¿Un intruso junto al lecho del enfermo?: La bioética cumple treinta años
Until the 70 s medical dilemmas and disagreements were rarely discussed in terms of rights and duties. However at this point in history, crucial new ideas were introduced, including the notion of Medical Bioethics. What seems important at this stage is to show if the "bioethical turn" has made a significant difference in the field of medicine or is just a stranger at the patient´s bedside. An unswearving confidence in the future of bioethics cannot be justified when observing its current state. The subject has "taken off" but has a long way to go. Three selected bioethical issues are discussed in this editorial: legalism (problems in medical ethics are often discussed in terminology borrowed from the law or the use of a model of rules to frame or solve moral rights), why is it that bioethics has emerged as a vigourous and highly visible discipline only recently, and moral universalism (the fact of moral disputing parties raises questions about appropriate criteria for correct or objective moral judgements). They constitute some of the most important contemporary issues in bioethics and an incitement to a moral dialog, a dialog that both layman and professional must enter.