Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (4):437-451 (2012)
AbstractThis article presents a view of bioethics in the Spanish context. We may identify several features common to Mediterranean countries because of their relatively similar social organisation. Each country has its own distinguishing features but we would point two aspects which are of particular interest¨: the Mediterranean view of autonomy and the importance of Catholicism in Mediterranean culture. The Spanish experience on bioethics field has been marked by these elements, trying to build a civic ethics alternative, with the law as an important support. So, Spanish bioethics has been developed in two parallel levels: in the academic and policy maker field (University and Parliament) and in clinical practice (hospitals and healthcare ethics committees), with different paces and methods. One of the most important changes in the paternalistic mentality has been promoted through the recognition by law of the patient’s rights and also through the new generation of citizens, clearly aware on the exercise of autonomy. Now, the healthcare professionals have a new challenge: adapt their practice to this new paradigm.
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