More than ever before, clinicians are confronted with complex ethical issues in their medical practice. These include disagreements between patients, relatives, and healthcare staff over treatment decisions, difficulties in obtaining informed consent, and issues of medical error, truth-telling and patient confidentiality. Recognising the growing importance of ethical awareness in medicine, the recent Ethics in Practice report of the Royal College of Physicians (2005) concluded that key medical personnel should be suitably trained in clinical ethics. Increasingly, formal examinations in medicine assess applicants on aspects of clinical ethics.The new Applied Clinical Ethics (ACE) course is aimed at practising clinicians and members of CECs, focusing entirely on clinical ethics and practical decision-making. Several of the speakers are both clinicians and ethicists. The convenient arrangement of modules, each falling on a Saturday at monthly intervals, will enable practising clinicians to apply their knowledge in between sessions and attend the course without taking time off work. See the Course Website for further details.
Staff from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training and twenty students from the Master of Public Health course at Imperial visited multiple UN and humanitarian agencies during their recent trip to Geneva, Switzerland. Over a three day period the group visited Médecins Sans Frontières, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UN, WHO and Global Fund. Two students – Praise Izinyon and Rachael Williams – presented their mini-projects at the WHO followed by an excellent discussion with Blerta Maliqi, a technical officer for Family, Women’s and Children’s health.