The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), held two public lectures in April on the subject of ‘Palliative Care and Islamic Ethics’, at the University of Oxford in the UK and at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in Doha.
The lectures explored end-of-life care in Qatar and the region, the effect of the increase in the number of people requiring palliative care, and the need to ensure that dying Muslims and their families receive reassurance that the care they are provided is in line with Islamic principles.
Dr. Mohammed Ghaly, who leads the WISH Palliative Care and Islamic Ethics research group, delivered presentations at both lectures on the Islamic perspective on different ethical issues relevant to the management of palliative care, such as communicating bad news, artificial nutrition and hydration, and the decision-making process.
Islamic Ethics and Palliative Care will feature as one of the research topics that will form the focus of WISH 2018, taking place in Doha in November. The WISH research group, led by Dr. Ghaly, consists of an international group of experts who are investigating the ethical challenges and questions palliative care gives rise to from an Islamic perspective. The group’s findings, to be published in a report ahead of WISH 2018, will be discussed in-depth during a panel session at the event.
In addition to exploring and analyzing the key ethical challenges of palliative care from an Islamic perspective, the aim of the academic research within the forum is to produce policy recommendations that can have a positive impact on the management of palliative care in Qatar, the region, and beyond. The report will include local case studies with unique religio-ethical implications that will then be addressed from an Islamic perspective.
At the first talk, held at the College of Islamic Studies, HBKU, on April 10, Dr. Ghaly was joined by Dr Azza Adel Hassan, Program Director of the Support and Palliative Care Unit of the National Center for Cancer Care and Research, Hamad Medical Corporation, and a contributing member of the WISH research group; and Maha El Akoum, Research and Policy Officer at WISH. Dr Hassan shared her knowledge on end-of-life care from a medical practitioner’s perspective. Dr Ghaly presented findings from the upcoming WISH report to an audience of healthcare practitioners, students, and members of the public with an interest in the topic.
The second talk was held at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, on April 16. Among those in attendance were students from the University of Oxford, palliative care physicians, and researchers from the Centre for Islam and Medicine, UK.
Commenting on the two events, Dr Ghaly said: “The interactions with the audiences attending the WISH public talks have been extremely insightful and re-emphasized the need for the implementation of evidence-based policy guidelines to guide the practice of palliative care management in the region and beyond. This is the ultimate goal of the WISH 2018 report on Palliative Care and Islamic Ethics.”