BIOETHICAL POSITIONING OF SPANISH HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: A SEMI-QUANTITATIVE STUDY
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AbstractThe present study was undertaken to examine the positions of Spanish health professionals on a variety of bioethical issues and to determine the relationships between these positions and the professionals religious beliefs and political views. The study sample consisted of 50 individuals randomly selected from a database of Spanish health professionals who had received solid training in bioethics. A structured questionnaire was designed that contained six closed questions on positions on biomedical advances and science and biotechnology (eugenics, use of nonimplanted embryos for experimental purposes, human cloning, and the idea that science should have limits) and the respondents sociopolitical and religious views, and assessment scales were developed for the responses. The distribution of the responses was subjected to statistical analysis using analysis of variance (ANOVA). For the items with responses scored on a Likert scale, the positions taken were moderately adverse, and the vast majority of respondents believed that there should be limits to science. Religious convictions had greater influence on the responses than political orientation. There was evidence that liberal beliefs corresponded with what the authors consider to be more progressive ideas about the bioethics issues addressed in the study. The important questions of bioethics require an interdisciplinary approach and a combination of state and private-sector action to strengthen the links between religion and science, keep general knowledge up to date, and properly train biotechnology professionals.