Joel Lamoure to head up Bioethics Network for UNESCO

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Joel Lamoure, an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Western and critical care pharmacist, has been named the Chief/Lead for the Canadian Network investigating bioethics in the medical curriculum on behalf of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics.

The networks, established in 29 countries, have been tasked with determining the status of medical education deliverables in bioethics across the country including quality, placement, sustainability and robustness within the medical curriculum. The aim is to ensure a robust and evidence based approach. "We look forward to creating new Canadian linkages to move medical education bioethics across the scope, specialties and lifespan of clinicians," says Lamoure.

UNESCO has noted the emergence of the need for bioethics at the grass roots level, which is continuous, consistent and mirrored through education, practice and mentoring. UNESCO Bioethics in Medical Education 2012 states, "There is an emerging need for teaching medical ethics as a consequence of several social and scientific processes:

• Health-care consumers emphasize nowadays not only the need for health but also the need for quality of life. Patients expect professionalism, effectiveness and quality, along with empathy, reliability and devotion.
• Health-care providers are detached from traditional concepts of idealistic medicine, adopting a contractual, and consumer paradigm.
• Medical technology has created new dilemmas (e.g. procreation, euthanasia, intensive care, medical genetics, bio-technology), while at the same time causing previous ethical resolutions to become obsolete (e.g. definition of death, family composition).
• Specialization and sub-specialization in medicine have encouraged technicality at the expense of patient-physician relationship and communication skills, thus creating a growing gap between physicians and their patients, and between medicine and society at large.
• Growing social concern, suspicion and demand for closer inspection on medical activities is filling this gap. The demand is materialized in the form of ample litigation, increased health-related legislation and formulation of international declarations, conventions, charters etc., creating new ethical and legal frameworks and new obligations for the practicing physician.
• Resource allocation in face of growing monetary constraints creates a substantial effect on the everyday practice of medicine.
• The need to adhere to ethical norms in scientific research and experimentation (human cloning, pharmacology etc.) remains a constant challenge"

Lamoure also serves as a scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute and a surveyor with Accreditation Canada. He was licensed as a pharmacist in 1991 and completed his Doctorate in Divinity in 2011.