Open Letter to World Medical Association on Freedom of Conscience plus the 40 days for life conference.

The World Medical Association is currently revising its International Code of Medical Ethics. The draft revision that was shared in 2021 required doctors with a conscientious objection to ensure “effective and timely referral to another qualified physician”.There have since been a series of meetings about the revision, most recently in Washington on 11-12 August. The WMA now seems minded to pull back from the uncompromising language in the consultation. However, this draft still needs to go to the WMA Council to be approved and presented at the WMA General Assembly in Berlin from 5-8 October for adoption.In response to this concerning development, an Open Letter drafted by the Director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, Prof. David Albert Jones, has been signed by over 250 professors, directors of research centres, physicians, and others concerned with medical ethics, urges the WMA not to impose an obligation on physicians to refer patients for procedures that the physician sincerely and reasonably considers unethical.If you are a doctor, or are otherwise involved with healthcare or with medical ethics, and you would like to co-sign the letter with them, you can do so here.Irrespective of whether you can sign, please do share this amongst your networks so that we can get as many signatures as possible so as to have the greatest and most positive effect!
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New Conference: Suicide Prevention and Assisted Suicide: Legal, Clinical, and Ethical Perspectives
The Anscombe Bioethics Centre is holding an important half-day conference on Suicide Prevention and Assisted Suicide: Legal, Clinical, and Ethical Perspectives on 10 September (World Suicide Prevention Day) from 1pm to 4.30pm in Blackfriars, St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LY.This conference will cover the right to be prevented from committing suicide, the challenge of suicide prevention among people eligible for “medical aid in dying” and the impact of legalising assisted suicide on suicide rates.Speakers will include:Professor Jonathan Herring (Professor of Law, Oxford University)Professor Brian Mishara (Director of the Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide, Ethical Issues and End-of-Life Practices (CRISE); Professor of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)Professor David Paton (Professor of Industrial Economics, Nottingham University Business School)Professor David Albert Jones (Professor in Bioethics, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham; Director, Anscombe Bioethics Centre; Fellow, Blackfriars Hall, Oxford)Professor Patricia Casey (Professor of Psychiatry, University College Dublin) and Dr Anne Doherty (Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University College Dublin) in interviewAttendance is free. To book a place either to attend in person or to participate via Zoom, please click here.

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