Clinical ethics is a relatively new field in the Malaysian healthcare setting. While there are currently limited established clinical ethics services in Malaysia, ethically challenging cases have been brought to the forefront by the COVID-19 pandemic, and new services are expanding rapidly to meet these needs.
UiTM’s Hospital Clinical Ethics Consultation Service (CECS), run by the Medical Ethics & Law (MEL) Department of the UiTM Faculty of Medicine, was established in January 2020. To remain current in managing clinical ethics cases during the pandemic and as part of their clinical ethics training, the CECS participated in the UK Clinical Ethics Network (UKCEN) 19th Annual Conference, which was held virtually on 18 June 2021.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Ethical Expertise in the NHS” and featured a half-day pre-conference workshop on Disagreement in Healthcare Ethics. The conference featured renowned speakers such as Dave Archard, Joshua Hordern and Daniel Sokol. The focus was to explore the idea of ethical expertise applicable to the UK National Health Service (NHS) comprising training, equal access and how such services could be improved. Parallel sessions were also held to explore ethical expertise inside the clinical ethics committees as well as education and ethical expertise.
Additionally, a team of final year students from the faculty, led by Muhammad Shahril Mohd Taufik and supervised by the Coordinator of CECS, Dr Mark Tan Kiak Min, also presented a poster titled “Collusion in an Asian Healthcare Setting: Ethical Lie or Unethical Love?” at the conference. The other contributing members were Nur Saradilla Othman, Nurul Husna Ramli and Muhammad Shafiq Nazri. Together with other poster presenters from the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and the University of Leeds in the UK, the team had a good experience discussing their work with an international audience and learning about the role of Clinical Ethics in the NHS.