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World’s First Bioethics Day Observed at FMMC

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World’s First Bioethics Day Observed at FMMC

World’s First Bioethics Day was observed at Father Muller Medical College on 19 October at the Decennial Centenary Auditorium

Mangaluru: In Bible, according to Psalm 139:13-16 it says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them”. With the Theme ‘Human Dignity and Human Rights’- World Bioethics Day was observed at Father Muller Medical College Decennial Centenary Hall on Wednesday, 19 October 2016 from 2.30 pm onwards.



South India Unit, UNESCO Chair Bioethics, HAIFA and Student Wing South India Unit, UNESCO Chair Bioethics, HAIFA, and Father Muller Medical College, Mangaluru organized this ‘World Bioethics Day’. Dr Princy Palatty-Professor in Pharmacology and Convener of this project gave a brief introduction of “Evolution and need of World Bioethics Day”, and she mentioned that the conference was organized for the first time, and Father Muller Medical College was the first unit to be set up by UNESCO in India. “On 19th October 2015, at the unit head meeting conducted in Italy, it was decided to hold the World Bioethics Day. This commemorates the adoption of Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights in 2005, signed by 192 countries including India” added Dr Princy.

Dr Prema D’Cunha- HOD, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, FMMC also spoke on Human Rights and Vulnerability pertaining to women. She said, “Every woman has the right to live in dignity—free of fear, coercion, violence and discrimination. Every woman has the right to health, including sexual and reproductive health. Yet, for hundreds of millions of girls and women worldwide, these human rights are denied. Today and every day we must speak out forcefully for zero tolerance of all forms of violence against women and girls. And we must recognize that this is not a woman’s issue—this is an issue that concerns us all. Violence against women is not inevitable. Families and communities can change social norms and attitudes. Governments can put strong laws in place, enforce them and bring perpetrators to justice. And societies can guarantee the right to sexual and reproductive health, which includes services for family planning, maternal health and HIV prevention, and the ability to make free and informed choices about reproduction. Let’s look forward to a more effective response to end violence against women—in times of peace, conflict and natural disaster.”

Guest of honor, Dr Tharanath- Principal, SDM Law College-Mangaluru spoke on ‘Laws and Rights’, where he added, “What are human rights? In order to live with dignity certain basic rights and freedoms are necessary, which all Human beings are entitled to, these basic rights are called Human Rights. Human rights demand recognition and respect for the inherent dignity to ensure that everyone is protected against abuses which undermine their dignity, and give the opportunities they need to realize their full potential, free from discrimination. Human rights include civil and political rights, such as: The right to freedom of expression; The right to freedom of religion or conscience; The right to property; The right to freedom of assembly; The right to privacy; and The right to vote.”

“Human rights also cover economic and social rights, such as: The right to an adequate standard of living; The right to adequate food, housing, water and sanitation; The rights you have at work; and The right to education. Human rights belong to everyone, everywhere, regardless of nationality, sexuality, gender, race, religion or age. The foundation of modern human rights is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The 30 articles of the Declaration were adopted in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly, and over time these have been integrated into national laws and international treaties. The core values of the UDHR – human dignity, fairness, equality, non-discrimination – apply to everyone, everywhere”, added Dr Tharanath..

The programme was inaugurated by lighting the lamp by chief guest, Dr Ravindranath Shanubogue, a renowned Human Rights Activist, Udupi, along with Guest of Honor Dr Tharanath, Principal, SDM Law College, Rev Fr Richard Coelho- Administrator, FMMCH, Dr Jayaprakash Alva- Dean, FMMC, Dr Princy Pallaty, and Ancel Crasta- President, Student Bioethics Committee. Fr Richard Coelho delivering his presidential address quoted a verse from the Bible, ” God Created male and female, he blessed them and called them humans when he created them”, and further said, “We should know that a human is a sacred person. They have dignity and rights, has their own values, and rights to exist. We need to protect our lives and also lives of others. We need to help others when they are in need to save their lives.”

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. One man thinks himself the master of others, but remains more of a slave than they are” had said Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Jean-Rousseau, in his dramatic opening lines to his immensely powerful treatise “The Social Contract,” wrote that man was naturally good but becomes corrupted by the pernicious influence of human society and institutions. He preached a mankind improved by returning to nature and living a natural life at peace with his neighbors and himself. He claims to be in favor of democracy, but what he really favors is egalitarianism. Today we need to be alert and keep our eyes open all the time. Human lives are endangered, due to terrorism, violence, self-killing etc. We should respect and treat life with dignity, and make life very meaningful” added Fr Coelho.

Dr Princy speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “All the units of the UNESCO Bioethics Chair across the world are conducting World Bioethics Day celebrations according to a uniform template. The theme for this year is “Human Dignity and Human Rights”. As a prelude the program on 19th October, an intercollegiate essay competition was organized along with poster/debate competition for FMCI institution. The World Bioethics Day inculcates the importance and awareness of bioethics, especially in health care.”. Winners in the Essay, Debate and Poster making contest on the ‘Bioethics’ topic were presented with prizes during the occasion. Dr Rekha Boloor, HOD of Microbiology, FMMC proposed the vote of thanks; Prof. Dr Nagesh- HOD of Forensic Medicine, FMMC introduced the chief guest and guest of honor; Dr JP Alva- welcomed the gathering; and the programme was compered by Anil D’souza and Jessica Chavale, MBBS students, FMMC.


Following the formal function, there was a talk on “Human Rights” by Dr Ravindranath Shanubhogue, and also panel discussion where the moderator was Dr Smitha Bhat- Prof. of Medicine; and the panelists were- Dr Erel Dias- HOD, General Surgery, Dr Nandakishore- Prof. Dermatology, and Dr Raghuveer Adiga- HOD, Orthopaedics, all of FMMC.

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