The 3rd National Paediatric Bioethics Symposium in conjunction with the 12th National Paediatric Research Conference, KindneyINTERACT 2023 and MRCPCH Mock Clinical Examination, held at IMU Clinical School Seremban on 25-27 August 2023, marked a significant milestone in the evolution of ethical discourse in the country. Organised jointly with the College of Paediatrics, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia, the Conference brought together a diverse audience of 80 participants, including healthcare professionals, scholars, researchers, and students.
The Symposium’s theme, “Navigating Ethical Horizons in Healthcare Leadership and Equity in Malaysia,” pushed the boundaries of ethical discussion, propelled by transformations in healthcare recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The three keynote lectures illuminated distinct dimensions of ethical leadership, oversight, and equity in the Malaysian context.
Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman
Tan Sri underscored the vital role of ethical integrity in leadership, emphasising that it forms the cornerstone of sustainable growth. Professor Dr Steven Joffe focused on the relationship between patient care and knowledge generation in the era of the learning health system.
Prof Dr Steven Joffe
Prof Steven focused on the relationship between patient care and knowledge generation in the era of the learning health system.
Dr Khor Swee Kheng
Dr Khor broadened the discourse to encompass global health equity imperatives within the Asia-Pacific region.
The discussions extended to the ethical considerations in clinical research. Participants engaged in debates, emphasising transparency, patient welfare, and the evolving autonomy of paediatric research participants, recognising the influence of cultural and social factors.
Subsequently, a Clinical Ethics Workshop, led by Dr Erwin Khoo, delved into real-life clinical cases, guiding participants through nuanced explorations of ethical dilemmas, and equipping them with tools to enhance their clinical ethics consultation skills.
Winners of the Free Paper Presentations
Abby Liew, IMU’s fourth-year medical student
1st prize in the poster presentation for her work titled “Enforcing Uniformity in Medical Student Attire: What Do Students Think?”.
1st prize for the oral presentation with her paper titled “Predictors and Trends of Diabetic Ketoacidosis at Diagnosis in Malaysian Children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus”.
The judges were Nor Asiah Muhamad, the Head of the Sector for Evidence-Based in Healthcare at the National Institutes of Health, and Selva Kumar, the President of the Malaysian Paediatric Association. The presentations served as a platform for researchers from across Malaysia, including Universiti Malaya Medical Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Perdana University, Institute for Medical Research, and various hospitals, to showcase their work.
Building on the legacy of the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Engaging Healthcare Professionals in Paediatric Bioethics, the Conference reaffirmed dedication to ethical leadership, collaborative governance, and health equity. It emphasised the importance of training, networks, and conferences in fostering professionalism and knowledge sharing, aligning seamlessly with our IMU’s vision and mission to the ‘Road to 500’.
Written by Dr Erwin Khoo, MBBS (IMU), FRCPCH (UK), AM (Mal), Fellowship in Bioethics (Harvard)
Head, Department of Paediatrics, International Medical University
Research Fellow, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
A full report of the 3rd National Bioethics Symposium has been accepted and will be published in the Asian Bioethics Review, an international academic journal that provides a forum to express and exchange original ideas on all aspects of bioethics.
Khoo EJ. A national effort to introducing paediatric bioethics in Malaysia: a report and declaration of a National Paediatric Bioethics Symposium. Asian Bioethics Review. 2017 Jul;9(1-2):153-5.