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Do Tanzanian hospitals need healthcare ethics committees? Report on the 2014 Dartmouth/Penn Research Ethics Training and Program Development for Tanzania (DPRET) workshop

M Aboud, D Bukini, R Waddell, L Peterson, R Joseph, B M Morris, J Shayo, K Williams, J F Merz, C M Ulrich

Abstract


Ethical issues are common in the global community. The shortage of human and medical resources when working with vulnerable populations requires institutional support to address the challenges that often arise in the patient-provider relationship. The 2014 Dartmouth/Penn Research Ethics Training and Program Development for Tanzania (DPRET) workshop centred on discussions about research and clinical ethics issues unique to Tanzanian healthcare providers. This article discusses some of the ethical challenges that workshop participants reported in their day-to-day work life with patients and families, such as truth-telling, disagreements over treatment plans and patient distrust of local physicians and hospital staff, among others. The Tanzanian participants recognised the need for supportive mechanisms within their local hospital environments. Further dialogue and research on the development of institutional ethics committees within hospital systems is critically needed so that healthcare providers can meet their ethical and professional obligations to patients and families and address ethical conflicts that arise in a timely and productive fashion


Authors' affiliations

M Aboud, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

D Bukini, PhD Student, Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, School of Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

R Waddell, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, United States

L Peterson, Emeritus Professor, Harvard School of Medicine, Boston, United States

R Joseph, Department of Bioethics and Health Professionalism, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

B M Morris, Department of Bioethics and Health Professionalism, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Nursing Department of Management, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

J Shayo, Department of Bioethics and Health Professionalism, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

K Williams, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, United States

J F Merz, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, United States

C M Ulrich, Lillian S Brunner Chair, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, United States

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2018;11(2):75-79. DOI:10.7196/SAJBL.2018.v11i2.00639

Article History

Date submitted: 2018-11-30
Date published: 2018-11-30

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