Karachi Bioethics Group Meetings 2015

Host for the year 2015: Patel Hospital

Patel Hospital hosted the KBG meetings for the year 2015. Coordinators for the year were Dr. Nida Wahid and Dr. Abeer Salim Habib. Six meetings were held during the year, one every alternate month, with participation from KBG members and other attendees from various health care institutes. Topics with ethical concerns were presented in the form of a PowerPoint presentation for the audience in each meeting. Topics included:

  • 1. Medical Error Reporting System, an initiative by Patel Hospital
  • Patel Hospital has developed a policy for reporting and analysis of medical errors. The presentation was about the objectives and initial outcomes of this initiative. The forum asked questions on how the medical error analysis committee analyses the cases. Maintaining anonymity of the reporting person was appreciated as strength of this reporting system.

  • 2. My tests, my images- Who owns them?
  • As the communication means have advanced, medical world has also been affected. Doctors now have the convenience of sending clinical and radiographic images using smart phone applications like WhatsApp; but how can they maintain patient's confidentiality and who has the ownership of such images. The young doctors were very concerned and interested to know how they can benefit from this technical comfort while practicing ethically.

  • 3. Ethics of advertising in healthcare
  • Some local ads pertaining to healthcare were shared which resulted in an intense debate on how can the professionals advertise their services without being labeled as unethical. The need to be visible as a healthcare service provider in this competitive environment was also debated upon.

  • 4. Patient or cell phone- your priority?
  • Healthcare personnel have also been affected by the recent trend shift of everyone being occupied by their Smartphone. This is often for the benefit of the patient e.g. looking at latest patient labs or radiographic images on it, but how justified is the use of phone for other communications while providing care.

  • 5. Confidentiality: Is it valid?
  • Some real case scenarios were presented on how a patient's confidentiality gets compromised by the healthcare providers who do not have the intention to do so. There was confusion amongst the participants between privacy and confidentiality as the two often overlap. The concepts were clarified use of examples.

  • 6.I have a right to copy!
  • Some real case scenarios encountered by young doctors as well as senior faculty were shared to create awareness about plagiarism and scientific misconduct. The topic generated interest among young doctors and post-graduate trainees had many questions on how to avoid such phenomenon while doing research. Each presentation was supported by local and international guidelines pertaining to each topic. Some highlights of the year:
    • Launch of:
    • The KBG official Facebook page
    • The KBG booklet "Understanding Medical Error" at Patel Hospital. (Attended by more than 100 guests).
    • Presentation of Patel Hospital's initiative on Medical error reporting system.
    • The hospital is pleased to have hosted the KBG meetings and hopes to do it again in future. It proved to be a learning opportunity for the hospital personnel.