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The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics

 

What is Bioethics?



Medical ethics traces its roots to several early ethical codes, the most famous of which is the Hippocratic Oath. Its primary concern was prescribing the ethics of the doctor-patient relationship.

Modern Bioethics began about fifteen years post World War Two in an attempt to 'humanise' medical education and practise. Medicine was considered a profession overly focused on scientific and technological advancements requiring specialized skills. As such, its 'caring' nature seemed to have lapsed. Bioethics aimed to reinstate this care by infusing human virtues and the humanities into health sciences.

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The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics

The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics is a university-based centre committed to the values of justice, dignity, respect and freedom - both intellectual and academic. The Centre is a Faculty centre situated in the School of Clinical Medicine.

Staff at the centre boast a wide range of expertise in ethics and they are deeply committed to furthering the discipline of bioethics in South Africa and internationally. Centre staff take pride in advising and consulting for policy makers at national and provincial level, as well as in programmes like Good Clinical Practise - and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

At national policy level, Centre staff provide advice and consultation in bioethics, human rights and health law for health sciences curricula, regulation, development and ethics in research for the country.

At an international level, centre staff contribute to programmes in UNESCO, the European Commission and The National Institutes of Health (US) to name but a few. Centre staff also contribute to the development of bioethics and research ethics capacity on the different African regions.

The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics contributes to excellence in bioethics by:

  • Developing national and international research programs,
  • Ongoing curriculum development and teaching,
  • Collaborating with other developing and developed world-based bioethicists on training and research projects,
  • Advising health providers on policy matters, including resource allocation, rationing of health care services and monitoring standards of care for the ethical practice of the caring professions including medicine, dentistry, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and pharmacy,
  • Providing an ethics consultation service at hospitals and clinics within the academic hospitals as well as the primary health care settings,
  • Providing NGOs and other community groups with health care ethics advice and
  • Community outreach as a social responsibility

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

 

MEDIA RELEASE FROM WITS UNIVERSITY

DATE: FRIDAY, 24 JUNE 2016

 

STILL ROBED – RETIRED JUSTICE DIKGANG MOSENEKE JOINS STEVE BIKO CENTRE FOR BIOETHICS

 

Former Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Dikgang Moseneke, has been appointed Honorary Professor of Bioethics in the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics.

 

Moseneke is one of the South Africa’s leading jurists and retired from the Constitutional Court in May this year after 14 years of dedicated service. He is also the Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, a position he has held since 2006.

 

Professor Ames Dhai, Director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, says Moseneke has had a deep impact on the judiciary and beyond the courts, and it is this legal authority as well as his intellectual and ethical integrity that will be invaluable to the Centre in its efforts to further the discipline of bioethics.

 

“For a jurist of the calibre of Justice Moseneke – honourable, principled and righteous – and because of his commitment to justice and social change, a Professorship at the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics is without question.

 

“His combination of qualities as a jurist and a scholar of the highest acclaim would support further growth and development of the Centre and its many activities. We look forward to working closely with him and benefitting from the valuable guidance and advice he will impart to us when grappling with the many ethical dilemmas which form part of our day-to-day work,” says Dhai.

 

Professor Moseneke joined the Centre from 1 June 2016.

 

“I am humbled to be associated with the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics and the Faculty of Health Sciences. I am not unmindful of what honour the Honorary Professorship bestows on me and hope to add value to the deliberations of the Centre in some modest way,” says Moseneke.

 

About Justice Dikgang Moseneke:

Moseneke obtained his BA in English and Political Science degree, as well as his B Iuris, while jailed on Robben Island after being convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for participating in anti-apartheid activity in the 60s. He later completed his LLB and started practising as an attorney in 1978. He was admitted to the Bar in 1983 and practised as an advocate. He is a founder member of the Black Lawyers' Association and of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers of South Africa. In 1986 Moseneke was appointed visiting fellow and lecturer at Columbia Law School, University of Columbia, New York.

 

In 1993 he was elevated to the status of Senior Counsel and later served as a Judge of the High Court before being appointed Justice of the Constitutional Court in November 2001.

 

He has served in several community and non-governmental organisations and holds several honorary doctorates and is a recipient of numerous awards of honour, performance and excellence.

 

About the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics:

Situated in the School of Clinical Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits University, the Centre is committed to the values of justice, dignity, respect and freedom - both intellectual and academic. It boasts with staff who has a wide range of expertise in ethics and who are deeply committed to furthering the discipline of bioethics in South Africa and internationally.

 

At national policy level, staff at the Centre provides advice and consultation in bioethics, human rights and health law for health sciences curricula, regulation, development and ethics in research for the country. At an international level, they contribute to programmes in UNESCO, the World Health Organisation and the World Medical Association to name but a few; and to the development of bioethics and research ethics capacity on the different African regions.

 

For enquiries, contact Samkelo Nsibande, Projects Coordinator: Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, at Samkelo.nsibande@wits.ac.za or +27 11 717 2190.

 

Issued on behalf of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics:

Erna van Wyk

Multimedia Communications Officer

University of the Witwatersrand

+27 11 717 4023

+27 82 399 6574

  1. vanwyk@wits.ac.za

 

 EVENT COMING UP:

 Steve Biko Bioethics Lecture entitled:

 

“IS ETHICS PIVOTAL TO TRANSFORMATION?”

 

Presented by Professor Justice Moseneke, one of South Africa’s leading jurists and recently retired Constitutional Court judges will explore the proper role of ethics in transformation during delivery of the lecture. Professor Justice Moseneke was recently appointed Honorary Professor at the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics.

 

 

DATE: 9 September 2016

TIME: 13h00- 14h00

CPD POINTS: 2

VENUE: School of Public Health Resource Centre

            University of the Witwatersrand

            Education Campus

            27 St. Andrews Road

            Parktown

RSVP: by 30th August to Samkelo.Nsibande@wits.ac.za

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Year Highlights:
2007 - 2012


Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics 

Steve Biko Report 2012.pdf the 5 Year Highlights

 

FINAL 2013 Centre Report.pdf

 

Call for abstracts

Special edition of SAJBL:Ethical legal and social issues (ELSI) related to stemcell research and therapy in South Africa

28 November 2014: deadline for submission of abstracts

February 2015: deadline for submission of manuscripts

July 2015: publication of the SAJBL special edition

SAJBL Call for abstracts special issue on Stem Cell ELSI.pdf

 

South African Unit of the UNESCO International Network in Bioethics

The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics is one 5 World Medical Association Cooperating Centres, and the first WMA Cooperating Centre in Africa

 

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law

 

 

 



 

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