Bioethics Unit

The Bioethics Unit was established as an experimental research unit attached to the Scientific Directorate in 2016. The mandate of this unit is to propose research projects within the theoretical framework of empirical bioethics. This category describes an area of interdisciplinary research in which empirical, qualitative and quantitative analysis is integrated with ethical analysis to draw normative conclusions and intervention models helpful in promoting quality of care in the healthcare field. The so-called "empirical turn in bioethics" is characterized by integrating the social and life sciences in bioethics and biomedicine. 
The main methodological frame of reference is that of the MRC Framework for the development of complex interventions and implementation research. Complex interventions are commonly used in health and social care services, public health practice, and other areas of social and economic policy that have consequences for health. Complex intervention research requires strong and early engagement with patients, practitioners, and policy makers, shifting the focus from the “binary question of effectiveness” to whether and how the intervention will be acceptable, implementable, cost effective, scalable, and transferable across contexts.
The possible outcomes of this activity can be described in terms of:

  • Improvement in the moral competencies of health care workers and, in general, in the processes of care;
  • increase in the transparency of decision-making processes and the ability to make explicit the reasons behind the professional behaviours adopted;
  • stimulation of a culture of constructive interprofessional dialogue;
  • improvement in the team and institutional ethical Improving the quality of care;
  • improving the process of patient involvement in choices affecting their health. 

The Bioethics Unit is also involved in face-to-face and experiential training on ethical issues of care, delivered to individual services based on specific needs assessment, and ethical support in applied bioethics and ethics in the management of ethically complex cases for which the technical support of the bioethicist is required.

Ultimo aggiornamento: 05/02/24