Research grants




Psoriasis and executive autonomy: a proposal for improved patient compliance with psoriasis treatment.

Ion Arrieta

Ion Arrieta of University of the Basque Country/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

The aim of this research is to explore the nature of the concept of autonomy habitually used in the ethics of care and medical ethics, and the possible shortcomings of this concept. It will also seek to investigate the factors that lead to such low treatment compliance among patients with psoriasis.

Modes of disagreement in Bioethics: the public and the experts.

Hugo Viciana

Hugo Viciana of Instituto de Estudios Sociales Avanzados (IESA-CSIC).

This project uses a survey of a representative sample to investigate how the Spanish population conceives disagreements around a list of prototypical ethical questions. The project also aims to identify social and cognitive correlations to propose a model for understanding popular attitudes around disagreement in this area. Finally, it will conduct a study with healthcare and bioethics professionals to examine aspects where the reasoning of specialists tends to differ from that of the general population.

Constructing and determining psychometric properties of a questionnaire to evaluate perception of respect and maintenance of dignity in hospitalized patients.

Beatriz Campillo

Beatriz Campillo of Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau.

This project aims to construct and identify the properties of a psychometric questionnaire to evaluate the perception of respect and maintenance of dignity in hospitalized patients. 

Planning Advance Decisions (PAD) and communication in patients with chronic, complex illness and chronic, advanced illness.

Alicia Ortega, Christian Villavicencio and Cristina Garzón

The team led by Christian Villavicencio of Caredoctors

The research aims to explore the values and wishes of patients with chronic, complex illness and patients with chronic, advanced illness. It also seeks to identify the perceptions of their families regarding their values and wishes in an irreversible situation with a poor prognosis. The project will conduct a descriptive, prospective study with patients at the Fundación Santa Susanna, Caldes de Montbui.

Transsexuality in children and adolescents. Ethical aspects of classification and treatment.

Sabel Gabaldón

Sabel Gabaldón of the University of Barcelona

This is a doctoral thesis that aims to conduct applied ethical research on medical and psychological interventions in children and adolescents with gender variability, transsexual issues, and categorization using the current term: gender dysphoria.

Horizons Project. Methodological proposal for gamification of hospital pedagogy, based on narrative bioethics and the model of humanizing care for hospitalized minors.

Júlia Martín

Júlia Martin Badia of the University of Barcelona.

This project aims to construct and publish an innovative play and learning tool in the health setting. This seeks to implement pedagogical approaches in hospitals that consist in humanizing support for hospitalized minors by responding effectively to their biopsychosocial and educational needs before, during and after hospitalization. It is inspired by narrative bioethics and role playing.



The status of patients’ preferences in the practice of mental health in Catalonia.

Francisco José Eiroa Orosa
The team led by Francisco José Eiroa Orosa, of the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology of the University of Barcelona, for: "The status of patients' preferences in the practice of mental health in Catalonia".
The purpose of this study is to identify the opinion and practice of users and professionals with regard to incorporating patient preferences into the care process in mental health. It also seeks to explore the obstacles to the process of implementing potential shared decision-making programs and patient preferences in mental health. Finally, the study makes proposals designed to inform both professionals and users about patients' rights, and the benefits and practical advantages of incorporating their preferences into the mental health care process.

Ethics of care applied to the intensive care unit.

Alejandra Fernández Trujillo
The team led by Alejandra Fernández Trujillo, of Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, for: "Ethics of care applied to the intensive care unit".
Patients in critical condition who are admitted to intensive care units (ICU) are often immersed in a tangle of cables and sophisticated monitoring and life support equipment. In a health context in which issues of how to make health care more human and patient-focused, with the aim of ensuring that care includes both physical and emotional aspects to ensure a more comprehensive approach to the loss of health, ICUs should not be ignored. The principal objective of this study consists in comparing the care received by patients admitted to the ICU with that received by patients admitted to other hospital departments.

Ethics for robots: Some considerations in the design of social robots for children’s hospitals.

Miquel Domènech Argemí
The team led by Miquel Domènech Argemí, of the Department of Social Psychology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, for: "Ethics for robots: Some considerations in the design of social robots for children's hospitals".
The aim of this research is to develop an ethical framework for the design and use of social robots in children's hospitals. The project will involve the different stakeholders in the process of designing and using social robots in hospital contexts. The aim is to construct an ethical framework that encapsulates the meanings, priorities, interests and concerns of all stakeholders. The research and development of this ethical framework will be conducted from the perspective of the ethics of care, while also integrating insights from scientific and social studies of the relationship between people and machines covered by the concept of empirical ethics.

Commitment Information Document (CID) in dietary adaptations in dysphagia.

Núria Oriol Peregrina
Núria Oriol Peregrina, of Hospital Universitario Mutua de Terrassa, Sociosanitario de Vallparadís, for: "Commitment Information Document (CID) in dietary adaptations in dysphagia".
Within the framework of the therapeutic relationship established between the health professional and the patient-family unit, the professional's desire to help the patient to improve his or her situation can come into conflict with the patient's own values or preferences. On the one hand, the health professional may wish to ensure that the patient understands the suitability of the proposed treatment; on the other, there is the need for the patient to take decisions as autonomously as possible. The project identifies the obstacles to decision-making by patients admitted to the Sub-acute Unit of a Hospital Centre who have difficulties swallowing, and who require adaptations to their diet.

Relational approaches: vulnerability and autonomy in bioethics.

Janet Delgado Rodríguez
Janet Delgado Rodríguez, of the Doctorate and Postgraduate School of the University of La Laguna, for: "Relational approaches: vulnerability and autonomy in bioethics".
The main purpose of this study is to analyze and redefine the conceptual framework that has been used to date to develop the notion of vulnerability within the sphere of bioethics. It takes as its starting point the need to develop new ethical focuses and perspectives that raise our awareness of vulnerability, and the possible objective and subjective harm caused by structural inequalities and violence, in an approach that incorporates the ethics of ‘alterity' or otherness. 

Comparative study of protocols for accessing the interruption of pregnancy in the European Union (ProtoAccess)

Rosana Triviño

Rosana Triviño Caballero, of the Institute of Philosophy of Spain's Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), who was awarded a grant for her study: "Comparative study of protocols for accessing the interruption of pregnancy in the European Union (ProtoAccess)."


The purpose of the project is to determine whether the conditions for accessing the interruption of pregnancy (IP) in European Union countries reflect the needs of women who are affected, and respect the classic principles of bioethics (autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and justice), reinterpreted in the light of feminist theories of care.

The project aims to conduct a comparative analysis of differences between practice and legislation in the member states of the European Union, possible reasons for this, and the potential impact of such requirements on access to IP. It also seeks to offer a framework protocol designed to adjust the conditions of access, in cases where this could be necessary.




Evaluating pain in adults without the capacity for communication. A bioethical analysis in hospitalization units for critical patients (beca)

Gemma Robleda and Josep-E. Baños


To Gemma Robleda and Josep-E. Baños of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau and Pompeu Fabra University, respectively, for the project: "Evaluating pain in adults without the capacity for communication. A bioethical analysis in hospitalization units for critical patients" [L'avaluació del dolor en persones adultes sense capacitat de comunicació. Un anàlisi bioètic en les unitats d'hospitalització de pacients crítics].


Establishing the existence and intensity of pain is necessary if we are to provide pain relief, but in practice it is often very difficult to do so, particularly in patients who lack the capacity for communication. This study aims to analyze the pain evaluation methods used in units caring for critical patients, and to identify how frequently they are used. It will also seek to identify the pain relief treatments applied in painful procedures in these units, and to discover the opinions of the health professionals who work in them.

The legal protection of intersex people: reconsidering the (arbitrary?) assignation of gender from a legal perspective (beca)

Elena Lauroba Lacasa


To Elena Lauroba of the University of Barcelona for the project: "The legal protection of intersex people: reconsidering the (arbitrary?) assignation of gender from a legal perspective" [La protección jurídica de las personas intersexuales: repensar desde el derecho las asignaciones (¿arbitrarias?) de género].


The author submitted a proposal to research the legal situation of intersex people – those who, in biological terms, cannot be unequivocally identified as belonging to one or other gender (male or female). Her aim is to analyze the level of protection afforded to their rights, both with regard to human rights and in terms of private law (name, privacy, marriage, etc.). She also aims to identify specific initiatives and actions in the public policy sphere. 


Biotechnological patents: at the limits of legality (beca)

Sonia Jimeno Ramírez


To Sonia Jimeno Ramírez of the University of Barcelona for the project: "Biotechnological patents: at the limits of legality" [Las patentes biotecnológicas: en los límites de la legalidad].


This research project seeks to analyze the ethical limits on industrial and intellectual property, particularly with regard to biotechnological patents or "patents on life". The author will explore their social, ecological and health impact, in order to evaluate both the legality and the legitimacy of an issue that has been controversial both within the scientific and academic community and within civil society as a whole.


Constructing a tool to quantify professional commitment in nursing (beca)

Loreto María García Moyano


To Loreto María García Moyano of the University of Zaragoza for the project: "Constructing a tool to quantify professional commitment in nursing" [Constructo de un instrumento para cuantificar el compromiso profesional en enfermería]. 


The aim of this study is to construct a valid, reliable instrument to quantify the commitment of nursing professionals in Spain. Care is what defines the nursing profession. However, at present this is considered only from a technical perspective, and the ethical dimension – consisting of elements such as accompaniment, empathy and confidentiality – is ignored. Quantifying professional responsibility or commitment in nursing would help to identify the factors that underpin it, and would also be useful as a means of preventing burnout.  


Narrative bioethics: applying the model in the clinical and educational setting (beca)

Lydia Feito Grande and Tomás Domingo Moratalla


To Lydia Feito Grande and Tomás Domingo Moratalla of the Complutense University in Madrid for the project: "Narrative bioethics: applying the model in the clinical and educational setting" [Bioética narrativa: aplicación del modelo en el ámbito clínico y educativo].


The authors argue that narrative bioethics provides the necessary counterpoint to a rationalist ethics that focuses on decisions and abstract principles, and that it does so on the basis of attending to the experiences of those affected. This study aims to develop the practical application of the narrative bioethics model described in the book Bioética Narrativa (Escolar and Mayo, 2013), in a second book and also through the development of training materials (worksheets, exercise books, DVDS etc.), by bringing together resources that would otherwise be difficult for trainers to access, and by organizing events to promote the sharing of experiences and discussion of the issues. 


Non-vaccination as a meeting point: analyzing discourse to build bridges (beca)

Maite Cruz Piqueras


To the team led by Maite Cruz Piqueras of the Andalucian School of Public Health for the project: "Non-vaccination as a meeting point: analyzing discourse to build bridges" [La no vacunación como punto de encuentro: analizando discursos para tender puentes].


This study seeks to highlight the importance of and the reasons behind the argument against vaccination in children, which is often given far less coverage in the media than the countervailing arguments in favour. The researchers want to find points of dialogue and understanding between the two positions, starting from the exploration of the viewpoints of parents and health professionals who are opposed to vaccination, and of children who have not been vaccinated. As a result, the authors aim to develop a document with recommendations for institutions and health professionals, and to generate analysis and debate of the issue.



Research group: Maite Cruz Piqueras (Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública), Joaquín Hortal Carmona (Hospital de Alta Resolución de Guadix), Javier Padilla Bernáldez (Hospital Universitario Virgen de Valme) and Ainhoa Rodríguez de Cortázar (Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública).




Communication and apology after a medical error

Priscila Giraldo

The team led by Priscila Giraldo of the Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) for the project: "Comunicación y disculpa después de un error médico" (Communication and apology after a medical error).

Although there are currently a large number of studies that demonstrate the impact of medical errors on patients, research on the communications after such errors occur is still incipient. Multiple factors such as social reputation, shame, or just a lack of institutional or social support, inhibit many professionals when communicating what has happened after they commit an error. This project aims to research these aspects, and analyze the strategies followed by other countries to produce a series of legal and ethical recommendations and to provide Spanish healthcare centers with a suitable program for communicating errors and making apologies.


This research has been published in Gaceta Sanitaria (Health Gazette) as a brief article:


Giraldo P, et al. Análisis de las barreras y oportunidades legales-éticas de la comunicación y disculpa de errores asistenciales en España. Gac Sanit. 2015.


You can read it here 

(in spanish)




Epidemiology of Resilience

Jordi Cabòs Teixidó

Jordi Cabòs Teixidó of the Universitat de Barcelona for the project: "Epidemiologia de la Resiliència" (Epidemiology of Resilience).

This research project offers an ethical reflection in relation to the creation of meaning when faced with difficult situations. The study aims to examine the role of organizations and healthcare workers when helping to create a meaning and overcome the circumstances that millions of citizens are currently suffering due to the devastating effect of the economic crisis.

Events organized by other institutions