UKZN Students Participate in Virtual International Bioethics Summer School
A group of UKZN Law Students participated in an online International Bioethics Summer School hosted by the Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI) and titled: Global Bioethics, Human Rights, and Public Policy.
The postgraduate students were from the class of research group leader at UKZN’s Law School, Professor Donrich Thaldar.
The seminar consisted of a series of lectures and seminars, film screenings, and featured guest speakers from medical and health disciplines covering various topical issues in bioethics, with a specific focus on COVID-19.
It included subjects such as end-of-life and palliative care, fertility treatments, mental illness, hospital-based ethics and affiliation, pre-approval access to investigational drugs, research in the age of learning healthcare systems, overcoming barriers to informed consent, ethical healthcare decision-making during a pandemic, and the ethics of unproven treatments and experimental COVID-19 vaccines.
‘I was humbled to have been able to share my research with renowned international scholars,’ said Ms Nomfundo Mbokazi, an LLM candidate in Medical Law. LLM candidate colleague Ms Amy Gooden added: ‘It was interesting to engage in discussions that applied bioethics practically, especially in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.’
Doctoral fellows also benefitted from attending the GBI Summer School. PhD candidate Ms Tamanda Kamwendo said the GBI Summer School had been exactly what she needed to broaden her understanding of the ethical dilemmas present in health issues and the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Meshandren Naidoo found the School to be insightful and of great value - ‘It provided new ideas that I can utilise, adapt, and perhaps even contribute to in my academic journey.’ Mr Bonginkosi Shozi said the experience was enriching and beneficial to his doctoral research.
While COVID-19 presented many challenges, Thaldar said he was pleased that it also presented opportunities such as attendance at online international events, which exposed UKZN Law students to international best practice.