Poverty has been called the world’s biggest health problem. Because 60% of the global population receives less than 6% of its income, residents of poor countries cannot afford basic health care, including medicines for diseases that are preventable, treatable or curable. Poverty and disease also erode political stability, leading to violent conflict in which political imprisonment, torture, and extra-judicial killing occur. What is the role of doctors, who have the privilege of serving society, in response to such problems? This interactive workshop, moderated by Dr. Antonio M. Gotto Jr, Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College, and Dr. Joseph J. Fins, Chief of Weill Cornell’s Division of Medical Ethics, will explore questions of physician responsibility and medical ethics, with emphasis on the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Americas.
Is health care a human right? Are the principles of medical ethics universal or culture-specific? How can we make medicines available to the world’s poor? Is there an obligation to provide quality health care in regions of armed conflict? What role should physicians play in protecting refugees and victims of torture? You will be able to discuss these and other pressing issues with Dr. Gotto, Dr. Fins, and a panel of Weill Cornell physician experts, including Holly Atkinson (Immediate Past President, Physicians for Human Rights), Oliver Fein (access to healthcare for vulnerable populations), Daniel Fitzgerald (AIDS research in Haiti), Rev. Peter Le Jacq (the role of faith-based groups), Estomih Mtui (poverty and disease in sub-Saharan Africa), Pablo Rodriguez del Pozo (cross-cultural bioethics and justice in clinical research), and Carol Storey-Johnson (medical education for the 21st century). Handouts will be provided.