Past Events

Wrongful actions? The rights and wrongs of wrongful birth and life actions

Category:

Date:

28 Mar, 2014

Time:

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Venue:

Room A824, 8/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong

Speaker(s):

Dr. Vera Lúcia Raposo, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Macau

Abstract:

With modern techniques of pre-natal diagnosis it is possible to predict and detect some maladies before birth and even before conception. However, parents are not always correctly informed of the results of these exams. This lack of information may prevent mothers from exercising reproductive self-determination and may impose on the child living conditions excessively burdensome for a dignified existence.

This presentation will deal with actions brought against doctors and/or hospitals by parents in their own names for “wrongful birth” or on behalf of children for “wrongful life,” arising from such incidents resulting from insufficient or incorrect information.

Since prenatal diagnoses are not always scientifically reliable, in what circumstances is it possible to identify illicit behaviour on the part of doctors? What is the expected behaviour from health professionals in such circumstances, according with leges artis, in order to increase the patient’s safety? Do doctors have duties only to parents or also to protect the unborn? Have the child and the parents suffered real damages caused by the medical team? If so, what kinds of damages may be compensated under the law?

These questions are not merely legal, but ethical and even moral: are we attempting merely to reduce human pain, or does prenatal testing implicate eugenics? Is existence always of value or must we also demand a qualitative dimension to the “right to life?” Do such legal actions represent unjustified caprice in search of utopic perfect human beings or a meaningful debate over patient safety?

Regulating Patient Safety: Is it Time for a Technological Response?

Category:

Date:

24 Feb, 2014

Time:

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Venue:

11/F conference room, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Speaker(s):

Professor Roger Brownsword, Professor of Law, King’s College London

Abstract:

Following the publication of the report of the public inquiry into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (centring on the deaths of patients at Stafford Hospital), the banner headline on the front page of The Times bluntly warned: ‘NHS: No one is safe’. The Francis report, painting a shocking picture of the suffering of hundreds of patients whose safety was ignored for the sake of corporate self-interest and cost control, recommends that there should be a fundamental change of culture so that there is a shared commitment to the ideal that patients and their safety should come first. While there is much to admire about Francis’ strategy in proposing a fundamental cultural change, this presentation raises the question whether, with the regulatory environment for patient safety seemingly broken, we should turn to a more technological approach to address the problem?

Biography of speaker:

Professor Roger Brownsword, who is a graduate of the London School of Economics, has been an academic lawyer for more than 40 years. Currently, he is Professor of Law at King’s College London, where he was the founding director of TELOS (a research centre that focuses on technology, ethics, law, society), an honorary professor at the University of Sheffield, and a visiting professor at Singapore Management University.
He has published more than a dozen books, including Law and the Technologies of the Twenty-First Century(co-authored with Morag Goodwin) (CUP, 2012), and has more than 200 papers in edited collections and law reviews. He has acted as a specialist adviser to the parliamentary committees of the United Kingdom dealing with stems cells and hybrid embryos. From 2004-2010, he was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics; and, currently, he is Chair of the Ethics and Governance Council of UK Biobank.

Big Biobanks: Three Major Governance Challenges

Category:

Public Talks

Date:

21 Feb, 2014

Time:

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Venue:

Mrs Chen Yang Foo Oi Telemedicine Centre, 2/F, William MW Mong Block, Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, HK

Speaker(s):

Professor Roger Brownsword Professor of Law, King’s College London

Abstract:

This presentation focuses on ‘Big Biobanks’—that is, population-wide biobanks which are established (much like a library) as a resource to be curated for access and use by the research community. It examines three of the many governance challenges faced by the new generation of Big Biobanks. First, whether individual ‘informed consent’ can continue to function where hundreds of thousands of participants are involved and where the particular research purposes and projects to be pursued with the assistance of the biobank are not specified in advance. Secondly, whether biobanks, and researchers who have access to the resource, have any responsibility to return individual clinically significant findings to participants who, because of the longitudinal nature of such research, remain identifiable. Thirdly, how the public interest is to be understood and applied: In which circumstances will access be denied as contrary to the public interest or be granted for reasons of the public interest notwithstanding that the application is inconsistent with the consent given by participants?

Biography of speaker:

Professor Roger Brownsword, who is a graduate of the London School of Economics, has been an academic lawyer for more than 40 years. Currently, he is Professor of Law at King’s College London, where he was the founding director of TELOS (a research centre that focuses on technology, ethics, law, society), an honorary professor at the University of Sheffield, and a visiting professor at Singapore Management University.
He has published more than a dozen books, including Law and the Technologies of the Twenty-First Century(co-authored with Morag Goodwin) (CUP, 2012), and has more than 200 papers in edited collections and law reviews. He has acted as a specialist adviser to the parliamentary committees of the United Kingdom dealing with stems cells and hybrid embryos. From 2004-2010, he was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics; and, currently, he is Chair of the Ethics and Governance Council of UK Biobank.

Bringing Life to Medicine, Law, Meditation and Ethics

Category:

Public Talks

Date:

19 Feb, 2014

Time:

3:00pm – 4:15pm

Venue:

Room A825, 8/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong

Speaker(s):

Dr. Barry Kerzin, MD

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