Research grants




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.



Barreras en la gestión del documento de voluntades anticipadas y planificación de decisiones anticipadas en servicios de urgencias y emergencias médicas. (Obstacles in the management of the advance directive and advance decision planning document in medical emergency services.)

Team led by Silvia Poveda

Silvia Poveda, Fundació Sanitària Mollet.


This project seeks to analyse knowledge of and attitudes towards the Advance Directives Document (ADD) and Advance Decision Planning (ADP) by health professionals in the Emergency Health Services. The research will focus on the ethical conflict that may arise from health professionals' difficulties in both identifying and implementing advance directives.


Research team: Anna Falcó, Mireia Vicente, Dolors Rodríguez, Itziar De Lecuona and Pere Sánchez

Poveda‑Moral et al. BMC Med Ethics (2021) 22:75


La reconciliación después del error médico: la mediación como herramienta de ayuda a las víctimas. (Reconciliation after medical errors: mediation as a tool to help victims.)

Priscila Giraldo
Priscila Giraldo, Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques.
The main objective of this project is to develop a mediation programme designed to provide reconciliation following medical errors, aimed both at patients (the primary victim) and at health professionals (the secondary victim).

Reflexiones éticas sobre la representación del cuidado del ser humano en el cine. (Ethical reflections on the representation of human care in the cinema.)

Mònica Sumoy
Mònica Sumoy, Universitat Rovira i Virgili.
This study focuses on how human suffering is portrayed on the screen; how the individual who is suffering responds to the events and people that may in some way influence their state of suffering and thus affect the progress of their condition. It also seeks to compare the treatment of care and affection in the cinema with the way these are treated in real life.

La Ética de la ignorancia y la ética de incertidumbre. Elementos para comprender y prevenir la iatrogenia. (The ethics of ignorance and the ethics of uncertainty. Elements to understand and prevent iatrogenics.)

Andreu Segura
Andreu Segura is an epidemiologist and a specialist in public health.
This project explores whether it is possible to reduce the harm associated with medical and health practice, by promoting caution as a core value for health professionals. The aim is to provide information and to identify criteria as a basis for designing more extensive research into values and attitudes in professional training and practice.

Puesta en marcha de un proceso de planificación de decisiones anticipadas en pacientes con trastorno mental severo en un centro de salud mental (Implementing a process for planning advance directives in patients with severe mental disorder at a mental health centre) - CANCELED PROJECT-

Team led by Albert Granero

Alberto Granero, University of Barcelona

This project seeks to evaluate the process of evaluating the planning of advance directives in patients with severe mental disorders, by monitoring various structural, process and results indicators over a 2-year period. It aims to define the communication and relational process involved in planning an advance directive, and to promote the use of such tools.


Research team: Albert Granero, Miríam Santamaría, Pablo Hernando, Siddarta Acebillo, Igor Merodio, Montserrat Carmona y Alejandra Rubio



Uso ético de las redes sociales en el caso de los trastornos de conducta alimentaria (Ethical use of social media in the case of eating disorders) - CANCELED PROJECT-

Ana Mª González

Ana M. González, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

This project explores messages and interactions between users of web platforms and social media related to eating disorders, with the aim of expanding our knowledge of which visual and text messages have the most impact and exercise the most influence. We hope to improve guidelines for sharing information designed to combat gender stereotypes and risky eating behaviours.