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Bioethics Debate on Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development

09 Jan 2018

As professionalism, ethics and personal development is one of the components of the 8 learning outcome domains of International Medical University (IMU), an intercampus debate about bioethics is organised biannually by the final semester medical students in order to facilitate discussions regarding ethical issues in an interactive way. The long-awaited debate was organised by the students of IMU Kluang Clinical School, under the guidance of the Advisor, Prof Dato’ Dr Sivalingam Nalliah and Chairperson, Dr Hussein Akl. The debate focused on the theme – Environmental Health Protection and Sustainable Development. The theme was selected in accordance with the bioethics core curriculum by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). We were mainly engaged in the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, Article 17 – Protection of the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity, with emphasis on the importance of appropriate access and utilisation of biological and genetic resources, respect for traditional knowledge and the role of human beings in the protection of the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity. The event was carried out on 18 November 2017 in the main auditorium of Hospital Enche Besar Hajjah Khalsom (Hospital HEBHK), Kluang. The event started at 9am with a morning prayer session with our Muslim fellow citizen followed by a welcome speech by Dr Hussein. We are pleased to have Dr Fadzul Arifin bin Mohd Noor, Head of Department of Emergency in HEBHK, for the opening speech. He expressed his welcome and encouragement for this event being organised annually at the hospital, and he acknowledged the effort of the students who organised the event. It was followed by the first debate with the motion “This house believes that developed nations have the obligation to provide green technology to developing nations to reduce global warming”. The government defending the motion consists of Lee Jun Long, Neela A/P Parameswara, and Haziq bin Shaharel from IMU Batu Pahat clinical campus. On the opposition, we have the Mohamad Zulfakar bin Haris Fathilah, Alice Sana and Mohammad Nasuha bin Saufi Sofian, from IMU Kluang Clinical Campus. It took a short time for the debate to escalate into an impressive exchange of points supported with facts. The well-fought battle was followed by feedback from the judges, Dr Fadzul Arifin, Leonard Goh Zhong Ning (IMU student from Kluang) and Chan Su Yin (IMU student from Batu Pahat).

Following the thought-provoking debates and a refreshment, Zuhairi bin Said, from the Johor Department of Environment gave an enlightening speech on Environmental Quality Act 1974, which highlighted the importance of the law, authorities as well as public in protecting our Mother Nature. He also encouraged us to participate as a team member in protecting the environment.

Then, the second debate motion was “Climate change and global warming are primarily due to human intervention”. Representing the government from IMU Kluang Clinical Campus, Izni Azyyati Bt Mohd Khairi, Hanneshah Kaur, and Nuramalina Mazeli, supported the motion. The opposition team consisting of Kong Kah Wei, Ang Hong Shien, and Soon Chen Ying from IMU Batu Pahat Clinical Campus were against the motion. It was a witty and intense contest which left the audience thoroughly engaged. Insightful feedback was given by the judges, Dr Vijarayaghaven Ramanathan, Liyafizzira binti Zakaria (IMU student from Kluang) and  Chan Soon Yin (IMU student from Batu Pahat). After the feedback session, members of the audience were not left out of the fun as they actively engaged in an interactive multiplayer classroom quizes generated with Kahoot©, which assessed their general knowledge in relation to our theme in an interesting approach, using their mobile devices. The top four eventual winners of the quiz was awarded with prizes.

It was a witty and intense contest which left the audience thoroughly amused. The winners for each debate were announced with the first going to the opposition team, and the second to the government team. All the debaters were eventually awarded with prizes prepared by the clinical campus. The best speaker was elected from each deabte motion and they were Mohamad Zulfakar bin Haris Fathilah and Soon Chen Ying.

The closing speech was given by the chairperson, Dr Hussein Akl, who congratulated all the debaters for their notable performance. He expressed his gratitude to Dr Fadzul Arifin, all the IMU faculty who attended the event, secretaries, student organisers and Johor Department of Environment for making the event a success. Prepared by: Lim Loo Hong, IMU Medical Ethics and Environment Debate Student Coordinator Photo Credits: Yew Sheng Qian Reviewed: Dr Hussein Akl, Senior O&G Lecturer, Kluang Clinical Campus

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