Formation of values and Bioethics in Cuban health professionals

EDUMECENTRO 2023;15:e2366



Formation of values and Bioethics in Cuban health professionals

Formación de valores y bioética en los profesionales de la salud en Cuba


Teresa de Los Angeles Casanova Rodriguez1
Leonila Noralis Portal Benitez1
Caridad Luisa Casanova Rodríguez2
Yoisel Duarte Linares1*


1 University of Medical Sciences of Villa Clara. "Arnaldo Milián Castro" Clinical and Surgical University Provincial Hospital. Villa Clara. Cuba.
2 University of Cienfuegos "Carlos Rafael Rodríguez". Cienfuegos. Cuba.


* Corresponding author. Email:




Bioethics is the discipline which studies ethical problems that arise in relation to health. Teachers are the ones who play the main role when analyzing methodological aspects in the teaching-care process to achieve teaching with ethical values in future professionals and support students with a personalized, affective, communicative and reflective approach, framed in the fulfillment of the social and human mission that being a medical professional implies. The objective of the authors is to socialize elements of bioethical thought related to the formation of values in students, highlighting humanism and solidarity, with a coherent systematization of knowledge about the different bioethical currents in the health training process.

MeSH: medical ethics; bioethics; medical education; teaching; teachers; social norms.


La Bioética es la disciplina que estudia los problemas éticos que surgen en relación con la salud. Es el educador quien desempeña el papel principal al analizar los aspectos metodológicos en el proceso de articulación docente-asistencial para lograr una enseñanza con valores éticos en los futuros profesionales, apoya al estudiante con un enfoque personalizado, afectivo, comunicativo y reflexivo, enmarcado en el cumplimiento de la misión social y humana que implica ser un profesional de la Medicina. El objetivo de los autores es socializar elementos del pensamiento bioético relacionados con la formación de valores en los estudiantes, destacando el humanismo y la solidaridad, con una coherente sistematización del conocimiento sobre las diferentes corrientes bioéticas en el proceso formativo en el campo de la salud.

DeCS: ética médica; bioética; educación médica; enseñanza; docentes; normas sociales.



Received: 06/03/2022
Approved: 12/05/2023



Education provides the definition of dissimilar values through scholastic exercises, but it is not enough that norms are known or discovered, they must be accepted by the individual. Concerns that arise from scientific advances on core aspects such as life itself, reinforce the need to improve, at the same time, the sciences and Bioethics.(1)

Public health in Cuba has developed a primary health care program as a model of free services with community participation whose main condition is to preserve and improve health status of the population. A solid, humanistic, ethical, socio-community, inter-, trans- and multidisciplinary professional performance is achieved.(2)

Ethics and values have been the subject of analysis in studies and discussions. Albert Einstein, paradigm of scientific ethics expressed: "It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Bioethics promotes human dignity, human rights, tolerance, difference, autonomy, justice, and beneficence above all; it is therefore necessary for the competence of health professionals.(3)

Training in values and ethics in the health sector is of vital importance, mainly due to the human nature of the profession. It involves not only professionals, technicians, administrative services personnel responsible for information procedures, medical care personnel related to public health in the social or environmental order, management or others. Human practice or behaviour, in all these activities, is linked to the problem of choice: deciding what to do or not to do in each situation.(4)

In Cuba, formative processes are developed in schools, technical improvement centers, universities, different health services, among others, based on an education in humanistic values, which it is necessary to perpetuate as a conception and guiding axis in the educational process, together with social commitment and integral formation of the students.(2)

This educational model is important to achieve more active and independent students. Changes in teaching, regarding form and content, have obtained encouraging results with the use of information and communication technologies.(5)

Cuba, as a third world country, has achieved health levels similar to those of developed countries. Efforts have been made for decades to achieve true equity and social justice, so a change in the model, with a holistic vision and training, is required when training doctors, so that they are aware of the context where they carry out their medical practice.

Being professionals with compatible aptitudes to obtain a good performance, and a solid sociocultural formation, values of solidarity towards life, the community, and the environment, with a heuristic and symbolic meaning, will allow promoting the formation of integral, humanistic and ethically individuals capable to achieve the exercise of their profession.

Education in values is linked to professional culture in higher education in Cuba, which demands its integrality; the university, society and development link is the most relevant themes among the topics analyzed at the university.

Teachers play an essential role in the teaching-learning process because they stimulate the integral development of the personality and the formation of values. We aspire to train integral students who act with responsibility, modesty, honesty, prudence, solidarity, friendship, respect, altruism, ethics, and justice.(6)

The humanist training of medical professionals in Cuba constitutes a social need. "Humanism is to become aware of the importance of human beings and encourage everything that can develop and improve them ".Therefore, men are considered for their supreme value.(7)

Bioethics and ethics can establish bridges between health, science, and technology, always in favour of life.

The training process of health professionals in Cuba considers Bioethics as a discipline that stimulates the development of values in students. Interpretation of the cognitive, affective, evaluative, motivational, and behavioural components allows us the improvement of the theoretical and methodological aspects in the curricular formation. The research carried out in the Cuban context combines bioethical thoughts with the formation of values in students, among which humanism and solidarity stand out. This coherent systematization of knowledge about the different bioethical currents in the training process in the field of health would guarantee the altruistic training of said students.



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Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



Contribution of the authors

Bibliographic search, information analysis and writing of the final report: Teresa de los Ángeles Casanova Rodríguez
Bibliographic searches and review of the final report: Leonila Noralis Portal Benítez and Caridad Luisa Casanova Rodríguez
Preparation of the final report: Yoisel Duarte Linares

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