The upcoming congress is set to be hosted in the Middle East and an Arab country for the first time.
The World Congress of Bioethics (WCB) organised by the International Association of Bioethics (IAB) is set to take place in Qatar in June next year, organisers confirmed.
The event is seen as a pivotal opportunity to bring light to research from the Global South.
The gathering, reputed to be the world’s largest assembly of bioethics intellectuals, will be held for the first time in an Arab country and the Middle East region from 3-6 June 2024.
Sara Abdelghani, a CILE research assistant said this marks a momentous occasion as it brings to light the importance of ethics research within the Global South. The notion that academia exists exclusively in Western countries is a stereotype that we are striving to break, she added.
Abdelghani suggested that historically, the World Congress has predominantly taken place in Europe and the United States, with India being the only exception. This time CILE are widening their scope to include perspectives from Muslims, Arabs, and others hailing from the Global South. They are keen on integrating participants from South Asia and Africa into the congress.
The Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) will play host to the event, in cooperation with the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH).
A notable feature of the upcoming congress is the selected topic: ‘Religion, Culture, and Bioethics’, marking the first time such a theme has been chosen.
What is WCB?
The conference serves as a global platform where scholars, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and other bioethics enthusiasts gather to discuss crucial ethical and philosophical implications related to various medical procedures, technologies, and treatments.
It addresses a wide range of pressing issues such as patient rights, medical consent, end-of-life care, genetic engineering, reproductive technologies, and privacy concerns surrounding genetic data.
The event also facilitates the exchange of research, promotes collaborations, and encourages networking among professionals representing diverse cultures, disciplines, and perspectives.
Abdelghani further emphasised the advantages of the upcoming congress, pointing out that it would inspire interdisciplinary research and collaborations, while reducing the focus on Western-centric concerns.
She explained that the chosen theme would elicit questions about how Muslim women confront bioethical challenges and would catalyse dialogue on intricate bioethical dilemmas from a non-Judeo-Christian viewpoint.
Abdelghani also spotlighted the activities undertaken by CILE, which involves finding practical and theoretical methods to marry Islamic ethics with real-world applications, equipping students with the necessary tools to comprehend these concepts.
She revealed that CILE’s faculty addresses a wide array of subjects related to Islamic ethics and real-world concerns, such as human rights, gender violence, and armed conflict.