02.09.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

UNESCO Member States to examine Report on Human Vulnerability in the face of scientific advances

The 36 Members States of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC) are expected to review measures, including, for example, the provision of well-funded health services, to improve care for vulnerable groups at their next meeting, 5 and 6 September.

During the session, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the IGBC will examine the recommendations of a new Report of the International Bioethics Committee on the Principle of Respect for Human Vulnerability and Personal Integrity.

The Report examines the multiple ethical implications of advances in scientific knowledge, medical practice and associated technologies, which have improved our ability to safeguard human welfare. But these advances have also opened the door to the exploitation and degradation of vulnerable people.

While it is neither exhaustive or prescriptive, the Report examines a wide range of problems: double standards in research - for example in cases involving medical research programmes by companies from rich countries in poor countries; preserving the rights and dignity of vulnerable groups such as girls and women affected by war, the elderly, the poor, marginalized groups and those affected by physical or mental disability.

The Report is mindful of the principles of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 2005 and reflects the opinions and recommendations of the independent experts who make up the IBC. It is meant to pave the way for a broader reflection and indicates possible lines of action for States and individuals, groups, communities, institutions and corporations, public as well as private.


           Media contact: Cathy Bruno-Capvert: c.bruno-capvert(at)unesco.org

   Journalists wishing to cover the meeting should request accreditation from                    the Press Service of UNESCO: Djibril Kébé d.kebe(at)unesco.org

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