World Medical Association 50th General Assembly Ottawa, Canada

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The WMA is holding its 50th annual General Assembly meeting at the Westin Ottawa Hotel in Ottawa, Canada from October 14 to 18 and you are invited to attend. The provisional schedule of events is:

Wednesday 14 October
am: Socio-Medical Affairs Committee,Finance and Planning Committee
pm: Medical Ethics Committee

Thursday 15 October
Scientific Session on "The Future of Medicine: Issues and Challenges". The speakers will be:

  • Sir George Alleyne, Regional Director for the Americas, World Health Organisation: "The Future of Medicine"
  • Dr Pierre Haehnel, Secretary General of the French Medical Association and Dr Nancy Dickey, President of the American Medical Association on The Patient-Physician Relationship and the Challenge of Market Forces;
  • Dr Rob Dillmann, Secretary General of the Royal Dutch Medical Association and Sister Nuala Patricia Kenny, Director, Bioethics Education and Research, Canada on Medicine and the Challenge of Demands for Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide;
  • Professor Cao Zeyi, Executive Vice President of the Chinese Medical Association and Dr Daniel J. Ncayiyana, Editor, South African Medical Journal on Medicine and the Challenge of Alternative Health Providers;

Friday 16 October
Scientific Session continued, with sessions on the information highway and what the WMA can do to help national medical associations meet future challenges. Speakers will include:

  • Dr André Wynen Secretary General Emeritus of the WMA
  • Dr Daniel Johnson, President elect of the WMA
  • Ms Bjorg Thorsteinsdottir, past president of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations
  • Dr Enrique Accorsi, President of the Chilean Medical Association

Saturday 17 October
am: Council meeting, Official opening of General Assembly
pm: General Assembly

Sunday 18 October
am: General Assembly closes, Council meeting

Among the policy proposals to be presented to the General Assembly with the Council's endorsement are:

  • a proposed Resolution on Investment in Health Care;
  • a proposed Declaration on the Rights of the Child to Health Care;
  • a proposed Resolution on the medical workforce;
  • a proposed Resolution on Nuclear Weapons;

The Council and its Committees will look at new policy proposals on the following topics:

  • Ethical guidelines relating to the use of telemedicine
  • Third World Debt
  • The Hague Peace Process 1999
  • Doping and Sport

Work is ongoing on many other policy issues, notably;

  • A review of the WMA Declaration of Helsinki on human experimentation The development of a framework for examining ethical issues related to cloning technologies Human organ trafficking

  • Approval is expected to be given to an application for membership from the Medical Association of the Dominican Republic. Consideration will also be given to applications from the medical associations of Zimbabwe, Bolivia and Bosnia.

Further details about the meeting will be sent to you next month. But it would be helpful if those intending to attend the meeting could let me know.