At the end of the World Congress on Bioethics, the Scientific Committee of the International Society of Bioethics (SIBI), insists that science and technology must take into consideration the general interest, and makes the following observations and recommendations:
- the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948,
- the Universal Declaration on Human Genome and Human Rights of UNESCO on 11 November 1997,
- the Asturias Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine of the council of Europe of the 4 April 1997.
Aware of the enormous progress in biology and medicine, the imperative need to assure respect for human rights, the danger that abusing this progress could entail for human rights.
Affirming that it is for Bioethics to enlighten public opinion in regard to this progress, that it is appropriate to open the way towards world-wide sharing in scientific and technological progress and their application.
- Bioscience and its technologies should serve the welfare of mankind, the sustainable development of all countries, world peace, and the protection and conservation of nature.This implies that developed countries should share the benefits of bioscience and its technologies with the inhabitants of less favoured areas of the planet.
- It is an important bioethic task to harmonise the use of biomedic science and its technologies with human rights, in relation to the values and ethical principles proclaimed in the Declaration and Conventions above mentioned, in so far as they constitute an important first step towards the protection of human beings.
- The teaching of Bioethics should be incorporated into the educational system, and should be the object of understandable and accurate texts.
- All members of society should receive adequate and accessible general information about the use of scientific advances, biotechnology and it products.
- Specialised and public debate to guide opinion, attitudes and proposals, should be encouraged. This debate will involve, interactively, experts from the various disciplines, policy-making politicians, and citizens from different backgrounds, as well as mass-media professionals.
- Respect to personal autonomy, justice and solidarity should be promoted.
- Everyone has the right to the best medical care available. The patient and the doctor must decide together the scope ;of medical procedures. The patient must be adequately informed before expressing his/her free consent.
- The human genome is the heritage of all humanity and is not patentable as such.
- A fundamental purpose of assisted reproduction techniques is to medically treat the effects of human infertility, and to facilitate procreation if other treatments have proven unsuitable or inefficient. Assisted reproduction techniques may also be used for diagnosing and treating hereditary diseases, as well as for authorized research.
- The production of identical human individuals by cloning should be banned. Cloning of stem cells for therapeutic purposes should be allowed if it does not involve the destruction of embryos.
- Research on humans should be carried out taking into account the freedom of science and human dignity and must get the approval of independent ethical committees.Experimental subjects must give their fully informed and free consent.
- The safety for human health and nature of genetically modified foodstuffs should first be established in accordance with current scientific knowledge. They may be produced and put on the market only after all the necessary requirements of information, precaution, safety and quality have been fulfilled.Biotechnologies must observe the precautionary principle.
- The trading of human organs should be banned. Research on xenotransplants should be further implemented before they can be performed on human beings.
- The ethical debate on the end-of-life should be further conducted clarifying the concepts involved and taking into account the cultural and ideological differences.
- With the object of promoting a universal language for Bioethics, an effort should be made to harmonise and unify the concepts which at present have different terminologies. Respect for socio-cultural identities is essential in this domain.