This book is the first in a series of planned volumes focused on preserving the character of the development of bioethics in particular cultural contexts. As the first of these volumes, Leo Pessini, Christian de Paul de Barchifontaine, and Fernando Lolas Stepke’s work has succeeded well. It has brought together accounts by sch- ars who were crucial to the emergence of bioethics in the Ibero-American cultural domain. This trail-blazing work in the history of bioethics will be of enduring s- nificance. I am deeply in their debt for having shouldered this far from easy task. Bioethics is the product of very particular socio-historical developments. Most prominent among them have been (1) the secularization of the dominant culture of North America, Western Europe, and now Central and South America as well, (2) a deflation of the status and authority of physicians as moral authorities able to guide their own profession, and (3) the salience of a post-traditional animus that gives c- tral place to persons as isolated atomic sources of moral authority. Bioethics initially took shape in North America as a post-Christian, post-professional, post-traditional social movement. This bioethics sought to establish a moral discourse for the public forum, a moral practice able to give practical guidance in hospitals and other insti- tions, and a body of undergirding and justifying theoretical reflections.
First English-language book-length work to deal with the development of bioethics and its history in both the Iberian peninsula and Latin AmericaGives a comprehensive and detailed history of the development of bioethics in specific Latin American nationsProvides a history of bioethics with its relationship to Roman Catholic theology and moral philosophy in the Ibero-American contextSpecifically addresses bioethical issues relating to women in the Latin American context