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The present article explores the origins and conceptualization of bioethics, understanding they are biocentric ethics, or bioethics ethics, which pioneer Fritz Jahr defined as a hypothetical imperative that calls for respecting life in all of its forms. After describing it as a social process, a technical procedure and an academic product, the study lists and comments on some of the competencies that should rule the use of the bioethics discourse by any stakeholder of “medical research”: members of research ethics committees, researchers, businessmen, administrators. Each one of these groups, within its own “epistemic culture” defines and states these basic principles while expressing their values and general regulations.

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