Bioethical Implications of Globalization for Global Mental Health
Fernando Lolas Stepke, University of Chile
The main thrust of this presentation is to identify the bioethical implications of the globalization process as it is currently understood, emphasizing those areas in which a “differential ethics” approach, as advocated by HM Sass, may provide a framework for research and intervention. One of the implicit assumptions to be elaborated upon is the notion of the “moral equivalence of cultures”, as presented by Oswald Spengler, with the distinction between a “systematic” and a “physiognomic” approach to cultural diversity and understanding. In this regard, emphasis is placed on language in its denotative, connotative, and performative dimensions and the narrative constitution of human experience, which renders it untranslatable but amenable to comprehension and intervention. In this narrative, the “human dimension of the environment” and its attendant implications for mental health are scrutinized within the scope of its practical implications for furthering and refining a hitherto vague conception of “global mental health” and its relation to “global ethics.”
Fernando Lolas Stepke is Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Studies on Bioethics at the University of Chile and Specialist in Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine. He studied Medicine and History at the Universities of Chile and Heidelberg (Germany). He has been Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs of the University of Chile, President of the Chilean Society of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, and Director of the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Chile. He led the Bioethics Program of the Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office of the World Health Organization and was a member of the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO. He has received Doctor Honoris Causa and Honorary Professor at numerous universities in Latin America, Europe and the United States. His scientific production has been concentrated in the areas of psychiatry, psychophysiology, bioethics and behavioural sciences. He is an Honorary Member of the Chilean Academy of Language, Chilean Academy of Medicine and numerous other institutions (Mexican National Academy of Bioethics, Iberoamerican Academy of Medical Law, World Association for Social Psychiatry) as well as Corresponding Member of the Royal Spanish Academy. He is also the editor of scientific publications in English, Spanish and German and was awarded the Alumni-Preis of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany.