The paths of medicine and philosophy crossed in the path and academic passion of the doctor Jose Alberto Mainetti. He was a national and international reference of the bioethicsa field in which he stood out as a pioneer and innovator.
Son of the famous surgeon José María Mainetti, founder and alma mater of the Gonnet Cancer Center of Excellence, José Alberto contributed to opening a new path in medical sciences by introducing the philosophical perspective to analyze issues such as dignified death, euthanasia, palliative care and patient autonomy, among other issues of singular complexity that science faces on the border between life and death.
He was born in La Plata on May 12, 1938. He graduated in 1962 as a Doctor of Medicine from the National University of that city and, a decade later, he did so in Philosophy from that same house of studies. He completed his training in Paris under the direction of Paul Ricoeur and George Canguilhem, and in Madrid with Pedro Lain Entralgo.
With a purely academic profile, he obtained honorary doctorates from the national universities of Córdoba, Mendoza and Agustín Mazza. He was a tenured professor of Philosophical Anthropology at the Faculty of Humanities of La Plata and head of Bioethics and Medical Philosophy at the UNLP Faculty of Medicine. He served as Conicet’s principal investigator, presided over the Argentine Academy of Ethics in Medicine and was a corresponding member of the National Academy of Medicine, among other academic backgrounds.
He was the author of numerous books on his specialty, as well as a guest lecturer and professor at different universities in America and Europe.
Mainetti belonged to a lineage of medical excellence that had brilliant exponents in La Plata. It is a tradition in which the names of René Favaloro, Osvaldo Mammoni, Rodolfo Cosentino, Bernardo Manzino, Julio Palmaz and the brothers Liliana and Robero Grinfeld, among many others, are inscribed.
José Alberto had received a vocational legacy from his father, which he knew how to honor and enrich with singular talent. He leaves a mark in the field of medicine, but especially in the humanities