Members of Council travelled to Paris for a trilateral meeting with the French and German national bioethics committees (Comité Consultatif National d’Ethique and Nationaler Ethikrat) on 2-3 December. The aim of this annual event is to share experiences, exchange information and explore potential co-operation on bioethics issues of common interest.
Council member Professor Jonathan Wolff presented the findings of the Council’s recent report on medical profiling and online medicine. Participants deliberated issues such as the challenges posed by the changing relationship between doctors and patients. The Council’s recommendation to ban whole body CT scans was strongly supported, as was the call for better control of the quality of health information on websites.
The German committee discussed their initial thinking on how to approach rationing of healthcare resources. The discussion focused on health inequalities, which are increasing in developed countries, and on fair and efficient ways to reduce these. The ethics of very high cost treatments, for example in cancer therapy, was also debated.
Next year’s trilateral meeting will be hosted by the Council in London.