Javier Sádaba and Benjamín Hereros participate in Universidad Europea's “Dialogs on Ethics and Science”

The two discussed ethical issues surrounding the end of life.

Philosopher Javier Sádaba and doctor Benjamín Hereros spoke on Thursday May 12 at the third Universidad Europea Dialog on Ethics and Science, organized by the Madrid College of Physicians, to discuss ethical issues involving the end of life.

The Dialogs on Ethics and Science aim to address the latest issues in the world of science. These are issues that must be thought about and open to dialog and debate. Thus, in the dialog sessions, two experts on the subject speak openly, without a script, and attendees have the opportunity to ask questions, give their opinion, and participate during the session.

In the third edition of these sessions—moderated by Joaquín García-Romanillos, Director of the Universidad Europea Memory of the Transition Chair—Benjamín Hererosrelied on his experience to point out that, sometimes, doctors take excessively vitalist positions that may lead to diagnostic stubbornness, and also may forget that the objective of medicine is not only to cure, but also to ease pain.

Javier Sádaba, on the other hand, spoke about his experience after the recent loss of his wife to cancer. The philosopher focused on the final stages of life when someone is suffering from a long illness.

In his opinion, there is a need to differentiate the pre, where palliative care is fundamental; the moment of death, where he believes the issue of determining up to what degree the patient is aware of what is happening arises; and, finally, the subsequent mourning suffered by family members, where they lose part of their identity.