Evidence-based bioethics: A myth or a reality? RSM Meeting, June, London

Evidence-based bioethics: A myth or a reality?

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Venue: Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, LONDON, W1G 0AE

The RSM Open Section are delighted to announce that Professor Daniel Sulmasy, member of the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, will be delivering the keynote lecture on Evidence-based bioethics.

Medical ethics is something which we often take for granted until something disrupts the status quo. This may be a new technology, a perceived change in society, or even a breaking scandal involving healthcare workers or researchers. Consequently, healthcare and biomedical research openly acknowledge the need for ethical standards and research to determine what those standards should be, what values underlie them and how they are interpreted, whether in the classroom or the clinic, whether at the laboratory bench or at the bedside. Where do these ideas come from, which political leaders and professions accept, reject, endorse or negotiate? What counts as evidence in biomedical ethics: well argued philosophical views? A sound interpretation of existing laws and religious viewpoints? Empirical research demonstrating how ethical values and standards are enacted? This meeting seeks to present three perspectives from 'ground' up to government-advisor and from junior to senior academic in order to generate discussion among clinicians, researchers, academicians and public representives.

AIMS: To discuss what counts as evidence for medical and research bodies as well as governments in the area of medical ethics and biomedical research ethics

OBJECTIVES: At the end of the meeting participants will:
  • Have heard about what is considered as evidence by the US President's Commission on Bioethics
  • Have been shown data from a qualitative study illustrating possible relationships between medical ethics and medical practice.
  • Have had the opportunity to discuss different kinds of research in ethics, law and professionalism, and to debate were different types of research may be more or less relevant
  • Have had the opportunity to discuss the "Theory: practice gap" - described as the difference between what should happen and what does happen, in the context of the professional behaviours of medical researchers and healthcare professionals.


5.15pm Registration, tea and coffee
5.45pm Welcome by Chair
5.50pm How do medical ethics translate from the classroom to the consulting room? Some observations from primary care - Dr Andrew Papanikitas, President-elect, RSM Open Section
6.05pm Is there a role for bioethics and the medical humanities in UK policy-making? - Dr Natalie Banner, Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Humanities and Health, KCL
6.25pm Evidence-based Bioethics, a myth or reality? Prof. Daniel Sumasy, member of the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, Kilbride-Clinton Professor of Medicine and Ethics in the Department of Medicine and Divinity School; Associate Director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics in the Department of Medicine, University of Chicago
7.05 Discussion
7.35 Close of meeting and optional dinner with the speakers and committee for those who have booked (we do not have funding to cover the cost of this but all are welcome to book)

How do medical ethics translate from the classroom to the consulting room? - Some observations from primary care
       Dr Andrew Papanikitas, President Elect, Open Section

Whilst this meeting does not have sufficient funding to be free of charge to delegates, students in particular have been heavily subsidised

Link for booking:

further info:

Dr Andrew N Papanikitas BSc (Hons) MA MBBS DCH MRCGP DPMSA
Portfolio GP, London and Bucks
Sessional Tutor/Facilitator in ethics, interprofessional education, and clinical communication, KCL
PhD Student, Dept of Education and Professional Studies, KCL

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