The ethics is one of the most important branches that are part of the philosophy , which is responsible for studying the way in which the human being is behaving and analyzes the relationships of the good and the bad , and the different moral precepts. One of the branches of ethics is known by the name of bioethics , a science that is responsible for studying the way in which research related to living beings is done.


What is bioethics?

The bioethics is a science that studies so systematic way in which being human is behaves from the point of view biological and health by analyzing at the same time the principles and moral values to give a response to the complexity of health care and health policies.

  • What is bioethics?
  • Source
  • History
  • features
  • Types
  • Fundamental principles
  • Bioethics problems
  • Profits
  • Disadvantages
  • Bioethics in Nursing
  • Bioethics in dentistry
  • Importance
  • Examples

What is bioethics?

The Bioethics is a branch of ethics that involves the study and analysis of the various principles relating to the conduct of the human being and how it might relate to life. It is a type of systematic study on the behavior of the individual from the point of view of life sciences and health care , always taking into account moral principles and human values.


It is a discipline that is not only limited to the medical environment but, on the contrary, has the capacity to cover a series of different questions to carry out an ethical reflection on the moral problems that arise in society, mainly in those individuals who are related to the field of health.


The term bioethics was born from the hand of Fritz Jahr, a Protestant pastor who, in addition to being an educator, was a theologian and philosopher. He used the term for the first time in a written article known as Bio-Ethik, in which he dealt with issues related to the ethical relationship that existed between humans and animals .


Actually, the term bioethics is quite new since it has not been created more than fifty years ago. Its history begins in 1927 by the hand of Fritz Jahr who wrote an article related to the ethics that should exist between human beings , animals and plants . In 1970 , Potter , a medical oncologist, wrote a text in which he used the term bioethics and in 1978 , the report prepared by Belmont on the history of science took on greater importance in the scientific field, a writing that is considered as areference text to understand the discipline.


Among the main characteristics that differentiate this type of ethics, the following are mentioned:

  • It is a branch of ethics .
  • Provides the principles necessary to establish the correct form of human behavior with respect to animal and plant life.
  • It studies a series of ethical aspects that are related to medicine and biology in general .
  • It is considered as a multidisciplinary science that focuses on different areas at the same time.
  • It applies to other areas such as sociology and psychology .
  • It is a pluralistic science which indicates that societies are not as compact as they were previously.
  • It is independent because the conclusions that are taken based on it, should not be taken following the principles of coercion , economic or political interests.
  • It is a consensual science because it tries to impose decisions on others and in it there are no absolute truths. In other words, you are not trying to convince anyone of a certain truth.
  • Its main objective is to be able to study the relationship between life and the principles of human behavior .


The types of bioethics that exist are mentioned below:

  • Medical ethics : it contains a series of ethical norms that must be followed by personnel dedicated to health care and is based on the Hippocratic Oath , a document that contains a compilation of texts that speak about appropriate behavior of doctors with patients.
  • Animal ethics : implies the idea that animals are also part of the moral community and is a term used to refer to the relationship that exists between human beings and animals.
  • Environmental ethics: it is an ethic that is mainly oriented to the care and respect that human beings must have with the environment in which man develops to improve and encourage the evolution of natural environments.

Fundamental principles

Experts consider that bioethics as a discipline is based on four fundamental principles, which are:

  • Respect for autonomy : this principle establishes that the possibility of people to choose must be respected and they also have the right to choose for themselves . This principle implies that there should be no limitations on people when they must make a decision.
  • Beneficence : in this principle it is established that there is an equation between the cost and the benefit that can be obtained. It implies acting in favor of individual well-being and providing protection without causing harm.
  • Principle of maleficence : this principle has as its main objective to promote the good and also establishes a series of prohibitions to prevent harm from occurring and causing harm with malicious actions. In other words, it implies that no type of damage can be produced nor that third parties can be harmed in order to save a life .
  • Justice : in this principle it is established that there must be equity between costs, benefits and risks . It also establishes responsibilities, material goods and rights as an equitable distribution.

Bioethics problems

Some of the most common problems that arise in bioethics today are related to patients who are part of the processes or experiments and these are related to personal data and patient confidentiality . Cyber ​​attacks against medical devices and data systems are also part of the serious problems related to the discipline.


Some of the benefits that can be obtained from bioethics are:

  • Help science find better solutions for users.
  • It manages to establish laws that can improve the quality of life of human beings always based on ethics.
  • Improve genetic and psychological knowledge .
  • With it it is possible to establish a better study of the diseases that affect individuals.
  • There is a better rationalism in the consciousness of the human being.


Among the main disadvantages are the following:

  • The constant use of bioethics can produce a certain degree of dehumanization of the sciences.
  • Opportunities that can lead to dramatic improvements in humanity are sometimes missed .
  • It cannot adequately balance the risk that is presented in the human being because it focuses more on experimentation and the search for new discoveries .

Bioethics in Nursing

In the field of nursing, the principle of Beneficence is applied, which implies doing good by providing quality care, always maintaining competence and adequate professional performance. The principle of non-maleficence also applies , in other words, not doing evil, a principle that is also mandatory in legal and ethical compliance. The principle of autonomy is also very important because it allows the patient to have responsible autonomy while giving him the freedom to make decisions.

Bioethics in dentistry

In the field of dentistry, the principles of bioethics are applied to respect the dignity of the human being, in this case the patient, in order to safeguard the ethics that have been raised in the different scenarios that occur in the exercise of the profession from a private , public , academic and research point of view .


Bioethics is a science of great importance because it is based on the studies of the moral behaviors of the human being in the field of biology and medicine . It is a science that is concerned that scientific research is correct by applying ethics , which increases respect for human dignity . It is a reflection through which it is possible to study the way in which the human being behaves and interacts with everything that is around him.

In addition, thanks to this science, it is possible to open new horizons related to epistemology in order to establish good social ties between society , nature and human beings . An interdisciplinary, secular work that works under a democratic framework and respect for others to find the perfect harmony in the relationships of human beings.


Some examples of bioethics are mentioned below:

  • Use of animals to carry out experiments and tests of new drugs.
  • Blood transfusions.
  • Use of chemical weapons or nuclear weapons.
  • Organ donation.
  • Euthanasia.
  • Quality of life.

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