Name of the activity: Human Rights for Medical Practitioners (HRMP): Advanced Training in Human Rights and Ethical Principles in Clinical Settings
Program: Ethics & Human Rights in Health
Contact information: [email protected]
Type of the activity: Capacity Building
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), International Humanitarian Law and medical ethics evolved in response to tackle Human Rights violations and Ethical Dilemmas and can be seen as a commitment by medical society to act in accordance to ethics and human rights. The medical society advocates for the ethical obligation that a physician has for one’s patients, calling upon the UDHR and medical ethics as stated in the Declaration of Geneva. It is evident that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is essential to future physicians, yet it is often overlooked in the medical curriculum. As a response, Human Rights have evolved to become a core activity for the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA), with medical ethics playing a crucial role in shaping medical students attitude in becoming better advocates for Human Rights. The IFMSA program Ethics and Human Rights in Health was adopted during the IFMSA General Assembly (August, 2015, in Ohrid, Macedonia), to highlight the importance and interconnectedness of Human Rights and Medical Ethics for future doctors.
We believe that all medical students ought to be equipped with the knowledge, skills and values to take on health leadership roles locally and globally, to create a positive change in both the local and global society. This is where Human Rights for Medical Practitioners – Advanced Training in Human Rights and Ethical Principles in Clinical Settings comes in. Our workshop underlines health as a fundamental human right, the importance of implementing human rights in healthcare and drawing attention to medical ethics as the most important principle of proper professional conduct. With this workshop, we wish to strengthen future physicians’ commitments towards Human Rights, increasing the understanding of the intertwined nature of Medical Ethics and Human Rights, and lastly to build capacity among medical students from a clinical perspective. Hence, our motivation to facilitate this workshop during the March Meeting’s Pre-General Assembly, in Egypt. Instilling the core values of the workshop within our generation’s youth and future practitioners, will contribute to a behavioral change where human rights have the fullest respect while the health professionals are given the tools to advocate for the rights of their patients.
Human Rights for Medical Professionals in daily clinical settings
When society faces challenges and difficulties, the support for human rights often diminish. This is currently evident in various regions and countries. Europe, for example, has witnessed years of economic crises and instability, leading to a raise in support for right wing parties, advocating less human rights legislation. Several crises have developed into armed conflicts and humanitarian disasters worldwide. In recent times we have observed attacks on medical facilities and personnel, resulting in human rights violations and violations of International Humanitarian Law. These problems bring into light the ethical dilemmas in humanitarian settings and processes, which shape the way healthcare professionals respond to and act in these emergencies.
Despite the diminished support for human rights, in times when society faces hardships, the role of physicians remains intact. Our responsibility to speak up for the wounded and sick does not change, but the environment in which we live and work calls for new tools to advocate and defend access to healthcare and the right to health. Physicians need proper tools and skills to integrate human rights and medical ethics in all clinical settings. Medical ethics pedagogy is a necessary and essential part of medical education for both residents and medical students. For instance, would you breach confidentiality to protect others; what are your obligations if a competent patient refuses treatment? By using medical ethics to solve difficult issues, we as future physicians can provide our patients with the best possible ethical medical care.
The environment in which we live and work calls for new tools to advocate and defend access to healthcare and the right to health. Physicians need proper tools and skills to integrate human rights and medical ethics in all clinical settings. Medical ethics pedagogy is a necessary and essential part of medical education for both residents and medical students. For instance, would you breach confidentiality to protect others? What are your obligations if a competent patient refuses treatment? By using medical ethics to solve difficult issues, we as future physicians can provide our patients with the best possible ethical medical care.
Target groups and beneficiaries:
The workshop focuses on the development of knowledge and practical implications of medical ethics and human rights in various clinical settings. Sessions in this workshops are tailored to discuss complicated ethical dilemmas which doctors face and have to solve during their professional career. Based on the aims of the workshop, the main target group is future health care workers.
Objectives and indicators of success:
Medical ethics is characterized by an essentially practical orientation: identifying, analyzing, and solving ethical problems that arise in the daily healthcare practice.
While Human Rights are standards of living, that are inalienable and apply to all members of the human family. Increased knowledge among future medical professionals, on Medical Ethics and Human Rights, is essential to provide the best possible care for one’s patients.
With the goals and clear objectives of this workshop, keeping in mind the mission and vision of IFMSA, we intend:
To ensure that future healthcare workforce have knowledge, skills and values necessary to improve the standard of health for future patients.
To equip medical students with the knowledge, skills and values necessary for improving the standard of health for future patients.
To provide participants with the right tools to protect patients’ rights and provide a dignified and non-discriminatory healthcare.
To build capacity amongst medical students within human rights and medical ethics, subsequently leading to shared education techniques and knowledge in their NMOs and local committees and members.
To promote the collaboration between IFMSA standing committees, to show the importance of interdisciplinary approach to human rights violations and medical ethics dilemmas.
To provide a portal of communication between the trainers and participants before, during and after the workshop
To make participants aware of their responsibility in clinical settings, by using a human rights and medical ethics based approach.
To share participants´ experience on human rights and medical ethics violations in their home countries and to discuss solutions in a safe environment with their peers.
To develop techniques and methods, by using innovate human rights and medical ethics education.
To provide a communication platform for the participants that have completed the workshop.
To develop methods along with the participants that identify human rights violations in the context of medical ethics and deal with them accordingly
To provide the participants with a detailed overview on the topic of human rights and medical ethics in clinical settings, including some of the challenges faced by certain marginalised or vulnerable populations.
To increase the participants’ understanding of the ability to identity the existence of inequality and discrimination within as well as outside of health care settings, as well as the impact it has on the health outcomes of the affected populations.
To provide participants with knowledge and tools for taking action to address violations of human rights and medical ethics within healthcare settings through the development of advocacy and project management skills, as well as the ability to inspire and involve further medical students within their local community.
‘Medical ethics is a system of moral principles that apply values to the practice of clinical medicine and in scientific research. Medical ethics allow for people, regardless of race, gender, or religion to be guaranteed quality and principled care.’
Medical ethics are a forum for doctors to do their best and to comply with moral standards. They are, in a way comparable to human rights taken to a new level and degree of detail relevant for specific situations. Human rights, on the other hand, place a duty on the state and on healthcare providers to comply with minimum standards. Human rights and medical ethics are complementary, and their application helps to achieve the protection patient’s need. Our main goal during this 3 day workshop, Human Rights for Medical Practitioners – Advanced Training in Human Rights and Ethical Principles in Clinical Settings, is to focus on the human rights aspects of health and medical ethics implementation into the everyday life of a health care professional. Each training session will address a specific issue or situation that can occur in clinical settings, which will be extensively discussed and reviewed by the participants.
Using a variety of learning styles, which will engage students in self-reflection and active learning. We want to include a variety of learning tools and techniques to achieve the most efficient and innovative approach towards medical ethics and human rights in healthcare. We will combine in our agenda both theoretical lectures and interactive sessions
We hope to use our relationships with externals at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Médecins Sans Frontierès (MSF), Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) or UNHCR to contribute with their experience on Human Rights and Medical Ethics. We will carefully brief these externals to ensure that the presentations are most relevant to the participants. Other presentations will be delivered by medical students, and there will be a strong element of peer education by encouraging debate and participation by members of the delegation.
Each training session will address a specific clinical situation that leaves members thinking in awe about what they ‘would’ do and whether it is what they ‘should’ do. Each session will leave trainees wondering why and how things go on in a clinical setting and whether it is necessary to draw a line between medical ethics as an entity on its own and their own moral values.
Within the IFMSA, we often take a rights-based approach to healthcare for granted, and are not always challenged on our points of view by others. So that medical students can advocate on behalf of their patients, they will need to not only argue for their own argument, but also point out flaws in other people’s arguments. We will use a mixture of informal and formal debating to encourage delegates to be able to present their arguments clearly.
The working methods will include:
Theoretical lectures using PowerPoint and/or Prezi presentations
Participants presentation, individually and/or in groups
Lectures from external speakers working in the humanitarian field and/or within human rights
Small and large group discussions
Audio and video material
Small working groups
Theater based techniques
Plans for evaluation:
Invite participants to current international IFMSA activities taking place within the field of Human Rights and Medical Ethics.
Encourage the participants to contribute to activities in line with the IFMSA Program on Human Rights and Medical Ethics.
Share materials, resources and project ideas, support the participants to take action in their NMOs through awareness raising, advocacy and action.
Stay connected through emails and social media platforms (e.g. preGA facebook group) to inform each other regarding happenings around the world referring to Human Rights and Medical Ethics.
Encourage participants to follow and/or to cooperate with other organizations and institutes working on Human Rights and Medical Ethics on a global, regional or national level.
The participants’ experience of the training will be evaluated by a questionnaire and the result compiled and distributed to the participants, facilitators and key persons within IFMSA. Further, the participants will evaluate each day of the workshop through various evaluation and feedback methods.
A certificate of participation will be provided after completion of the workshop. The certificate will be sent online to help save the trees.