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Home National Bioethics Council Launched to Tackle Bioethical Issues

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National Bioethics Council Launched to Tackle Bioethical Issues

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

http://my.news.yahoo.com/national-bioethics-council-launched-tackle-bioethical-i - by : Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 (Bernama) -- The National Bioethics Council of Malaysia was launched today with the aim to provide advice, resolve and manage bioethical issues in the country. Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said it was also aimed at promoting ethics in science and technology so that the development would not give contradicting impact on human and moral values, especially concerning the environment, social, health, culture, laws and religions.

"The council''s main term of reference is mainstreaming bioethics and disseminating information on bioethical issues among people from all walks of life, including scientists. "Although its general focus will be on technology applications and issues concerning stem cell, genetically-modified organism, animal testing and synthetic biology, attention should also be given to integrity issues and matters constituting a conflict of interest," he said when launching the council here today. Ongkili said the formation of the council was also seen as a complement to science and medical ethics-related organisations such as the National Biosecurity Council and Ministry of Health''s Medical Research Ethics Committee.-- MORE

"It is hoped that the council will become a cooperation forum for discussion and debate among the stakeholders so that all cross-cutting issues can be resolved in a quick and transparent manner," said the minister who also presented the letters of appointment to members of the council. The council comprises experts from various disciplines related to bioethics, scientist and non-scientist, policy makers and stakeholders entrusted to collectively study the issues and challenges faced by the country in promoting new technologies. Among them are Prof Datuk Mahani Mansor from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, who has been appointed chairman of the council, Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor from Malaysian Science Academy, Datuk Dr Khalid Yusoff (Universiti Teknologi Mara), Prof Datin Dr Zahurin Mohamed (Universiti Malaya) and Prof Dr Maude Elvira Phipps (Universiti Monash).

Ongkili said the launch of the council was also in line with the launch of Bioeconomy Initiative Malaysia by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last year and the Unesco Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights signed by Malaysia in 2006. He said with the council in place, Malaysia had fulfilled its obligation as Unesco member countries to implement bioethics-related initiatives. "With the formation of the council, Malaysia will be able to play a more significant role at the international bioethics arena through various programmes with Unesco," he added.-- BERNAMA

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