Fifty years after the publication of the well-known 1971 book Bioethics: Bridge to the Future by Van Rensselaer Potter, and the foundation of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, the main aim of the 38th EACME Annual Conference in Varese (Italy) is to reflect upon the theme of dialogue as a bridge to overriding gaps in bioethics. Such gaps are even more evident after the Covid-19 pandemic. The emergency has underlined the great need for bioethical reflections, yet at the same time it has highlighted how difficult it is for bioethicists to significantly affect the public debate. In other words, bioethics has not been as effective as we would have liked. These aspects prompt us to reflect on the very roots of our field, facing both old and new challenges. We have singled out four main topics:

A) The dialogue on bioethics:

on the basis of what we have just said, with this topic we would like to attract general reflections on theories and methodologies in bioethics, the role of bioethics in our pluralistic society, and the different approaches in bioethics. We also included the sub-topic “Bioethics education” to reflect not only on education for health care workers, but also on the need to raise awareness regarding bioethical issues.

B) The dialogue in clinical practice:

the host center for EACME 2020 has always been interested in addressing ethical issues in clinical practice. With this topic, we would like to attract papers which stress the importance of relationships in care practice and which address ethical issues in all the several sub-themes reported.

C) The dialogue with society and politics:

if we want bioethical reflection to influence public opinion, we also need to address the fascinating issue of the relationship with society and politics. We would therefore, like to attract papers concerning fairness and justice in health care, the role of mass media and social media

D) The dialogue towards the future:

new and emerging technologies. With this topic, we want to attract papers that investigate the ethical issues arising from the implementation of new technologies in medicine


  1. The dialogue on bioethics
  • The relevance of theories and methodologies in medical ethics
  • Rethinking the role of bioethics after Covid-19
  • Religious and cultural pluralism in bioethics
  • Education and Awareness of healthcare professionals about bioethical issues
  • Beyond medical ethics: animals and environmental ethics
  1. The dialogue with society and politics
  • The dialogue between ethics, deontology and law
  • The role of bioethics in national and international political decisions
  • Justice, solidarity, and equity in health care
  • Public opinion and media
  • Global bioethics and local bioethics


  1. The dialogue in clinical practice
  • Scope and limits of autonomy in clinical practice
  • Different methods in clinical ethics consultation
  • Ethics in organ transplantation
  • The influence of a clinical ethics service on moral distress
  • Ethics and the blurred line between clinical practice and research


  1. The dialogue towards the future: new and emerging technologies
  • Gen-Ethics: Genetic tests, Gene Therapy, Biobank
  • Robo-Ethics, Nano-ethics, Public Health 4.0 and High-Tech Medicine
  • Neuro-Ethics: Neurolaw, cognitive sciences, free will and moral cognition
  • Digital medicine: big data, and privacy
  • Bio-security and biological threats

Thursday, September 15th, 2022
 2.00 pm


OPENING SESSION (2.00-2.30 p.m.)

  • Prof. Ruth Horn (President of EACME)
  • Prof. Mario Picozzi (President of the Conference)
  • Angelo Tagliabue (University of Insubria President)
  • Davide Galimberti (City of Varese Mayor)

Session I

Plenary session 

The dialogue on bioethics

Chair: Prof. Renzo Pegoraro 

Key lecture

  • Prof. Laura Palazzani (LUMSA University, Vicechair of the Italian Committee of Bioethics, Rome)


Coffee break

Parallel sessions

Welcome Cocktail

Friday September 16th, 2022
9.00 a.m.

Session II

Plenary session

The dialogue in clinical practice

Chair: Dr. Federico Nicoli


  • Dr. Gerald Neitzke (Hannover Medical School, ECEN Network Steering Committee)


  • Dr. Massimo Cardillo (National Italian Transplant Center, National Institute of Health, Rome)
  • Prof. Veronique Fournier and Dr. Nicolas Foureur (Centre d’éthique clinique de l’hôpital Cochin, Paris)

Parallel sessions


Session III
2.00 pm


The dialogue with society and politics

Chair: Dr. Alessandra A. Grossi

Key lecture

  • Prof. Ana Borovecki (University of Zagreb, President ESPMH)

Parallel sessions

Gala dinner

Saturday September 17th, 2022
9.00 am

Fourth session

Plenary session

The dialogue towards the future: new and emerging technologies

Round table

Chair: Prof. Giovanni Bernardini Giovanni

  •  Davide Battisti (University of Insubria, Varese)
  •  Marianne Boenink (Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen)
  •  Massimo Reichlin (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan)

Parallel sessions 


Prof. Ruth Horn

Prof. Mario Picozzi

For scientific-related inquiries: 



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Via O. Rossi, 9 – 21100 Varese (Italy)

Email: crec.secretary@uninsubria.it

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