Ethics Matters

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Ethics Matters lecture series is an initiative aims to:

​Raise and enhance the general awareness of the AUB community, in general, and that of the Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center in particular, of the importance and relevance of ethical issues in health care

Provide opportunities to stay abreast of new developments in biomedical ethics

​​​Complement and support the educational program in biomedical ethics at the Faculty of Medicine 

The activities envisioned for this initiative will include lectures, newsletters, workshops, and community education sessions, among others.







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Ethics Matters PDF's

Public Lectures

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Workshops and Seminars

​The SHBPP at AUBFM/MC holds its 10th regional conference "Aging Arab Women: Myths, Facts, and Implications" (February 6-7, 2018)
In the first collaboration between the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics & Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center and the University of Carthage, with the Institut Pasteur de Tunis and UNESCO Cairo Office, the 10th regional conference was held at the Faculté des Sciences Juridiques, Politiques et Sociales de Tunis campus in Tunis, Tunisia on February 6-7, 2018 under the title “Aging Arab Women: Myths, Facts, and Implications". The conference brought together experts in health, education, law, psychology, and religion from the MENA region who gave presentations tackling various key issues facing Arab women today, particularly the portrayal of women in the region through the media, culture, religion, art, and education and its implications on the status of women. 

The conference was opened by the Minister of Women, Family, and Children in Tunisia, Ms. Naziha Laabidi, who spoke about the upcoming plans and initiatives to be carried out by the ministry to improve the status of aging women in Tunisia, which includes the release of the first code of elderly rights and the magazine for the elderly, the first of its kind to be dedicated to tackle the socio-cultural and health concerns of this population. This was followed by a number of presentations by the guest speakers covering a wide array of issues, the protection of elderly women in Tunisia, the knowledge, attitude and associated stigma of mental illness among women, aging women and body image, the role of education in shaping mindsets about women, and aging women in the age of youth apology, as well as the presence of elderly women in Tunisian media. Two-panel discussions also addressed many of the questions and comments brought forward by the attendees. The conference was concluded with the following recommendations: 

Education and the image of women:
  • Work on improving the image of women in predominant culture in the Arab region
  • Encourage school projects on women's rights by focusing on the concept of gender equality
  • Use modern tools (multimedia, YouTube ...) to provoke discussions on contemporary women's issues and to encourage students to draw conclusions by themselves, replacing didactic speeches and passive learning methods.
  • Reemphasize the need for equal rights and duties and the role of man within his social context and his responsibilities toward the empowerment of women.
  • Emphasize the active role of women in society as citizens and not only as mothers and wives, to reconcile young girls with their actions and not just physical image
  • Focus on the welfare of women: therapeutic activities such as sports and cognitive exercises, artistic activities, and other means of expression.​​

For older women in particular:
  • Work on reducing dependency and vulnerability by empowering elderly women
  • Pass and enforce laws that ensure the protection of elderly women's rights and dignity
  • Train competent staff to accompany elderly people with dignity. 


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The SHBPP at AUBFM/MC holds its 8th workshop "Disclosing Adverse Outcomes and Errors: Training for Residents" (January 4, 2017) 
In a continuous effort to foster and enhance the environment and practices of professionalism, the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program (SHBPP) at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) held a workshop (the 5th under the Dean's Professionalism Series), under the title “Disclosing Adverse Outcomes and Errors: Training for Residents" and led by Dr. Haavi Morreim, Professor at the Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management in Health Care. The workshop, which took place on January 4, 2017, in AUB, brought together residents from various departments at AUBMC.
The purpose of the 8-hour workshop was to provide specific tools, strategies and concrete practices for residents who have to deal with the disclosure of medical errors and adverse outcomes and to help their colleagues within the healthcare team do the same for. Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Dr. Ghazi Zaatari, gave the opening speech on behalf of Executive VP for Medical Affairs and Global Strategy and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Mohamed H. Sayegh. Presentations were also given by the Founding Director of Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program (SHBPP), Dr. Thalia Arawi and Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education, Dr. Salah Zeineldine. Commanded by Dr. Morreim, discussions and exercises including two simulations with professional actors followed.



The SHBPP at AUBFM/MC holds its 7th workshop "Disclosing Adverse Outcomes and Errors: Training for Residents" (January 2, 2017) 
In a continuous effort to foster and enhance the environment and practices of professionalism, the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program (SHBPP) at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) held a workshop (the 4th under the Dean's Professionalism Series), under the title “Disclosing Adverse Outcomes and Errors: Training for Residents" and led by Dr. Haavi Morreim, Professor at the Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management in Health Care. The workshop, which took place on January 2, 2017, in AUB, brought together residents from various departments at AUBMC.
The purpose of the 8-hour workshop was to provide specific tools, strategies and concrete practices for residents who have to deal with the disclosure of medical errors and adverse outcomes and to help their colleagues within the healthcare team do the same for. Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Dr. Ghazi Zaatari, gave the opening speech on behalf of Executive VP for Medical Affairs and Global Strategy and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Mohamed H. Sayegh. Presentations were also given by the Founding Director of Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program (SHBPP), Dr. Thalia Arawi and Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education, Dr. Salah Zeineldine. Commanded by Dr. Morreim, discussions and exercises including two simulations with professional actors followed.​


The SHBPP at the AUB FM/MC holds its 9th Regional conference “Ethical and Legal Dilemmas in the Practice of Medicine and Research: A Middle East Perspective" (November 4 and 5, 2016)
In the first collaboration between Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q) and the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics & Professionalism Program of the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine, a conference was held at the WCM-Q campus in Doha, Qatar on November 4-5, 2016 under the title “Ethical and Legal Dilemmas in the Practice of Medicine and Research: A Middle East Perspective". The conference brought together medical and legal experts from the MENA region and the USA, who gave presentations tackling various key issues, such as the ethics involved in obtaining informed consent from patients and research subjects, the ethics and the clinical translation of stem cell research, confidentiality, in addition to the Islamic perspectives of medical ethics. Two-panel discussions also addressed the moral dimensions of organ donation and transplantation, as well as the ethics and laws relating to stem cell research in the Middle East. The two-day conference was attended by more than 250 health and legal professionals that included nurses, pharmacists, physicians, lawyers, and government employees. 


Presentations (with consent)

SHBPP (AUBFM-MC), Beni-Suef University in Egypt (Faculty of Medicine) the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology and UNESCO collaborate to hold a conference on "Social and Ethical aspects of Women’s Health Care Issues in Upper Egypt" (April 10, 2016)
Dr. Thalia Arawi, Clinical Bioethicist and Founding Director of the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program attended the conference "Social and Ethical Aspects of Women's Health Care Issues in Upper Egypt" which was held on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at Beni-Suef University, Egypt by UNESCO in collaboration with the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology and SHBPP. Dr. Arawi gave a lecture entitled "Baby à la Carte" which was followed by Qs and As.


Conference at Al Azhar University: International Islamic Center for Population Studies and Research (April 9, 2016)
Dr. Thalia Arawi, Clinical Bioethicist and Founding Director of the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program attended the conference "Equity in Access to Quality Health Care Service and Information" held on Saturday,April 9, 2016,at Al Azhar University, Egypt. Dr. Arawi gave a lecture entitled "The Abuse of the Scalpel" which was followed by Qs and As.

The SHBPP at the AUB FM holds its 8th Regional Conference on "Stem Cells: Controversies and Promises" (March 26 and 27, 2016)
The SHBPP at the AUB FM,  hosted by the Arabian Gulf University (AGU) in joint providership with the Cleveland Clinic, held its 8th Regional conference. The conference took place on March 26 and 27, 2016 at the AGU in Manama, Bahrain and was attended by professionals from the Arab world. It aimed at bringing healthcare workers from the region together to discuss ethical and practical issues related to stem cells.  
The presentations and discussions explored some of the various scientific breakthroughs in stem cell research in the region, the resulting practical and ethical challenges and opportunities, the religious perspective, and the ethically credible policies criteria.



Presentations (with consent):

Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center holds its 6th workshop, “Simple Disputes, Complex Sequellae: Resolutions that Work” (December 5, 2015):
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut Medical Center held its 6th workshop, and the third under the Dean’s Professionalism Series, entitled “Simple Disputes, Complex Sequellae: Resolutions that Work” with  Dr. Haavi Morreim on Saturday, December 5,  2015 in the Auditorium B1, College Hall, AUB. This event brought together different members of the healthcare team and risk management team from AUBMC. The objective of the eight-hour workshop was to provide skills for improving communication and resolving disputes in the clinical setting.
Dr. Hasan El-Solh, representing Dean Sayegh, welcomed Dr. Morreim and opened the workshop with a speech on the importance of communication in dispute resolution. He announced that AUBMC will be carrying an annual evaluation of staff behavior for the first time as part of JCI accreditation, hence the added value of the workshop at this time of the year.  Dr. Hasan El-Solh thanked SHBPP for its constant and numerous efforts in creating a culture of professionalism at AUBFM-MC and the region. 

Guest speaker Dr. Morreim then led the workshop with a series of discussions and exercises, highlighting that failure to communicate and trust are the sources of much of the conflicts occurring in healthcare.  


Presentation:
"Conflict resolution training for healthcare professionals" Dr. Haavi Morreim

Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center holds its 5th workshop, “Disclosing Adverse Outcomes and Errors: Training for Coaches” (December 4, 2015):
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut Medical Center held its 5th workshop, and the second  under the Dean’s Professionalism Series, entitled “Disclosing Adverse Outcomes and Errors: Training for Coaches” hosted by guest speaker Dr. Haavi Morreim on Friday, December 4,  2015,in the Auditorium B1, College Hall, AUB. This event brought together members of the healthcare team and risk management team from AUBMC. The purpose of the eight-hour workshop was to provide specific tools, strategies and concrete practice for those who have to deal with disclosure and to help their colleagues do the same.
The workshop ended with a discussion on creating a suitable institutional framework for disclosure of errors and adverse outcomes at AUBMC. The following recommendations were made at the end of the workshop:
To draft a proposal to the chief of staff concerning the formation of a disclosure team (aka Huddle).
To come up with policy supporting safe disclosure of errors.


Presentations (with permission):

Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center holds its 4th workshop, “Assessing Professionalism at AUBFM: the time is ripe” (September 19, 2015)​
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut Medical Center held its 4th workshop, and the first under the Dean’s Professionalism Series, entitled “Assessing Professionalism at AUBFM: the time is ripe” hosted by guest speaker Dr. Trudie Roberts on Saturday, September 19,  2015, t AUB. This event brought together physicians, members of the healthcare team, nurses, and faculty members involved in the assessment of professionalism at AUBFM/AUBMC. The purpose of the four hours workshop was to facilitate a better understanding of teaching and assessing professionalism in the undergraduate medical curriculum.  

Dr. Kamal Badr, representing the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, opened the workshop with a speech on the importance of teaching professionalism in medicine and graduating professional physicians. Dr. Thalia Arawi followed with a brief introduction to the speaker and the value of professionalism in medicine. She also introduced some of the initiatives that have been initiated by the SHBPP and the Faculty of Medicine in incorporating new methods of assessing professionalism.  Guest speaker Dr. Roberts then led the workshop; she explained the concepts of professionalism, described tools for the assessment of professionalism, and put forward the theory of planned behavior implicated in professional behavior. The participants worked in groups to define professionalism in their own context, to design an assessment system of professionalism and reviewed existing tools developed by the SHBPP and other AUBFM/AUBMC members for assessing professionalism. Towards the end of the workshop,Dr. Badr stressed the need for the implementation of assessment and the application of professional behavior institution-wide.

The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center holds its 7th  Regional Conference “Medical Malpractice, Errors and Disclosure” (January 31, 2015)
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut, Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center in joint providership with Cleveland Clinic held its 7th Regional conference entitled “Medical Malpractice, Errors, and Disclosure” on Saturday, January 31, 2015, t the Golden Tulip Hotel in Beirut. The conference brought together physicians, residents, allied health professionals, risk managers, lawyers and policymakers from Lebanon and the Arab region to discuss ethical issues in medical malpractice, errors, and disclosure.

The conference included a series of presentations by Dr. Thalia Arawi, Dr. Haavi Morreim, Maitre Charles Ghafari, Dr. Fadi El-Jardali, Dr. Salah Zeineldine, Dr. Adnan Tahir, and Dr.  Mondher Letaief. They introduced to the audience the ethical, psycho-social, legal and medical perspectives of dealing with medical errors with patients and the public, the key needs that patients need in such instances, challenges and strategies to improve patient safety, culture, and practice and shed light on the present medical practices  in Lebanon and the region. 

Representing Vice President of Medical Affairs and Raja N. Khuri Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at AUB  Mohamad Sayegh, Associate Dean for Medical Education Dr. Kamal Badr highlighted the significance of the workshop for discussing the magnitude of medical malpractice, its impact on patient safety and ways to avoid it. Dr. Thalia Arawi followed with a presentation in which she emphasized the role played by the physician to make use of moral wisdom and phronesis when adverse patient outcomes arise and the importance of aligning the hidden and informal curricula with the formal one. She also suggested the establishment of a national forum for doctors to disclose and share medical expertise.

In his presentation, Dr. Fadi El-Jardali spoke about the need to create organizational and policy level support for improving patient safety noting that patient safety faces many challenges such as the difficulty in recognizing errors, the lack of an error identification system and the different concerns about liability. Keynote speaker, Dr. Morreim, explained that after harm occurs, the patient, his family and members of the healthcare team all have the same needs which include understanding what has happened, seeking quality improvement to avoid future errors, reconciliation, and fair compensation. Further, Dr. Morreim explained two different approaches to minimize errors, provide quality care and help physicians provide excellent care.

Maitre Ghafari elaborated the ethical and legal aspects of medical errors in Lebanon. He gave an overview of the Lebanese Code of Medical Ethics and the current rectifications made to it. He described the role of the Lebanese Order of Physicians (LOP) in following up on malpractice. Dr. Salah Zeineldine gave a lecture on the responsibility and liability of trainees in medical errors. He mentioned examples of medical trainees’ errors and their legal and ethical repercussions on the hospital and involved the cal team. 

Dr. Adnan Tahir gave a lecture on developing safety metrics and improving error reporting. He identified methods to effectively target, review, and reduce errors and explained how the workflow process within a hospital could be improved using an error reduction model. Dr. Letaief shared with the audience some statistics and facts on adverse events and medical malpractice from the EMRO. He then described some of the regulatory mechanisms used in addressing medical malpractice. Dr. Letaif concluded by saying that patient safety and quality of care are highly variable across the region, yet they all require systematic effort and regulatory approaches to prevent medical malpractice. 


Presentations


“Mediation in the School Environment” (January 28, 2015)
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut Medical Center collaborated with the International College (IC) Ras Beirut to hold two workshops entitled “Mediation in the School Environment” hosted by guest speaker Dr. Haavi Morreim on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. The purpose of the workshops was to provide administrators and faculty some specific tools for resolving conflicts that may arise in the education setting (among students, parents, teachers, and administrators) by establishing trust, listening carefully to each person's concerns and perspectives, and engaging in collaborative problem-solving. During her day at IC, Dr. Morreim worked with leadership teams from all schools at IC in two consecutive workshops and discussed specific sample cases shared by the school directors. This was followed by a general lecture on the same topic for all faculty and staff at IC. 


"Conflict Resolution in the School Environment" Dr. Haavi Morreim (with permission)

The SHBPP at the AUBFM holds its Tenth National Conference on “Humane Medicine”
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut, Faculty of Medicine, in collaboration with BALSAM-Lebanese Center for Palliative Care held its 10th national conference entitled “Humane Medicine” on Saturday, September 27, 2014, t the Gefinor Rotana Hotel in Beirut. This event brought together physicians, residents, members of the healthcare team, nurses, students of medicine and professionals involved in patient care from all over Lebanon to discuss issues pertaining to humane medicine and the role of the physician and members of the healthcare team as healers.

Dr. Kamal Badr opened the conference with a speech in which he highlighted the significance of the workshop for discussing the importance of humanizing current medical practice. Dr. Thalia Arawi followed with a brief presentation on the topic of humane medicine. guest speaker Dr.Eric Cassell gave two lectures, the first giving a definition on the nature of suffering, which according to Cassell is not limited to physical pain or body ailments. Suffering, he explained, is experienced by persons whose personal and social relationships, routine and different aspects of their lives are threatened by their illness. In light of this, the physician-healer should address all elements - physical, emotional, social - of the illness.

In her presentation, Dr. Thalia Arawi noted the difference between the role of the physician as a skilled technician and as a healer. According to her, today’s physicians ought to become healers as it is the humane aspect of medical care that is important to patients; they value the physician who listens and attends to their story, that who allocates enough time for them and who treats them with empathy. Dr. Arawi raised several ethical questions based on recent news stories pertaining to tosses of consent, professionalism in medical practice, and empathy in the patient-physician relationship.

Dr. Hibah Osman gave a talk about palliative care and highlighted the importance of relieving the psychological distress, seeking spiritual comfort, and maintaining normalcy and above all the social dignity for patients with a life-threatening illness. According to Dr. Osman, there are two critical elements that can ensure better care to such patients, the first being honesty and truthfulness, and the second is asking the patient “What should I know about you as a person to help me take the best care of you that I can?”. 
The conference ended with a panel discussion in which members of the audience asked questions related to the practice of healing and the feasibility of listening to patients’ stories with the current load of patients and fast pace consultations in healthcare institutions.



The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine holds its 6th regional Conference “Research in Developing Countries” (May 25-26, 2014)
According to the report “The ethics of research related to healthcare in developing countries” published by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, “there is an urgent need for externally sponsored research in developing countries. However rigorous ethical safeguards must be in place to prevent the exploitation of those who take part in the research.” 

In order to address this issue, particularly in the Arab region, the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program (SHBPP) at the American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine, in collaboration with The Dasman Diabetes Institute and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, with the support of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, and in joint sponsorship with Cleveland Clinic, organized its 6th regional conference under the title “Research in Developing Countries” on May 25-26, 2014 in the Arab Organizations Headquarters Building in Kuwait. The conference brought together physicians, researchers, scientists and various professionals concerned with the ethical review of research as well as policy makers and funders from different countries of the Arab region. It aimed to explore ways in which ethical research can be promoted in developing countries, to determine research priorities and to provide essential elements for developing a sound ethical framework for healthcare research. 

The conference was opened by Mr. Abdulatif Al-Hamad, Director General of The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. Mr. Al-Hamad welcomed the participants and speakers and commended the efforts of this conference. This was followed by the word of H.E. Dr. Salim El-Hoss, Former Prime Minister of Lebanon, in which he highlighted the importance of ethical research that ensures “a healthy confluence between fine professional practice and responsible social awareness”. Dr. Kazem Behbehani, Director General of the Dasman Diabetes Institute, gave a brief word thanking the SHBPP for the conference and hoping for future opportunities for collaboration on issues of research. 

In a brief introduction, Dr. Thalia Arawi, Founding Director of the SHBPP, expressed hope to see research ethics develop from within the Arab circles “just as science, medicine, and art have started with the Arabs”, and that this conference, as well as the launching of the Arab Bioethics Society and the Arab Research Ethics Network, helps achieve this aim. She also highlighted some crucial principles of research: voluntary participation, informed consent, privacy, autonomy, justice, safeguarding the confidentiality of data, and producing good quality research. These concepts were then elaborated in the series of presentations over the span of two days given by guest speakers from different countries such as the United Kingdom, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Egypt.  The conference ended with a meeting to launch the Research Ethics Network in the Arab Region (RENiAR), in which participants discussed the top priorities of research and research ethics in the region and suggested possible actions and changes that RENiAR could carry out.  

The conference participants also got to enjoy a guided tour of the Arab Organizations Headquarters Building which is considered one of the most acclaimed buildings in the Middle East. 



Presentations


The SHBPP at the AUBFM it's Fifth Regional Conference on “Bioethics Issues for Women: Ethics of reproductive health- social and political conditions in Arab countries”
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at AUBFM in collaboration with the Faculty of Health Sciences at the American University of Beirut, with the support of UNESCO Cairo Office and in joint sponsorship with Yale University held its 5th regional conference under the title “Bioethics Issues for Women: Ethics of reproductive health- social and political conditions in Arab countries”” on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Gefinor Rotana Hotel in  Beirut. This event brought together physicians, residents, nurses, members of the health care team, public health professionals, NGO members, and Bioethics Network on Women’s Issues in the Arab Region (BiNWIAR )  members to discuss issues pertaining to bioethics and women in the Arab World.

Representing the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Ziyad Ghazzal opened the conference with a speech in which he highlighted the significance of this conference for discussing bioethical and medical issues for women at a time when many critical issues on women’s rights are gaining visibility in light of current events. Dr. Jocelyn Dejong also gave an opening word on behalf of the Dean of the Faculty of Health and Sciences and was followed by a welcome by Dr. Thalia Arawi. Dr. Arawi gave a short presentation in which she introduced the wide array of bioethics issues in reproductive health of significance to women in the Arab world, such as early marriage, domestic violence, hymenoplasty, female genital mutilation gestational surrogacy, IVF, plastic surgery, access to healthcare, involvement in research among other issues. The conference participants were then introduced to the BiNWIAR network, its objectives, and plans; all those interested in contributing to achieving the objectives of the network and in becoming members were invited to join. 

The conference included a series of presentations by Dr. Khedidja Allia from Algeria, Dr. Ghaiath Hussein from Sudan, Dr. Adnan Mroueh and Dr. Faysal El-Kak from Lebanon, Dr. Tafeeda Jarbawi from Palestine, Dr. Maryam Dashti from Bahrain and Dr. Majed Zemni from Tunisia. The presentations tackled the ethical, legal and social issues of genetic testing, pre-marital screening and assisted reproductive technology in the Arab region and shed light on the ethical issues and challenges of reproductive health care and services in some Arab countries. The discussions also touched upon the impact of the current socio-economic factors of Arab women on their rights as research participants. At the closing of the presentations, participants and speakers expressed the importance of organizing future conferences dedicated to each of the issues individually. The day ended with a closed Bioethics Network on Women’s Issues in the Arab Region (BiNWIAR) advisory board meeting. 



Presentations

The SHBPP at the AUBFM holds the Ninth National Conference on “Assessing Medical Professionalism”
With the collaboration of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)-USA, and in joint sponsorship with Yale University, the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the AUBFM held its 9th national conference “Assessing Medical Professionalism” on January 17-18, 2014 at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Beirut. The conference brought together physicians, residents, trainees, nurses, and members of the healthcare team from Lebanon to discuss issues pertaining to medical professionalism.

Dr. Kamal Badr opened the conference with a brief word in which he noted the importance of this conference particularly with the introduction of the new medical curriculum at the AUBFM, and he stressed that assessing professionalism should be adopted as an institutional approach with “unified goals and approaches from med I all the way to the department chairs”. Dr. Thalia Arawi then welcomed the participants and gave a brief summary of the drafted documents produced by the participants in the “Advancing Medical Professionalism” conference last March and the steps that followed. She also introduced the objectives of the conference and the guest speakers Dr. Peter Katsufrakis and Dr. Brownell Anderson and announced that hopefully, AUBFM-AUMF will launch an Institutional Professionalism Taskforce.

After going over the definition of professionalism according to the literature, the two guest speakers guided the participants through a number of interactive activities over the course of the two-day workshop. Working in groups, the participants shared experiences of “success” from their medical education training and from those experiences were able to come up with common themes/features on success. In the next exercise, each group was assigned a different target of assessment, one for medical students, one for faculty, one for residents, and one for other medical staff. The participants in each group then had to identify different areas at work where professionalism must be applied for that category and suggest the proper assessment method to measure each of them. Finally, the groups discussed the challenges of assessing professionalism generally and those of specific methods and suggested strategies and approaches to mitigate such challenges in the context of the institution. At the end of the workshop, it was announced that a “medical professionalism task force” will be formed at AUBMC in an effort to translate all that discussed and put forward in the workshop into action.



The SHBPP at the AUBFM holds the Eighth National Conference on “Physicians, Torture and the Ethics of Medicine” 
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut, Faculty of Medicine, in joint sponsorship with Yale University held its 8th national conference entitled “Physicians, Torture and the Ethics of Medicine” on Saturday, November 23, 2013, at the Golden Tulip Serenada Hotel in Beirut. This event brought together physicians, residents, members of the healthcare team, nurses, public health professionals, and psychologists from all over Lebanon together to discuss issues pertaining to physicians’ involvement in torture, medical professionalism and the duties of the physician in times of armed conflict. 

Dr. Mohamed Sayegh, Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine opened the conference with a speech in which he highlighted the significance of the workshop in light of current international news and commended the pioneering initiatives of the SHBPP. Dr. Bassem Saab followed with a brief presentation introducing some facts on the involvement of healthcare professionals in torture.

Guest speaker Dr. Steven Miles gave two capturing lectures, the first giving an overview of the involvement of physicians in torture and war crimes and the different types of sanctions documented in different parts of the world. This was followed by a screening of scenes from the “Doctors of the Dark Side”, a documentary about the role of physicians and psychologists in torture and abuse of prisoners the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons, after which Dr. Sawsan Abdulrahim moderated a discussion with the audience on relevant issues raised in the movie. 

Dr. Vivienne Nathanson gave a talk that Highlighted the tenets of medical professionalism and of the Hippocratic oath and drew upon the notions of physician moral responsibility and moral courage. In the second presentation, Dr. Miles discussed medical board hearing for physicians who torture highlighting the significance of the World Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics, the Declaration of Tokyo (1975) and the UN principles of medical ethics.  Finally, Dr. Ghassan Soleiman Abu-Sittah ended the conference with a regionally significant presentation entitled “The Medicalization of Torture: Israeli physicians and torture in Occupied Palestine”.



Presentations

The SHBPP at the AUBFM holds the Seventh National Conference in “Empathy in Medicine: Good or Bad?"
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at AUBFM, with the collaboration with Yale University, held its 7th national conference “Empathy in Medicine: Good or Bad?” on November 2, 2013, at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Beirut. This conference brought together physicians, residents, members of the healthcare team, nurses, public health professionals, and psychologists from Lebanon together to discuss issues pertaining to medicine in general and the relationship between the healthcare provider and the patient in particular.

Dr. Hassan El-Solh, Chief of Staff at AUBMC, opened the conference with a brief word in which he commended the initiatives of the SHBPP and highlighted the important role of such a conference in cultivating humanistic values in healthcare professionals and students. Dr. Thalia Arawi then welcomed the participants and briefly introduced the concept of empathy in medicine by screening a short video from Cleveland Clinic on Empathy. 

In his first presentation, guest speaker Dr. Raul de Velasco provided a comprehensive explanation of the meaning of empathy and its mechanism and stressed the notion that empathy is “a basic psychological human mechanism shared by all humans […] and allows them to connect and care for each other”. Dr. de Velasco’s second presentation tackled the relevance of clinical empathy, which he defined as “seeking emotional resonance with [our] patients to better understand their main concerns and fears”. Dr. de Velasco described several approaches to enhancing clinical empathy which he considered crucial for physicians and other professionals to better care for and understand their patients. He later addressed the issue of enhancing empathy in medical students in particular in a third presentation. 

Dr. Thalia Arawi also stressed the importance of empathy in the education and training of medical students by introducing the “Caring Spotlight Experience”, a new innovative approach that “puts students in the patients’ shoes” in the aim of better understanding what it really means to be a patient and appreciating the psycho-social dimension of illness (in addition to the biological dimension of disease). In her presentation entitled “View from the Trenches and Beyond”, Dr. Khairat Al-Habbal, a resident at AUBMC, shared some personal stories from her formal training and activities abroad as a medical student and professional and explained how such eye-opening experiences have helped make her a more empathic physician.



Presentations:

The SHBPP at the AUBFM holds the First Master Class on “Palliative and End-of-Life Care”
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism  Program at AUBFM and the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing at the American University of Beirut held their first Master Class entitled “Palliative and End-of-Life Care” on October 18-19, 2013 at the Bathish Auditorium in AUB. This event brought together physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals interested in the field of palliative and end-of-life care from Lebanon and the region to discuss issues pertaining to palliative care. 

Dr. Huda Abu-Saad Huijer and Dr. Thalia Arawi opened the class with a welcome and a few words on the importance of this master class and the current situation in Lebanon. The first day of the Master class consisted of three sessions, in which international guest speakers Dr. James Tulsky and Dr. Carol Taylor lectured on the philosophy and principles of palliative care. The following two sessions covered talks by local faculty on issues of pain assessment, pharmacological and non-pharmacological pain therapies, the barriers to pain relief in palliative care, as well as symptom assessment and management for patients with serious illness. The first day ended with a screening of a documentary entitled “Life before Death”, which tied together all the issues discussed throughout the proceeding of the first day. 

On the second day of the Master class, another three sessions in which the speakers gave lectures that covered the legal issues in palliative and end-of-life care, the different ethical issues and dilemmas and notions of moral distress faced, the importance of moral courage and truth-telling when dealing with patients and their families, and the significance of cultural, psychological and spiritual considerations in palliative and end-of-life care. Following this series of lectures, Father Charbel Chlala and Sayyed Jaafar Fadlallah gave two talks on the spiritual care of patients at the end-of-life from the Christian and Islamic perspectives respectively. 

The two-day class ended with a closing remark from Dr. Abu-Saad Huijer and Dr. Arawi in which they thanked all the participants and attendees for the successful and fruitful event and promised more activities in palliative and end-of-life care in the near future.



Presentations:

Supplementary Readings:
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program (SHBPP) holds a “Clinical Ethics: Casuistry, Clinical Practice, and Patient Care: Constructing and De-constructing the Case Study” workshop for members of the Medical Center Ethics Committee
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program (SHBPP) held its second workshop in clinical ethics for the members of the American University of Beirut Medical Center Ethics Committee (MCEC) on May 13, 2013, at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Beirut. The four-hour workshop aimed at introducing the participants to the importance of ethics cases as useful tools to enhance education, moral reasoning, and clinical practice. 

In her presentation, Dr. Julie Aultman explained that “narrative casuistry” as a person-centered approach allows for a deeper level of moral reasoning in ethics cases as opposed to the “rule-centered approach” in traditional ethics cases which are often too abstract and thin to provide an adequate resource for analysis. The participants took part in two activities concerning case construction, whereby group members had to share ethics cases they had observed or experienced keeping in mind the different characters involved and the perspective from which each story is told. In the following discussions of the ethical dilemmas encountered, the participants reflected on the measures that were taken to resolve each case and suggested alternative ways that could have better dealt with the problem at hand. Several participants stressed the need for a healthcare provider to be culturally sensitive (understanding the views and back-story of the patient) and to be able to compromise at times of disagreement. 

Dr. Aultman highlighted that in addition to their value as a “reflective practice”, such ethics stories also help healthcare professionals formulate laws when they are not existent and even challenge already existing ones. In the end, she reminded the participants that it is crucial that the personal privacy of characters within cases are always protected, that perspective and interpretation are always valuable regardless of the accuracy of the details being told and that the way a story is introduced and told can be as important as the story itself. 



The SHBPP at the AUBFM holds the Sixth National Conference on “Advancing Medical Professionalism”
With the collaboration of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME)-USA, and in joint sponsorship with the Cleveland Clinic, the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the AUBFM held its 6th national conference “Advancing Medical Professionalism” on March 15-16, 2013 at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Beirut. The conference brought together physicians, residents, trainees, nurses, and members of the healthcare team from Lebanon to discuss issues pertaining to medical professionalism.

Dr. Kamal Badr opened the conference with a brief presentation in which he discussed some of the prevalent challenges to medical professionalism in Lebanon and stressed the need to address these issues for both the old and new generations of physicians accordingly. Dr. Thalia Arawi then welcomed the participants and briefly introduced the meaning of medical professionalism and the significance of creating a Physician’s Charter for Lebanon. The ultimate goal of the workshop, as Dr. Peter Katsufrakis and Dr. Brownell Anderson explained, was to build a framework for medical professionalism that incorporates the socio-cultural context of Lebanon.

Guided by the two guest speakers, the participants shared cases of virtuous performance and problematic/unprofessional performance of healthcare providers from their own experiences and took part in several interactive activities over the course of the two-day workshop. Working in groups, the participants identified several items in the ABIM Foundation’s Physician Charter that conflict with the local cultural values and discussed how they should be altered to better fit the Lebanese context. In the following activity, the participants came up with a list of qualities they believed were essential for the making of a “good doctor” which would be included in the drafted charter; after obtaining consensus, these qualities were grouped into six main categories, communication and interpersonal skills, accountability, patient advocacy, humanness, expertise, and ethicality. Each group then prepared and presented a draft section corresponding to one of the chosen categories in the aim of eventually putting together a charter of medical professionalism in Lebanon.

After an extensive exchange of notes and comments on each draft, the following recommendations were made at the end of the workshop:

  • A task force would be brought together to settle any remaining issues and to edit the draft charter.
  • The finalized Charter of Medical Professionalism in Lebanon will be sent to the Lebanese Order of Physicians.
  • The next step would be to assign means of assessment for professionalism, which would be tackled in the following workshop.
  • This Charter would be used as a reference for the drafting of similar professionalism charters for other medical/healthcare providers. This would require holding similar workshops and securing the fair representation of the concerned professions.



Presentations

The SHBPP at the AUB FM holds the Fourth Regional Conference on "Bioethics and the Media”
The Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the American University of Beirut, Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center, under the patronage of the Ministry of Information in Lebanon, held its 4th regional conference on “Bioethics in the Media” on December 11, 2012, at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Beirut. The conference brought together colleagues from the communication, journalism and media departments, from Lebanon and the Arab world to discuss issues pertaining to bioethics and the media. 

The conference began with a welcome by Dr. Kamal Badr, followed by an opening speech by Mrs. Laure Suleiman Saab representing the Minister of Information Dr. Walid Daouk. The presentations, which were given by Dr. Thalia Arawi, Dr. Arthur Caplan and Dr. Nabil Dajani respectively, introduced the basic principles of bioethics, explored the different ways of reporting bioethics stories, and discussed the critical role of the media in educating, engaging and stirring the public on issues related to healthcare and bioethics. The presenters also critiqued the current state of media reporting of medical and bioethical stories and stressed on the importance of transparency, credibility, and commitment in of journalists and media workers when dealing with such stories.
Towards the end of the conference, a panel discussion took place and the following recommendations ensued:

  • Journalists need to be trained to be critical of what they observe, to subject their observation to the scrutiny of the socio-political as well as cultural contexts of the news event and not just to hunt down news “scoops”.
  • The media must recognize that its role in encouraging and supporting the quality of healthcare, in involving the public and in affecting policy is a moral obligation. Thus, it should show commitment to the education of the public by allotment of time and resources for health and bioethical issues. It should also play an active role in questioning politicians on health care policy and bioethics related matters and in following up on events.
  • Bioethicists and media experts should work hand-in-hand to educate media workers on the ethical dimensions in all biomedical stories and to make sure that bioethicists are making use of the available media outlets (including social media) to reach out to the public to raise awareness and empower patients, families, and communities.


   
Presentations

The SHBPP at the AUBFM holds the Fifth National Conference on “Ethics and Medical Reliability”
With the collaboration of the Lebanese Order of Physicians and in joint sponsorship with the Cleveland Clinic, the Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program at the AUBFM held its 5th national conference on “Ethics and Medical Reliability” on October 6, 2012, t the Golden Tulip Hotel in Beirut. The conference brought together physicians, health care workers, lawyers and policymakers from Lebanon to discuss issues pertaining to ethics and medical errors. 
The conference included a series of presentations by Dr. Thalia Arawi, Dr. Kenneth Brummel-Smith, Maitre Charles Ghafari, Dr. Ghassan Hamadeh, and Ms. Nada Nassar. They introduced the audience to the different types of medical errors and their main causes, explored the arising challenges facing physicians, hospitals and patients as well as the ethical, legal and medical perspectives of dealing with medical errors, and discussed the ways of preventing such errors from recurring. 
Throughout the course of the conference, several discussions took place in which the following recommendations were made:

  • Medical schools in Lebanon should revisit their admission criteria that include assessment for character traits, not only GPAs, MCATs, and scientific scores to make sure that individuals with high ethical standards and moral character, or those who have the potential to develop in that direction, are admitted. In addition, students who falter in ethics and professionalism should be asked to leave medical school even if they are successfully passing their medical courses.
  • A nationwide public mandatory reporting system should be developed and healthcare organizations and practitioners should be encouraged to develop and participate in voluntary reporting (and ensure laws are enacted to protect their confidentiality). This would allow the compilation of data on the occurrence of medical errors nationally and would facilitate the sharing of experiences as a means to improve preventative measures.
  • Health care institutions and the Lebanese Order of Physicians should play a role in educating the public about medical errors.
  • Health care professionals themselves should be educated on the importance and proper means of disclosure and apology in communicating with patients about medical errors.
  • The role of the media should be acknowledged and as such the media should be educated on medical errors and the ethical approaches in reporting such cases. In light of this issue, Dr. Thalia Arawi announced the conference to be held on December 11, 2012, entitled: “Bioethics in the Media”.


Presentations

The SHBPP at the AUB FM holds the Third Regional Conference on "Stem Cell Research: Current Controversies”
On the occasion of Global Medical Ethics Day, the SHBPP at the AUB FM, in joint sponsorship with the Cleveland Clinic held its 3rd Regional conference. The conference took place on September 14 and 15, 2012 at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon and was attended by professionals from Lebanon and the Arab world. It aimed at bringing healthcare workers from the region together to discuss issues pertaining to bioethics.  
The presentations and discussions explored some of the various scientific breakthroughs in stem cell research in the region, the resulting practical and ethical challenges and opportunities, and the religious perspective of the Catholic Church as well as the Islamic perspective on the ethics of stem cell research. 
Towards the end, a panel discussion took place and the following recommendations ensued:

  • Arab countries must develop specific regulations and national laws pertaining to stem cell research and therapy.
  • While these laws and regulations should build upon existing international guidelines on stem cell research and therapy, they should be customized according to the specific context of each country, by taking into account the various religious, social and economic aspects that play a part.
  • Academic and research institutions, as well as health care professionals, should play a greater part in spreading awareness on stem cell research and in making sure that the public is not falsely informed by profit-driven businesses offering stem cell therapy solutions.
  • Institutions carrying out stem cell research should develop clear “codes of ethics” and should make sure that the scientists and physicians are well trained and educated on the ethical issues of stem cell research.                                                              

 
   
Presentations

Salim El-Hoss Bioethics and Professionalism Program (SHBPP) holds a “Clinical Ethics: Ethics Consultation and Patient Care” workshop for members of the Medical Center Ethics Committee
This workshop has been designed for members of hospital ethics committees and physicians. It consisted of a three-hour meeting which aimed at bringing physicians and members of the Medical Center Ethics Committee together to discuss issues pertaining to clinical ethics and case discussions as future consultants. During the workshop, Dr. Arawi introduced participants to the importance and role of a hospital ethics committee, the characteristics of an ethics consultant and his/her role, and the impact such committees have on patient care. Dr. Tulsky familiarized the audience with the C.A.S.E.S approach of case analysis, introduced techniques of formulating ethics questions and ways of applying the skill of ethical analysis. The workshop was held at the Gefinor-Rotana Hotel on March 30, 2012.


Presentations

Two Workshops in Research Ethics held at the Landmark Hotel in Amman, Jordan ​
These workshops were held by the Middle East Research Ethics Training Initiative (MERETI) on March 18-23, 2012; March 24-26, 2012, of which Dr. Arawi, the founding director of SHBPPis an International Board Member, in collaboration with the SHBPPand The Jordanian Society of Forensic Science. The first workshop was on Training Institutional Review Board (IRB)/ Research Ethics Committee (REC) Members while the second one was on International Research Ethics. The workshops were attended by professionals from Saudi Arabi, Lebanon, Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, UAE, Morocco, Yemen, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Qatar. Faculty included Dr. Henry Silverman from the University of Maryland, Dr. Thalia Arawi from the SHBPP, American University of Beirut, Faculty of Medicine (AUB FM), Dr. Ibrahim Ramahi from the Jordanian Ministry of Health, Dr. Hany Sleem, Coordinator of the Egyptian Network for (REC)s, Dr. Suhail al Hamad from the University of Sharjah and Dr. Nahed Ali from Egypt. 

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The SHBPP holds its Fourth National Conference on "Organ Donation, Procurement and Transplantation: Ethical Challenges”
The SHBPP in collaboration with the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the AUB FM held its Fourth National Conference on ethical issues related to organ donation. This activity is the first conference on organ donation, procurement, and transplantation held at the level of the nation. The conference aimed at reviewing international ethical frameworks for organ donation and transplantation, identifying the main ethical issues surrounding organ donation, procurement, and transplantation in Lebanon and surrounding regions, and discussing ethical solutions for the current problems encountered in organ donation and procurement. For these purposes, experts for the UK were invited to come and share their knowledge in that area. Around 85 participants from all over the country attended this conference which took place on February 21, 2012, at the Gefinor Rotana Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon. 



Presentations

The SHBPP at the AUB FM held its Third National Conference entitled “Nursing and Healthcare Ethics: Making a Difference for Patients”
The conference took place on January 13 and 14, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Hamra (Beirut, Lebanon). Invited speakers were Dr. Carol Taylor, Nurse Ethicist from Georgetown University, and Dr. Douglas Olsen, Nurse Ethicist from the Uniformed Services University. Dr. Hoda Huijer Abu Saad, Director of the Hariri School of Nursing at AUB FM and Dr. Thalia Arawi, Clinical Bioethicist and Director of the SHBPP at AUB FM also gave presentations during the conference. The conference was attended by around 90 participants (clinical nurses, nurse administrators, managers, nurse educators, advanced practice nurses, social workers and other health care professionals) from Lebanon and the region (AUB, AUBMC, Makassed Medical Center, Bikhazi Medical Group, Lebanese University, Dar al Ajaza al Islamyya, International College, Fille de la Charité, Hariri Foundation, St. Georges Hospital, Ain was Zain, Nursing and Midwifery Council from Sharjah, Sharjah Kuwaiti Hospital, Al Qassimy Hospital Sharjah, Al Seef Hospital in Kuwait, and KSA). 


Presentations

The SHBPP at the AUB FM holds the Second Regional Conference on "Current Controversies in Research Ethics: Research Integrity, Research Ethics Committees, and International Clinical Trials”
On the occasion of Global Medical Ethics Day, the SHBPP at the AUB FM, in collaboration with UNESCO and ISESCO and in joint sponsorship with the Cleveland Clinic held its 2nd Regional conference. The conference took place on September 16 and 17, 2011 at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon and was attended by professionals from Lebanon and the Arab world. The conference aimed at bringing physicians, healthcare professionals and bioethicists from the region together to discuss issues pertaining to research ethics. It also aimed at further developing the regional network of professionals related to the formation of the Arab Biomedical Ethics Society, which was initially planned during the first regional conference. 

Towards the end, a panel discussion took place and the following recommendations ensued:
All Arab countries develop specific regulations and national laws pertaining to research ethics
Arab countries which already have such regulations and laws work on updating them in light of ethical, legal and social issues
That hospitals and healthcare institutions ensure the establishment of IRBs that function properly to ensure the safety of research subjects
That research ethics become an integral part of the training and education of future scientists and physicians
That the Arab Bioethics Society initiated by the founder of SHBPP become a reality. 
Suggestions were given to that effect. 



Presentations

Ethical Issues in Surgery: The SHBPP in Collaboration with the American College of Surgeons and AUB FM Department of Surgery Holds the Second National Conference on "Ethical Issues in Surgery" at the Gefinor Rotana on March 25, 2011
The SHBPP at the AUB FM, the Department of Surgery, and the American College of Surgeon – Lebanon Chapter, co-organized the first workshop on ethical issues in surgery. The workshop stressed the need for ethical conduct as well as state-of-the-art surgical technology and medical care. It highlighted the importance of raising awareness among surgeons about ethical issues in surgery.

The workshop was held at the Gefinor-Rotana Hotel on March 25, 2011.

During the workshop, a discussion about the interface between the law and medical practice ensued. Members of the audience which consisted of surgeons from different areas in Lebanon were very much interested in the ethical issues raised and debates arose concerning a myriad of issues like conflict of interest, truth-telling, malpractice laws, confidentiality, privacy, rule enforcement, and others.

Members of the panel consisted of Drs. Arawi, Hoballah, Jamali, khalifah (who is also the Minister of Health) from AUB FM and Maitre Charles Ghafari (lawyer if the Lebanese Order of Physician). 

Dr. Arawi, in collaboration with Dr. Hoballah, plans on working on developing an electronic forum for open case discussion related to ethical issues in surgery.


The SHBPP at AUB FM holds the First Regional Conference on "Biomedical Ethics in Medical Schools"
In 2003, the World Medical Association proclaimed that a global Medical Ethics Day will be observed every September 18. On the occasion of that day, the SHBPP at the AUBFM, and under the leadership of its Director Dr. Thalia Arawi, organized the first Regional Conference entitled “Biomedical Ethics in Medical Schools: A Regional Perspective” on September 17-18, 2010 at the Gefinor Rotana Hotel in Beirut. This conference was held in partial sponsorship with the UNESCO Cairo office and in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Mohamed Sayegh, Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of Medicine, launched the conference with a speech after which the keynote address was delivered by Dr. Howard Brody, Director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston, Texas). The conference included a series of presentations by physicians from different areas in the region (Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Sudan, Lebanon, and others) during which they presented their experience in the teaching of biomedical ethics. A workshop by Dr. Richard Frankel from Indiana University on the importance of Narrative Ethics was also part of the conference. Towards the end, a meeting was held setting the basis for the founding of the first Biomedical Ethics Society in the Arab World and the Region.


​The Faculty of Medicine at the American University of Beirut Commemorates Global Medical Ethics Day by Holding the First Medical Ethics Teaching Symposium
In 2003, the World Medical Association proclaimed that a global Medical Ethics Day will be observed every Sept. 18. On the occasion of that day, the AUB FM and under the organization of its Ethics Matters Initiative organized a conference on “Teaching Medical Ethics in Lebanese Medical Schools” on September 18, 2009, at the Gefinor Rotana Hotel in Beirut. The keynote address was presented by Dr. Philip Rosoff, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Clinical Ethics at Duke University who was introduced by Dr. Samir Atweh, Associate Dean for Medical Education. The Ethics Matters Initiative was then introduced by Dr. Ramzi Sabra, Assistant Dean for Medical Education who co-organized the event with Dr. Thalia Arawi. Dr. Arawi, AUBMC Clinical Bioethicist and Coordinator of the of the Ethics Matters Initiative, opened the symposium with an introductory presentation about the need for ethics teaching in medical schools and raised questions about the magnitude of the hidden curriculum and the importance of rethinking admission policies and criteria.

The symposium included a series of short presentations by representatives of the various medical schools on their medical ethics curricula.

Towards the end, a panel discussion took place and the following recommendation ensued:
  • Medical schools should reexamine their admissions criteria, policies and practices to ensure that those individuals with high ethical standards and moral character, or those who have the potential to develop in that direction, are admitted.
  • Biomedical ethics education should be longitudinal, spanning all the undergraduate years, and should extend into graduate training and postgraduate careers (continuing medical education).
  • Multiple methods and approaches to teaching and to student assessment are recommended, and these should align with the multiple objectives of medical ethics education, encompassing knowledge, attitudes, behavior, and skills.
  • Medical schools and the academic medical centers housing them should foster an institutional culture that supports and upholds the ethical principles of the practice of medicine. The same strict standards for behavior should be applied to all the constituency of the school, beginning with the members of the faculty who should serve as good role models for students and residents.
  • It is recommended that representatives of the various medical schools in Lebanon form a network dedicated to bioethics education, with the aim of developing a common vision for bioethics education in Lebanon based on a common set of values and objectives. This network should collaborate and consult with other bodies such as the National Lebanese Consultative Committee for Ethics, the UNESCO Committee for Bioethics, and others.​
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Presentations

The SHBPP at the AUBFM holds the First Master Class on “Palliative and End-of-Life Care”