Advances in biomedical science and development of scientific technology have given rise to a new domain in philosophy: bioethics. This fledgling new branch of ethics is interdisciplinary. Bioethics covers areas of medicine, natural and social science, philosophy, and law; and it aims to produce systematic reflections about ethical issues that arise as science and medicine impact human life. Although bioethics is still a nascent field, it has, in recent years, gathered significant prominence in academic departments, medical centers, and popular media. Topics debated in bioethics include the ethics of reproductive technology, the ethics of various types of cloning (embryonic, therapeutic, reproductive), the ethics of the “recreational” use of neuro-pharmacology and the possibilities of a similar use of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), end-of-life care, just allocation of resources, conflicts of interests, the application of novel technology in treatment, and ethical conduct of physicians. In research ethics topics often discussed include responsible conduct of research, informed consent, recruitment of participants, and protection of vulnerable participants in research.
Given the relevance of these ethical issues for any society, we decided to organize and host a conference on bioethics. This conference is to gather internationally prominent experts in the field of bioethics, as well as local experts both from the humanities and science. Furthermore, the conference is envisioned to provide an opportunity to foster academic debate in Serbia, and to draw upon international experience in the development of guidelines and policies for the ethical conduct of clinical medicine and scientific research.