Justo Aznar, director of the Bioethics Observatory and founder of the Life Sciences Institute of the Catholic University of Valencia, has died in Valencia at the age of 84. Doctor of Medicine with Extraordinary Prize from the University of Navarra, he occupied the first chair of Bioethics of the Royal Academy of Medicine of the Valencian Community.
His scientific and research work has been recognized with numerous awards such as the “Alberto Sols”, for the best research work in Health Sciences in 1998, the “Santiago Grisolía” award, for the best research work, in June 2006 the “Health and Society” award for the best “Professional Career” of the Valencian Community, or the award for the “Professional Career” granted by the College of Physicians of Valencia in 2013.
Aznar was Head of the Department of Clinical Biopathology at the La Fe University Hospital in Valencia from 1974 until his retirement in July 2006. He published more than 500 research papers in the biomedical area, of which around 300 were in high-level scientific journals. In this same area he directed 20 doctoral theses and published 30 book chapters.
After his retirement, he set up the Bioethics Observatory, within the Life Sciences Institute, which he created and directed from the beginning of the Catholic University of Valencia, and which has become a bioethical center for scientific research and dissemination in the area of life sciences. In this discipline he published 87 research papers and 4 bioethical theses.
Christian humanism and scientific excellence
Dr. Aznar was also widely recognized for his tireless defense of human life and dignity, promoting and presiding some initiatives for this purpose, such as the Spanish Federation of Pro-Life Associations -of which he was president for 21 years, from 1982 to 1998- or the Valencian Association for the Defense of Life, which he also directed, for 33 years, from 1979 to 2012. In addition, he was a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life from 2005 to 2017.
In a moment in which so many advances are being made in medicine and sciences, but in which successive and very serious ethical problems are being raised that affect human life in all its stages, Aznar has worked with courage, rigor and scientific excellence at the service of truth and the dignity of man. Undoubtedly, his unique career is a reference for so many researchers who confirm the fruits of his contribution to the synthesis of Faith and Reason.