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The philologist Manuel Casado warns about the use of euphemisms with proven persuasive effectiveness.

150 specialists took part in the IX National Bioethics congress of the association Spanish Bioethics and Medical Ethics Association.

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Manuel Casado. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
25/10/13 16:20 Laura Latorre

"Bioethics has suffered the onslaught of the ideology of autonomous man, who claims to dictate the rules on the reality of the world and of the human being and to direct his development and progress based on technological power". This was stated by the Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Natalia López-Moratalla, on the occasion of the IX National Bioethics congress being held at the University of Navarra.

The expert will give a talk at lecture in which she will defend a new reflection on Bioethics in properly human aspects, based on a science free of prejudices. Natalia López Moratalla, president of the association Española de Bioética y Ética Médica, points out that issues such as fertilization or embryonicdevelopment "have been the pasture of science fiction when considering that technology can achieve whatever it sets out to do and when not recognizing the existence of natural limits; and also the pasture of the manipulation of data and the uncritical acceptance of pseudo-scientific dogmas".

The philologist Manuel Casado will also speak at meeting , who regrets that currently, in bioethics, there are disparate conceptions and rival claims about what is true, ethical or just, when it comes to issues deeply involved in people's lives (disease, life and death, freedom and autonomy, rights and duties, identity of the person, respect, etc.).

Euphemisms with "proven persuasive effectiveness".

The expert uses the term "linguistic engineering" to emphasize that there is the pretension that "if we change words, reality will change, or at least its social perception". In this sense, he indicates that it is common to use euphemisms with "proven persuasive effectiveness", although he points out that not every euphemism is manipulative.

In the case of the bioethical speech , the employment of this language resource translates into expressions such as voluntary interruption of pregnancy to designate "induced abortion", "dignified death" for euthanasia or"human reproduction", instead of conception, generation, procreation, etc. which, even in some cases, do not have the consensus of the dictionaries of the language.

The IX National Bioethics congress brings together in Pamplona 150 experts from different fields, mostly from Spain, but also from countries such as Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela and Chile. At the opening ceremony, which took place this morning, the University of Navarra's Alumni Vice President , Tomás Gómez-AceboHe stressed that "the university is the best place to address cross-cutting issues, the multidisciplinarity. We are committed to ensuring that the groups at work do so in this way".

In addition to Vice President, the inauguration was attended by Professor Natalia López-Moratalla and Professors José López Guzmán and María Font, members of the organizing and scientific committee , respectively.