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México, país subdesarrollado en bioética: Ruy Pérez Tamayo

Fecha: 
Jue, 2014-02-20

Al regular el comportamiento humano es parte importante del debate contemporáneo

Reproducción asistida, maternidad sustituta, muerte con dignidad, suicidio asistido, derecho a la vida, cultivo de órganos, tejidos y células para trasplantes, entre otros temas de su ámbito

Arturo Sánchez Jiménez
 
Periódico La Jornada
Jueves 20 de febrero de 2014, p. 40

México es un país subdesarrollado en materia de bioética, afirmó Ruy Pérez Tamayo, profesor emérito de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), al dictar una conferencia en el Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Penales (Inacipe). Sin embargo, añadió que cuando los diputados y senadores se encuentran con que no tienen suficiente información ética para legislar, le han preguntado al Colegio de Bioética, y eso es un paso adelante.

Durante su exposición, el también jefe de la Unidad de Medicina Experimental de la Facultad de Medicina de la UNAM explicó que la bioética no está relacionada con medicina y problemas de salud humana, como la eutanasia, el uso de drogas o el aborto. Más bien, dijo, la bioética es el conocimiento de cómo usar el conocimiento y su objetivo es regular el comportamiento humano hacia la biosfera, siempre pensando en la conservación de la vida en sus diferentes manifestaciones.

En la actualidad, los avances tecnológicos y el conocimiento nos permiten interactuar con la naturaleza de maneras que hace unos años hubieran sido imposibles: podemos extender la vida de un enfermo artificialmente, trasplantar tejidos de un cuerpo a otro, modificar la genética de plantas y animales. Y estas acciones pueden traer consigo alteraciones al medio ambiente, a los ecosistemas, a la biodiversidad y a la vida en general. Es por ello que la bioética tiene un lugar importante en el debate contemporáneo. Sin embargo, explicó, el concepto de bioética tiene en la actualidad un uso ambiguo y se le relaciona fundamentalmente con la medicina, lo cual es un error. Mencionó una decena de libros recientes de especialistas, los cuales, a pesar de anunciar en sus títulos que tratan sobre bioética, en realidad hablan de ética médica.

La palabra bioética, abundó, fue utilizada por primera vez en 1970 en un artículo titulado La ciencia de la supervivencia, escrito por Van Rensselaer Potter.

En aquel texto el autor consideraba que la humanidad necesita urgentemente el conocimiento que le permita saber cómo usar el conocimiento, y subrayaba que el conocimiento biológico y los valores humanos permitirían alcanzar esa nueva sabiduría.

“El hombre es el dueño del lenguaje –sostuvo– y es el uso general el que determina el sentido y el contenido de las palabras. El término bioética se ha usado de distintas maneras, y aunque 44 años es poco para que un vocablo termine de fijar sus significado (...) no es imposible que al final se acepte como sinónimo de ética médica, eliminando todos los aspectos no médicos de la biología a los que hacía referencia en su sentido original. Obviamente, esto sería un absurdo, pero la lógica nunca ha sido el lado fuerte del comportamiento humano.”

Dijo también que muchas discusiones sobre bioética se quedan en los niveles teóricos y parecen no tener una aplicación directa. No obstante, aseguró que en el momento en que empiezan los problemas que requieren reglas éticasdeben aparecer los juristas, los médicos y biólogos, pues quienes determinan el comportamiento moral no son los filósofos, al menos no al nivel de la práctica.

Otras temáticas de la bioética son la reproducción y el suicido asistidos, la maternidad sustituta, la muerte con dignidad, el derecho a la vida, el cultivo de órganos, tejidos y células para trasplantes, el deterioro ambiental, la experimentación con seres vivos y los avances tecnológicos y científicos para modificar la estructura biológica de los seres vivos.