Meeting 2012

CBEC-SIUT had the privilege of hosting KBG meetings for the second time in 2012. Six meetings were held, as is the norm for the group. In addition to discussing a host of interesting ethical dilemmas, several pending housekeeping issues were also resolved. The membership list was pruned as per the Terms of Reference of the KBG, and chronic absentees were eased out and only those members who were actually attending the meetings were retained in the list of members. The KBG website was also gradually brought up to date with yearly activities uploaded. It was also decided to share the KBGwebpage management between two members now, Drs Arshi Farooqui and Murad Moosa Khan instead of having the responsibility rest only with one person.
The Karachi Bioethics Group guidelines, which had been revised in 2011 were also added to the website and a new updated print was also published and distributed among members for further dissemination.
The six meetings provided an excellent opportunity to discuss a variety of challenging ethical issues including research on genetic materials and its implications and related to that, biobanking within the Pakistani context where cord blood banks are already operating. Pharmaceutical marketing issues were brought up during discussions. A new challenge that has recently emerged is related to the marketing of expensive robotics technology for surgery in cash strapped public hospitals. Discussions revolved around the ethics of resource allocation, and the need for transparency of transactions in such high stakes acquisitions.
Another theme that emerged through three meetings was about physicians and hospital workers rights, the right of physicians to strike and labor laws and their applicability in the hospital context. Nida Bashir of Patel Hospital developed this theme and is now leading a subgroup of KBG to further dissect out how to take this forward in 2013. Mr Naim Sadiq, a social activist participated in the December meeting to give his perspectives on the rights and laws governing hospital employees in Pakistan.
A discussion was held on the issue of disclosure and confidentiality related to psychiatry patients, and how this may differ from other clinical encounters.
Ethical issues related to medical tourism, and the practice of expenditure of public funds on government functionaries medical treatment abroad were also taken up for discussion during the meetings.
An informative discussion was also held on the newly introduced concept of "premortem" kidney harvesting from patients who are not quite dead but whose treatment is deemed futile, and how this can lead to a slippery slope.
All six meetings were very well attended and, with the housekeeping and tidying up this year, a neat baton has been passed on to the next KBG coordinator, Bushra Shirazi who will be hosting the meetings at Ziauddin University, Kemari campus for the year 2013.