Ethics for robots: Some considerations in the design of social robots for children’s hospitals.
Commitment Information Document (CID) in dietary adaptations in dysphagia.
Relational approaches: vulnerability and autonomy in bioethics.
08 November 2016
Comparative study of protocols for accessing the interruption of pregnancy in the European Union (ProtoAccess)
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)
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)
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)
29 October 2015
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)
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)
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)
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
05 January 2014
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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2015.11.007
You can read it here
Epidemiology of Resilience
05 January 2014
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.
Shared decision-making program in breast cancer with mastectomy. The right of women to decide
Míriam de la Flor of the Hospital Universitari Joan XXIII for the project: "Programa de toma de decisiones compartida en el cáncer de mama con mastectomía. El derecho de la mujer a decidir" (Shared decision-making program in breast cancer with mastectomy. The right of women to decide).
The diagnosis of breast cancer entails a situation of great stress. With this in mind, the project proposes the creation of an application that uses a fictional character (an avatar) to accompany women on a virtual tour that follows the decision-making process for the different therapeutic possibilities offered.
Study of the empathy of physicians and nursing staff in Primary Care in the region of Lleida and its relationship with clinical variables
Oriol Yuguero Torres of the Universitat de Lleida for the project: "Estudio de la empatía de los médicos y enfermeras de Atención Primaria de la Región Sanitaria de Lleida y su relación con las variables clínica" (Study of the empathy of physicians and nursing staff in Primary Care in the region of Lleida and its relationship with clinical variables).
This project analyzes the level of empathy shown by healthcare professionals working in primary care centers in the region of Lleida. Various studies have linked the level of empathy, the ability that these professionals have in putting themselves in the situation of the patient, with greater ethical competence.
The advance directives document in mental health
05 January 2014
Sergio Ramos Pozón of the Universitat de Barcelona for the project: "El documento de voluntades anticipadas en salud mental" (The advance directives document in mental health).
The overall aim of this research consists in conducting a theoretical reflection based on empirical data on the need for psychiatric advance directives (PAD) in mental healthcare.
The concept of autonomy of the DSM5: characteristics and possible implications of its amendment
Omar García Zabaleta of the Universidad del País Vasco for the project: "El concepto de autonomía del DSM 5: rasgos y posibles implicaciones de su modificación" (The concept of autonomy of the DSM5: characteristics and possible implications of its amendment).
This project aims to address the definition of the concepts of health and sickness and what we consider normal and what can be classified as pathological; aspects which have traditionally been a necessary and complicated task for psychiatry. From the beginnings of medicine, there have been many attempts to clarify the nature of both concepts and the fine line that separates them. However, even today one could argue that none of these has proved to be entirely convincing.
A description of practices to limit life-sustaining therapy in the ICU and the potential impact on donation after controlled cardiac death
María Amparo Bodi of the Institut d'Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili (IISPV) for the project: A description of practices to limit life-sustaining therapy in ICU and the potential impact on donation after controlled cardiac death.
The project aims to establish the basis for implementing a program for controlled donation after cardiac death (DAC), at the Joan XXII University Hospital. A prospective study was designed for this purpose to determine the current circumstances of life-sustaining treatment limitation (LSTL) and the characteristics of the patients to whom it is applied.
How implantable defibrillators are currently managed in Spain in terminally ill patients and in end-of-life care. Are we considering deactivation?
To Silvia Del Castillo Arrojo of the Fuenlabrada University Hospital for the project: How implantable defibrillators are currently managed in Spain in terminally ill patients and in end-of-life care. Are we considering deactivation?
Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) have proven to be useful in preventing sudden death originating from cardiac arrhythmia. However the use of ICDs has given rise to controversy in recent years. The aims of this study are to discover the current situation at centers which implant and monitor the defibrillators in Spain in terminally ill patients or with a poor quality of life. The research focuses on finding out whether an established protocol exists for ICD management in terminal cases, and whether patients are informed of the possibility of deactivating the electrical shock therapies, and who decides this, among other issues.
The right to know the biological origins versus anonymity in the donation of gametes.
To Noelia Igareda of the Faculty of Law at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona for the project: The right to know the biological origins versus anonymity in the donation of gametes.
The aim of this research is to study how the right to know the biological origins can be guaranteed in our legal system, and how this right can be protected with the anonymity of male and female gametes in the field of assisted reproduction techniques. The three lines of research are resumed in:
- a study of the current legal regulation of European citizens' rights in EU legislation and the EU Charter;
- an analysis of the opinions of citizens on the right to know one's own origins, in the context of new forms of affiliation born through assisted reproduction techniques;
- the identification and analysis of the arguments for and against the anonymity of the donors of gametes in recent European and international literature from bioethics, legal and medical perspectives.
The use of physical restraints in pediatric psychiatry units: Is this an ethical clinical practice?
To Elvira Pértega of the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón for the project: The use of physical restraints in pediatric psychiatry units: Is this an ethical clinical practice?
The use of physical restraints is the source of ongoing controversy and one of the unresolved problems of institutional psychiatry. It is currently being considered an error rather than a treatment. This project examines the use of physical restraints from the perspective of error. It aims to establish that the established dimensions of the physical restraints are erroneous and to examine the differences between this concept and appropriate practice or malpractice.