World Medical Association Council Meeting

(02.05.2016) The 203rd WMA Council meeting was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina (April 28 -30) and was attended by more than 100 delegates from 35 national medical associations.

The meeting discussed a number of issues, including the following:

Ethical considerations regarding health databases and biobanks

The meeting considered proposals for a new Declaration on ethical principles for the use of identifiable health data and biological material beyond the individual care of patients. It was agreed to finalise a document for adoption at the WMA’s General Assembly in October.

Female Genital Mutilation

Delegates agreed to revise the Association’s Statement on Female Genital Mutilation to encourage physicians and national medical associations around the world to be more active in campaigning to end the practice. They agreed that revised guidelines should be forwarded to the General Assembly for adoption.

Body searches

A major revision to the WMA Statement on Body Searches on Prisoners was agreed for adoption by the General Assembly. The Statement sets out guidelines for national medical associations, and urges all governments and public officials with responsibility for public safety to recognize that invasive searches are serious assaults on a person's privacy and dignity, and carry some risk of physical and psychological injury.

Other issues discussed included medical tourism, obesity in children, boxing, euthanasia and physician assisted dying, medical cannabis and the threat of cyber-attacks on health care.

Separate press releases have been issued on refugees and migrants, and on the Zika virus.

General Assembly

The WMA’s next Council meeting and annual General Assembly will be held in Taipei, Taiwan from Oct 19-22.