MESSAGE FROM THE CONFERENCE PRESIDENT
For the first fifty years of bioethics we discussed the construction and development of its concept. The original idea slowly gained its directions and followers, and constitutes a comprehensive perception concerning many issues that are critical for our human society. We are now facing a second stage, a new task, that seems to be even more important, complex and difficult, namely the delivering of our message to society, by planting the ethical values into the soul of the people and into their daily life and behavior.
Our task may be and should be realized in two ways, by two different tools: An educational tool and a legal tool. The educational tool will consist of the use of novel methods that will enable us access to the minds of potential “consumers” – the students, the caretakers, the patients and the public at large. The theory and language of bioethics should be translated and adopted by the legislator and the judiciary, and constitute the legal tool.
A concrete example can be found in the Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights of UNESCO, and its application by the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics. The UNESCO Declaration includes 15 ethical principles that have been approved and accepted by all the states worldwide. Our UNESCO Chair in Bioethics was authorized to deliver the message of the Declaration to the students all over the world. The first step has been made. We have published ten guidance books for teachers and have established not less than 125 Units in academic institutes on five continents. Each Unit is committed to the advancement of ethics education in its university and around its countries and regions.
The experts that attend our conference in Limassol are expected to undertake this mission, to start the second step and to establish additional units in their own institutes. You have the knowledge and the close contact to the field of bioethics, you understand its relevance and importance, you have the tools, the wisdom and the courage to motivate this process.
Let the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics 12th World Conference on Bioethics, Medical Ethics & Health Law in Limassol function and serve as the bioethical lighthouse for the next generation.
Prof. Amnon Carmi
President of the Conference