persons involved in its organization enable the network to conduct key regional activities.
Since the 9th IAB World Congress that was hold in Rijeka (Croatia) where this network was formally presented, several activities have been developed. Since then, sessions of the Ibero IAB Network are officially held during the IAB World Congresses (for instance, 2012 in Rotterdam, 2014 in Mexico City, 2016 in Edinburgh, 2022 in Basel). Moreover, the network carries out its own meetings during the periods between each of the IAB Congresses. Some of these meetings have already been held: in Buenos Aires, organized by FLACSO (2007); in Brasilia, organized by the Federal Council of Medicine-CFM (2011); in Madrid, organized by the Bioethics and Law Observatory of the University of Barcelona and the CSIC (2015); and in Mexico, organized by the Bioethics Seminar of the UNAM and the Bioethics College A.C. (2018).
One of the main goals of this network is to foster the value of free, open, and reasoned discussion on many of the bioethical problems that Ibero-America faces or that may be of interest to the people of this region. We believe that this goal is in accordance with the London Declaration adopted by the Board of Directors at its 5th World Congress in September 2000. The Declaration insists on the fact that bioethics play a central role in fostering the professional and public debate, and notes that in many countries and cultures basic freedom of discussion and disagreement is upheld and promoted. But it must be acknowledge that this freedom is imperiled in other countries and cultures, where there is widespread reluctance to discuss problems openly and the reasoned solution may run counter to established opinions and traditions. The Declaration also affirms that in public discourse, no individual or group can claim to have exclusive knowledge of the “right” ethical solution and that only reasoned and open debate can lead to justifiable conclusions. We think this network can foster this open thinking throughout the region.
As was mentioned in the previous section, language is sometimes a barrier to international academic meetings. One of the tools to ensure a successful debate and reasoned discussion is by helping people express themselves allowing them to participate in their own language (Spanish and Portuguese). However, because it is also important to preserve links with English speakers, it may be advisable to include power point presentations in English, as well as an English version of the abstracts or handouts so they can also benefit from Ibero-american research. We believe that incorporating these other languages fosters the spirit of the IAB by providing a pluralistic space not only for ideas but also for languages, allowing and empowering people that do not feel comfortable speaking in a foreign language to do so in their own.
The network is composed of several hubs that provide work and experience from strategic research institutions, such as FLACSO (Argentina), Anis - Institute of Bioethics (Brazil), the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Bioethics College A.C. (Mexico), and the Bioethics and Law Observatory – UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at the University of Barcelona (Spain). All of these research centers have been working together for many years in order to ensure a regional diversity and a collaborative spirit that we seek to deepen. For example, FLACSO’s journal (Perspectivas Bioéticas) printed by FLACSO for 20 years merged in 2016 with the Bioethics and Law Journal (Revista de Bioética y Derecho) from the University of Barcelona (published online since 2004). This action has brought together synergies to make visible the bioethics research and the development of bioethical knowledge produced in the languages and realities in which the Ibero-American network of IAB operates. This journal regularly publishes the best studies and contributions from the Ibero-American network of IAB.
The Ibero-American network of IAB is coordinated by those responsible appointed by each of the hubs. Currently, the coordinators are: Jorge Linares and María de Jesús Medina Arellano for Mexico and Central America, Ignacio Mastroleo for Argentina and the Southern Cone, and Itziar de Lecuona for Europe.