The fifth National Bioethics Conference (NBC) was co-hosted by St John's National Academy of Health Sciences (SJNAHS), Bangalore; Society for Community Health Research Awareness and Action (SOCHARA), Bangalore; and Forum for Medical Ethics Society (FMES), Mumbai which publishes the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. The conference was held at the beautiful St John's campus, Bangalore from December 11 to 13, 2014, with pre-conference events on December 10, 2014. Since 2005, the NBCs are held once in two years at different venues within India to discuss contemporary and socially relevant issues concerning bioethics. The first NBC was held in Mumbai in 2005. The theme of the 5th NBC was "Integrity in medical care, public health and health research". An international colloquium on "Corruption in healthcare and medicine" took place on the last day. The focus and theme of this conference arose from widespread public perception of corruption in the health sector. Prevailing malpractices have led to a loss of trust and confidence in the health system. This conference aimed to encourage discussion and debate about the role of bioethics as a value base influencing concepts and practice in medical care, public health, and health research. It was hoped that bioethics would evolve not just as a discipline, but also as a widespread movement that effects change.
An Organising Committee, Scientific Committee, Logistics Committee, and the Organising Secretaries, Dr Thelma Narayan from SOCHARA and Dr G.D. Ravindran from St John's worked hard together with Dr Amar Jesani to develop the conference. A secretariat was set up at St John's and a brochure produced. A website was set up for the conference (www.5thnbc2014.org) and two rounds of individual communications went out to all registered participants. A book of abstracts was published and placed in the bag for all participants. Team members from St John's and SOCHARA put in tremendous effort in preparatory work over six months.
Reporting back on NBC-5, Click here to view
Summary report: Click here to view