495.4 The circulation of bioethics. The production of contemporary Catholic bioethics in Argentina

Friday, August 3, 2012: 11:30 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Marķa Gabriela IRRAZABAL , CEIL CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The purpose of this paper is to analyze and reflect on the current constellations of the production of Bioethics under the Catholic Church’s umbrella in Argentina. Although bioethics is a discipline historically rooted in the Catholicism – Catholic Universities started working in this subject during the 1970s- it was only during the 1990s that the Vatican promoted a perspective to monitor the development of Science and Biomedicine. This (roman) Bioethics spread around the world in different ways. First, doctors, biologists, lawyers (priests, nuns and lays) attended to masters and PhD studies in Rome Then, they went back to their countries and founded local Bioethics’ Institutes (with postgraduate studies) at their Universities. Finally, they conducted several academic conferences and promoted a socio-religious space for the development and training of new bioethicists. This process of interchange of knowledge and ideas – particularly in LatinAmerica - is conducted by people who travel around each country lecturing about Bioethics. Argentinean Catholic bioethicists are immersed in this process, they travel around Argentina and other LatinAmercian countries in order to teach and lecture about Bioethics. Their teachings have a specific political deployment: the local bioethicists are trained to participate in the public arena. They learn how to take part in public hospitals ethics’ committees and influence parliamentary debates on sexual and reproductive rights. This represents a challenge in the Argentinean contemporary democracy where legislation on civil, sexual and reproductive rights is being debated.