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The Manuel Velasco Suárez Award for Excellence in Bioethics


  "It is our responsibility as health workers to respect human rights and to regard a person's dignity as foremost in the practice of our profession in order to impart quality to life—from its miraculous dawn to its sunset." — Manuel Velasco Suárez, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Bioethics is an emerging discipline in health with moral implications extending to highly diverse areas. Its’ principles seek to humanize and mediate the headlong advance of science, technology and global development based on the interaction and dialogue between experts and lay people.

Bioethics, an important dimension of biomedical humanities, has become an aspect of critical importance in the biomedical and social sciences, health care, and public health. In May 1994, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) created a regional program in bioethics to meet the demands of the member states for open discussion of many areas that are a continuing source of debate, such as justice and equity in the allocation of health resources, and patients' rights, among others.

The Manuel Velasco Suárez Award for Excellence in Bioethics was created in 2002 to stimulate young scholars in the development of their capacities for bioethical analysis. It is one of five awards presented by the Pan American Health and Education Foundation through its Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health Program, a partnership between the Foundation and PAHO.

To stimulate young scholars in the development of their capacities for bioethical analysis, the Secretary of Health in Mexico and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation in cooperation with PAHO created this award to honor Dr. Manuel Velasco Suárez.

A distinguished jury of specialists reviews the candidate's proposed work in bioethics, and recommends a proposal to the board of trustees of the Foundation for final selection.

The awardee receives a medal from the Velasco Suárez family, grant, certificate of honor, and a paid trip to Washington, DC, to receive the award at the annual PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health Event and is recognized before the ministers of health of the region at the PAHO Directing Council Meeting.

Dr. Velasco Suárez's legacy continues.

In April 2005, Dr. Velasco Suárez received posthumous recognition from the National Lottery for Public Assistance of Mexico for his lifetime efforts. His image is portrayed on its World Health Day-focused ticket.

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