European bioethics institutionalisation in theory and practice


  • Iva Rinčić School of Medicine - Department of Social Sciences and Medical Humanities, Faculty of Health Studies - Department of Public Health, University of Rijeka, Croatia
  • Amir Muzur


Th e starting point of this paper is the role the institutions as social facts, have in modern

(European) society, as well as the exploring of the meaning and purpose of the institutionalisation

process. Institutionalisation is seen as the process understood as establishing diff erent

normative and organisational institutions.

Our interest is also concentrated upon following the line of (European) bioethics. Since V.

R. Potter used this term in 1970/71 for the fi rst time, bioethics has rapidly conquered various

levels of the American society, becoming well known and even better present in a series

of institutions. At the same time, almost contrary to the American example and experience,

European continent has for a long time been resistant to the term of bioethics, as well as to

the very idea of such discipline. Until recently, European orientation and devotion to the

traditional terms (medical ethics, biomedical ethics, physician’s deontology, etc.) and the misconception

of (American) bioethics, have been main reasons for the lack of or poor bioethical

institutionalisation in European countries and the Union.

Being discovered in 1997 and promoted since 2007, the work of Fritz Jahr has been spreading

new lights onto the originality and authenticity of bioethical ideas in Europe, off ering

remarks regarding the Bioethical Imperative and institutions, as well as possibilities os European

bioethical institutionalisation.