Research grants




Autonomía y vulnerabilidad infantil: Retos bioéticos para la salud psicosocial de la infancia desde el Enfoque de las Capacidades [Childhood autonomy and vulnerability: bioethical challenges for psychosocial health in childhood, from a Capacities Perspective]

María del Mar Cabezas, University of Salamanca

This project aims to explore the bioethical debate with respect to childhood, to consider the dilemmas, challenges and paradoxes that arise when we ask what minors require in terms of justice and psycho-social health.


To do this, it devises a theoretical and analytical plan to identify the specific ethical questions pertaining to childhood, and proposes a new form of attending to concrete cases related to the psycho-social health of minors, such as childhood obesity, depression and social exclusion.

Impacto de la pandemia COVID19 en el sistema emocional, la salud y la calidad de vida de las personas usuarias de las residencias para personas con discapacidad intelectual, sus familias y as personas cuidadoras de estos centros [Impact of the COVID19 pandemic on the emotional system, health and quality of life of service users of residences for people with mental disability, their families and the carers at these centres]

Team led by Montserrat Puig, University of Barcelona

This project investigates the impact of the pandemic on the emotional system, health and quality of life of people with mental disability (multiple disability) who use residences in Catalonia, and of workers and relatives. The objective is to describe to the public authorities and the key decision-makers that occurred in residences from the start of the pandemic until completion of the vaccination programme (March 2021) and its consequences, to reflect on the most appropriate care model for these situations.


Research team formed by: Montserrat Puig, Antonio Rafael Moreno, Gemma Pérez, Montserrat Roca, Maria Teresa Lluch, Teresa Nicloás, Miguel Angel Hidalgo, Juan Francisco Roldán, Marta Prats, Zaida Palmira Agüera, Mª Aurelia Sanchez, Mª Carmen Moreno and Xavier Domènech

Racismo, medicina colonial y salud global: un estudio cualitativo de opinión sobre ética de las decisiones en investigación sanitaria en África [Racism, colonial medicine and global health: a qualitative study of opinion on the ethics of decisions in health research in Africa]

Team led by Rosauro Varo, ISGlobal

To gain a specific understanding of what is meant when we talk of structural violence in the context of colonization, health and bioethics, this project seeks to contextualize and define concepts such as "racism" and "colonization" with respect to the basic principles of bioethics and ethics as applied to medicine. It also seeks to offer a vision of health professionals in Africa, both expatriate staff and local, with respect to the racist ideology of colonialism.


Research team formed by: Rosauro Varo, Antonio Varo and Quique Bassat.

Gen-Ética Experimental: Las bases cognitivas de las actitudes morales sobre las tecnologías genéticas y genómicas emergentes [Experimental Gen-Ethics: The cognitive bases of moral attitudes towards energing genetic and genome technologies]

Jon Rueda and Ivar Allan Rodríguez, University of Granada

Gen-Ética Experimental consists in applying empirical and experimental methodologies to the study of the philosophical and psychological factors that influence people's moral evaluations of emerging genetic and genome technologies. Using controlled experiments, this project aims to generate empirical, philosophical and psychological knowledge about the what, the how and the why of legal and moral evaluations of these technologies.

Controversias ético-políticas en la introducción de sistemas de Inteligencia artificial en salud pública. Un estudio de caso sobre la estrategia de vacunación contra la COVID-19 en Cataluña [Ethical-political controversies in the introduction of artificial intelligence systems in public health. A case study of the COVID-19 vaccination strategy in Catalonia]

Núria Vallès, of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Júlia Pareto, of the University of Barcelona/Institute of Industrial Robotics and Information Technology, CSIC-UPC

The aim of this project is to ensure ensure the ethical use, governance and scrutiny of the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) systems in the health sector, in order to maximize the benefits of this technology and minimize the risks. Taking this as its starting point, the project seeks to develop an ethical framework to accompany the introduction of AI systems in public health campaigns, ensuring that AI is at the service of the common good and universal health coverage.

Las narrativas clínicas de la muerte: ¿una oportunidad para el desarrollo ético de los profesionales? [Clinical narratives of death: an opportunity for the ethical development of professionals?]

Team led by Pau Miquel of Fundació per la Recerca Sant Joan de Déu

Numerous studies have identified the lack of international research into palliative pediatric care. This project seeks to determine the main clinical aspects of such care, drawing on the clinical narratives of health professionals: it compares the different ethical perspectives of professionals on the death of a patient; the moral characterization of patients and those around them (family and care staff); analysis of how decision-making is reported; and evaluation of the pedagogic impact of the goodbye message, a tool to inform health professionals involved in treating and caring for a patient of that person's death.


Research team formed by: Pau Miquel, Ignasi Clemente, Balma Soraya Hernández, Lucía Navarro, Lucía Peñarrubia and Daniel Toro.



Health, democracy and freedom: the ethical-political dilemmas of the pandemic

Jordi Muñoz, University of Barcelona

Taking the advanced democracies as its starting point, this project aims to identify the nature of the dilemmas posed by the pandemic and to undertake an empirical analysis of people's preferences with respect to these dilemmas. Starting with four dilemmas (governance of the pandemic, individual freedom, the economy, and the pandemic as a global problem) the project proposes identifying a series of survey questions to identify citizens' priorities in this regard.

“Una de cal y otra de arena”: citizen suspicion of COVID-19 vaccination and rejection of the flu vaccine among health professionals

To the research team of Joaquín Hortal, Clinical Ethics Committee Granada North-east, Maite Cruz, Andalusian School of Public Health, and Javier Padilla, Servicio Madrileño de Salud

This study analyzes the arguments and reasoning of groups who are hostile to vaccination with reference to a possible vaccine against COVID-19 for the general population and to the flu vaccination among health professionals. The aim is to engage in deeper analysis and discussion of ethics and public health with respect to non-vaccination, facilitating interaction between health professionals and experts via a discussion forum.


Joaquin, Maite and Javier are all members of ESPACyOS 

Death in solitude from the perspective of COVID-19 survivors. A phenomenological study

The team led by Andrea Rodríguez-Prat of the International University of Catalonia

A lot of people have died alone and in isolation as a result of the COVID-19 health emergency. This project sets out to explore the experience of COVID-19 survivors faced with the prospect of dying in isolation, and analyzes the ethical dimension of their experiences.

Giving birth in times of the COVID-19 pandemic: Ethical implications for maternity care

Josefina Goberna, University of Barcelona

This project sets out to deepen our knowledge of the different forms of vulnerability, violence and the loss of rights that pregnant women experience in the context of the pandemic. To this end, it aims to develop a training programme to promote better education for midwives and other health professionals to help them deliver respectful care for women in the current situation.


The ethics of images of illness, death and grieving in times of COVID-19

Rebeca Pardo of the International University of Catalonia and Montse Morcate of the University of Barcelona

This project aims to identify the various bioethical implications of photographic representations of the pandemic in the media and to detect the photographic narratives specific to the pandemic, both those produced by professionals and by ordinary people, including images shared on the internet.

Influence of the COVID-19 health crisis in ethical conflicts of intensive care professionals in Catalonia and Lombardy. (Quali – ETIC – COVID-19 Research)

The team led by Anna Falcó and Loris Bonetti, with researchers from the University of Barcelona, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland and the Universitá degli Studi of Milan

This study sets out to identify the ethical issues in care for critically ill patients during the COVID-19 crisis from the perspective of ICU professionals. To achieve this, the researchers propose exploring the ethical values and principles that are prioritized when taking decisions regarding the care of critically ill patients, with the aim of delivering improvements to reduce the risk of ethical conflicts in health crises or pandemics.

Ética de la Investigación Biomédica en el contexto del COVID-19. (Calidad evaluativa del CEIm)[The ethics of biomedical research in the context of COVID-19. (Evaluative quality of CEIm)]

The team led by Laura Martínez of Sant Joan de Déu Research Foundation

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis, this project sets out to analyze observance of the ethical principles and recommendations set out by the Drug Research Ethics Committee (CEIm) in evaluations of protocols submitted in the context of the pandemic, with the aim of understanding the discourse and practice of researchers with respect to the ethical requirements of coronavirus research.

¿Puede la inteligencia artificial ayudar a prepararnos frente a la muerte? Cuestiones éticas sobre los chatbots para el dol y el final de la vida(Can artificial intelligence help us prepare for death? Ethical questions about the role of chatbots in the grieving process and the end of life)

Belén Jiménez, of the Open University of Catalonia, and Ignacio Brescó, of Aalborg University

The appearance of ‘griefbots', enabling us to continue chatting with somebody who is no longer with us, or the chatbots used to help those receiving palliative care to face the prospect of death, raise numerous ethical questions about our relationship with technology. This project seeks to explore them, linking them with the latest trends in clinical psychology, which stress the importance of affirming the existence of continuing bonds with the dead person.



Las nuevas maternidades y paternidades, las ‘nuevas formas’ de tener hijos y sus implicaciones éticas (New maternities and paternities: the ‘new ways’ of having children and their ethical implications)

Mª del Carmen Gete-Alonso y Calera and Judith Solé Resina, Autonomous University of Barcelona

This project proposes that we need a new, wider legal meaning of the term ‘progenitor', one which goes beyond biological parents to include other people who are directly involved in creating a new life. This would open the door to the drafting of new laws to cover all the realities that need to be taken into account.


Pacientes agentes. Repensar la autonomía del paciente desde una perspectiva fiduciaria (Patients as agents. Rethinking patient autonomy from a fiduciary perspective)

Jordi Mundó Blanch, University of Barcelona

The general objective of this project is to study the application of the trust structure to the doctor–patient professional relationship, and to examine the bioethical consequences associated with this model. The project also aims to promote reflection on the institutional application of this research, which seeks to recognize and promote patient autonomy.


Evaluación de la influencia de la implementación de programas de donación en asistolia controlada en los cuidados a final de la vida (Evaluating the influence of the implementation of donation programmes in controlled asystole in end of life care)

Alberto Sandiumenge Camps, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital

This project is designed to identify the frequency and point of application of end of life care in critical patients, analyzing the type and characteristics of Limitations on Life Support Techniques (LLST) in ICUs, with the main objective of evaluating the impact, moment and profile of patients to which LLSTs are applied.


La ética de las técnicas de remplazo mitocondrial para tratar la infertilidad (The ethics of mitochondrial replacement techniques to treat infertility)

César Palacios González, Oxford University

This project focuses on the need to undertake bioethical analysis of the application of Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques, a treatment that was initially developed to prevent mitochondrial DNA diseases but has also been used to treat fertility problems, despite the lack of scientific evidence to support its efficacy.


Sensibilidad moral de estudiantes de enfermería de grado y posgrado (Moral sensibility of undergraduate and postgraduate nursing students)

Team led by María F. Jiménez Herrera, Rovira i Virgili University

This project takes as its starting point the fact that, during the academic education of nursing students, insufficient attention is paid to the ethical view of the discipline. The aim is to promote the creation of instruments to assist with the design of educational interventions to increase ethical competencies and sensitivity in nursing practice.


Pluralismo y muerte: Desafíos éticos y actitudes de los profesionales en relación a la diversidad de criterios en la determinación de la muerte (Pluralism and death: ethical challenges and attitudes of professionals with respect to the diversity of criteria when determining death)

Team led by Gonzalo Díaz Cobacho and Alberto Molina Pérez, University of Granada

The main objective of this study is to open up a new line of bioethics research into the diversity of definitions and criteria when determining death. The study seeks to explore the theoretical justification for and ethical challenges raised by this diversity, and to evaluate its potential impact on society and on health professionals with respect to organ donation and transplants.