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Press invitation, conference: Is medical ethics really in the best interest of the patient?

When is it right to terminate treatments? Is it alright to conduct medical research on children? Who should receive treatment when resources are scarce? These are ethical questions that are at the heart of cases discussed in the media recently. On June 14-16, researchers from across the world will gather in Uppsala to discuss medical ethics from diverse perspectives. Around 70 presentations will shed light on aspects of these central issues.

Medical ethics is supposed to protect patient's interests in medical research and care. But is it always in the best interest of the patient?

These are questions that have a direct impact on patients, doctors, researchers and the public. There are ethical decisions that make it unnecessarily difficult to acquire new medical knowledge and there are examples of researchers who don't seem to take the interest of the patients seriously. "In today's world, as our privacy and individual choice may be challenged by technological developments, we increasingly rely on ethical guidelines to protect us, but we need to know whether they are doing the job. This is why this conference is important" say Professor Mats G. Hansson, Director of the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB) at Uppsala University and Professor Ruth Chadwick of Cesagen at the universities of Lancaster and Cardiff who together are collaborating with Akademiska sjukhuset (Uppsala University Hospital) to arrange this multi-disciplinary conference. The main sponsor is the Journal of Internal Medicine.

The programme includes a number of current and difficult questions raised in medical care and research. How does the western standard for HIV-tests work in China? Should the right of the individual surpass the duty to help as many as possible? Is the demand for explicit consent always in the best interest of the patient? If we can treat, should we always do so? How is the information from genetic diagnostics handled in Iran? What ethical challenges are raised by stem cell research and how is that different between countries? Is it ethical to use data from medical research in Nazi Germany?

The conference consists of three different themes with presentations in parallel sessions. This is the first in a series of bi-annual ethics conferences arranged by Cesagen and CRB. The next conference will be held 2012 in Cardiff.

Journalists are welcome to attend!

When and where: 14-16 June 2010, 09:00-17:00, Uppsala Konsert & Kongress, Uppsala. The programme starts with a short press briefing with examples from the day's programme.

Please note: Press registrations to The conference has a social programme with evening activities. The cost for this is 1 250 SEK.

We need the following information:

  • Which days you intend to participate
  • Allergies or special dietary requirements (lunch is included)
  • Contact information (e-mail and telephone)
  • If you intend to participate in the social programme (separate registration on the conference website using the code "PRESS")


Contact: Josepine Fernow
Uppsala University

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