Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 323–331 | Cite as

Mapping Bioethics in Latin America: History, Theoretical Models, and Scientific Output

  • Lucas F. GarciaEmail author
  • Marcia S. Fernandes
  • Jonathan D. Moreno
  • Jose R. Goldim
Original Research


Objective: To present a narrative review of the history of bioethics in Latin America and of scientific output in this interdisciplinary field. Methods: This was a mixed-methods study. Results: A total of 1458 records were retrieved, of which 1167 met the inclusion criteria. According to the Web of Science classification, the predominant topics of study were medical ethics (n= 488), social sciences and medicine (n= 354), and environmental and public health topics (n= 279). Four themes of bioethics output in the Latin American literature have emerged: (a) issues involving the beginning and end of life, (b) ethics in human research, (c) patient–provider relationships, and (d) ethics training for health professionals. Conclusion: Although bioethics is a growing interdisciplinary field in Latin America, its academic impact is still very low, and programmes are highly concentrated in large urban centres in a few countries. Challenges includes the regional and international impact of local scientific output.


History of bioethics Mixed method research Latin America Latin American bioethics 



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Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bioethics DivisionHospital de Clinicas de Porto AlegrePorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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