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Project events


Workshop on Patient Rights, Centre Interdisciplinaire de Bioethique pour L'Afrique Francophone, Kinshasa School of Public Health, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (January 24-26, 2012)

The notion and significance of patient rights has rarely been explicitly discussed in the DR Congo, and has been typically overshadowed by professional deontology in a culture of strong medical paternalism. This workshop involved lawyers, physicians, nurses, philosophers, social scientists, public health practitioners from across the DR Congo to discuss topics such as:

  • The concepts of autonomy and patient rights
  • Models of the physician/patient relationship
  • Comparison of patient rights in France and Belgium
  • Patient rights and legal texts in the DR Congo
  • The rights of health care workers to strike
  • Rights of patients of traditional healers
  • Medical errors and the right to compensation

Participating institutions included the Kinshasa School of Public Health, the Centre Interdisciplinaire Droit, Ethique et Sciences de la Sante, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the DRC Ministry of Health.

The workshop achieved two concrete goals. First, the crafting of a draft patient rights charter for the DR Congo, to be submitted to the Ministry of Health for further review, ratifiction and dissemination. The aim is to have a charter that can be posted at clinics, hospital and other sites of health care delivery around the county. Second, the development of legal texts regarding patient rights. These are to be refined and submitted to local juridical authorities in view of modifying current statutes.


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Capacity-Building Workshop on Clinical Ethics and Public Health Ethics, Institut National de Sante Publique et Communautaire, Antananarivo, Madagascar (May 9-11, 2011)

This workshop concentrated on ethical issues at the interface between clinical and public health practice: abortion, access to health care, and infectious disease control. Faculty members of the INSPC presented data on and experiences with all these issues, including case studies for discussion. The 3-day workshop was well attended, with some 30 participants in the main conference room and another 50 connected by video link.



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Workshop on ancillary care responsibilities of health researchers, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (May 19-21, 2011)


Prospective research participants, particularly in resource-poor countries, can have a number of health problems. Do health researchers have an ethical responsibility to care for health needs of participants that have little or nothing to do with the study aims? Why should they, since they are researchers, not clinicians? Should they shoulder this responsibility alone? Which health conditions should researchers respond to?


These and related ethical questions were tackled by workshop participants from research projects in Kinshasa, human rights organizations, representatives from the National AIDS Control Program, members of CIBAF (Centre Interdisciplinaire de Bioethique pour L'Afrique Francophone) and the Kinshasa School of Public Health. Participants collectively created a decision-making model for ancillary care issues, and developed a workshop message. A manuscript, to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, is planned on the process and outcome of the workshop.





Bioethics events in the Triangle



Fall 2011: Global Health Ethics Seminar (EPID 898-01)

Thursdays, 1:00-2:50 pm,

UNC School of Public Health


This seminar is part of our collaborative NIH/Fogarty Bioethics capacity-building project. The seminar aims to explore emerging bioethics themes in international health research, to link research ethics issues with those of poverty and social and global justice, and to provide a forum for researchers to discuss ethical concerns in the conduct of their research.

Seminar sessions will be lead by Profs. Stuart Rennie (Social Medicine) and Frieda Behets (Epidemiology). Next Fall's theme will be global health research and ethics.

This 2 credit seminar can be used to fulfill requirements of the Global Health Certificate or the Certificate in Public Health Ethics. The seminar is targeted to graduate and professional students with some basic knowledge of epidemiology.













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