Call for nominations: IJME Ethics Award 2018

About the IJME Ethics Award

The FMES/IJME has been working for over 25 years towards bringing ethical concerns in healthcare to prominence and inculcating ethics in healthcare practices and policies. It has organised six biennial National Bioethics Conferences (NBCs) and linked up with healthcare institutions and policy makers to create a space for public deliberation on ethical healthcare with the participation of people and civil-society organisations. Numerous individuals and organisations have, over the years, with their dedication and collective efforts, made ethics a part of the public discourse on healthcare practices, research, and policy in India.

At present, there are insufficient avenues to recognise and honour individuals for their contribution to healthcare ethics and bioethics in India. The FMES/IJME has, therefore, decided to institute a regular bioethics award that could help encourage role models for the practice of ethics in healthcare. One or more such bioethics awards will be conferred every two years, at the opening plenary session of the NBC.

The first Bioethics Award will be conferred on December 5, 2018 at the 7th National Bioethics Conference, jointly organised with the International Association of Bioethics’ 14th World Congress of Bioethics, from December 5 to 7, 2018, at St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bengaluru, This award is supported by the Elsevier Foundation.

The IJME Ethics Award 2018

The theme for the IJME Ethics Award 2018 is:
Outstanding Contribution to Ethical Practices and Improving Access to Healthcare for the Marginalised

This theme has been chosen for the inaugural IJME Ethics Award since it falls within the ambit of the theme of the joint 14th World Congress of Bioethics and 7th National Bioethics Conference, the platform for the award-giving ceremony. The award will be presented to a healthcare practitioner who has made an outstanding contribution within the scope of the theme.

The main theme of the Congress, “Health for All in an Unequal World: Obligations of Global Bioethics,” is of critical relevance in the present global context. The public-health crisis due to Ebola, and later Zika, that emerged and prevailed longer than was expected, along with many other ethics challenges, have foregrounded global inequities and the plight of inadequately developed and organised national health systems of the affected countries.

Despite several gains in health research, discoveries, and healthcare, the global community has not been able to achieve equitable healthcare systems. Instead, the increasing domination of the for-profit private medical industrial complex (transnational pharma, equipment, insurance, and other health corporations), unequal political and economic relations between nations, and growing conflicts have only increased inequities within and across all nations.

Inequity in access to healthcare is much more pronounced in countries like India. In such scenarios, the contributions of individual healthcare providers, through their practice and innovations, towards addressing this inequity are of immense significance to the communities they serve. Against this backdrop, what would it mean for a healthcare provider to be a deserving candidate for the IJME Ethics Award for this debut year?

Healthcare providers serving in either urban or rural areas and in private or public healthcare systems could be considered if they: (a) serve the marginal and vulnerable communities [“marginal” is conceived in a broader sense, for example, an underserved population or communities stigmatised due to their professions, health conditions, sexual orientations, age, gender, and other socioeconomic variables]; (b) have adopted innovative approaches to reaching out to those in need or taking services to their doorstep; (c) practice rational prescription practices and strive to ensure community access to medicines; (d) refrain from participating in “cut” practices; (e ) strive to make generic medicine practice a norm; (f) have been whistleblowers; (g) help promote a culture of ethical clinical care in their peer community; and/or (h) help empower the communities the they serve. These are only some of the aspects of healthcare service provision that merit acknowledgement and encouragement from the larger peer community.

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible for a nomination, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The healthcare practitioner should be involved in the relevant ethics activity for at least the past five years.
  2. Documentation of the activities carried out by the healthcare practitioner should be presented for assessment to the selection committee
  3. If required, the nominated healthcare practitioner should be available to interact with a member of the selection committee on telephone/Skype.
  4. The nomination must be accompanied by at least two references from individuals explaining the contribution, and supporting the nomination, of the healthcare practitioner.

Award prize

The healthcare practitioner selected for the bioethics award will receive the following:

  1. A cash award of Rs. 1,00,000 (one lakh)
  2. A citation prepared by the selection committee and read out at the NBC
  3. Reimbursed travel and accommodation and free registration for participation at the NBC and preconference workshops/symposia

Application and selection process

Selection of the award winner from the received applications will be done by a national selection committee of three eminent persons appointed and assisted by the secretarial staff of the FMES/IJME. The process for applications is as follows:

  1. Nomination or self-nomination must be done by means of the prescribed form (please see below) accompanied by supporting documents and any other relevant material, and submitted by email.
    Email address: [email protected].
  2. Nominations open on April 20, 2018 and close at 11.59 pm on September 15, 2018.
  3. Announcement of the award winner will be made by the selection committee in October end 2018, and the award will be conferred at the opening session of the NBC/WCB on December 5, 2018.
  4. The decision of the selection committee will be final and binding on the FMES/IJME for conferral of the award.

Selection committee

The selection committee will have three members, who may each have different a different background: (a) clinical practice expert; (b) public health practice/activism expert; and (c) non-medical person or person active in a civil-society organisation for bioethics, healthcare rights, and patient and consumer interests. (At least one if not two of them will be women.)

The selection work will be non-remunerative, but the committee members will be provided with compensation for travel and accommodation and granted free registration for participation in the NBC/WCB, including preconference workshops/symposia.

Important dates

  • Call opens on: April 20, 2018
  • Call ends: September 15, 2018, 11:59 pm IST
  • Final decision: October end 2018
  • Award ceremony: December 5, 2018

Conflicts of interest

The following persons, or persons associated with* them, are prohibited from making nominations and/or interacting with the selection committee in the selection process:

  • Managing Committee members of the FMES
  • Editor and Working Editors of the IJME
  • Sponsors of the award

The members of the selection committee are disallowed from nominating themselves or persons associated with them for the award.

*Association includes family ties, close personal friendship, shared departmental/institutional affiliation, and collaborative work in the past five years

Rules and regulations

  • The Award Selection Committee (ASC),
    • holds the right to reject any nomination if false/misleading information has been submitted in the process
    • may not consider or be responsible / held liable for incomplete/incorrect applications forms or forms submitted after the call closes
    • is the sole entity responsible and may employ its discretion to assess entries for any disqualification on a case-by-case basis
    • has the right to ask for proof of information provided in the nomination forms; if such a request is not complied with, the applicant/nominee could be disqualified
    • will make, during Round 1, the best efforts possible to contact the applicants/nominee but shall not be responsible if the person is not contactable, does not participate, or does not agree to the conduct of the verification
    • is the sole body with which the final decision in this matter rests
  • The decision of Award Selection Committee (ASC), is final and binding on all applicants/nominees and no correspondence will be entertained on the matter.
  • Nominees and winners permit free-of-cost the use of their name and factual information about their application and entry(s) in the public media (for the buildup to the Awards, during the Awards ceremony, and so on).
  • Applicants/nominees and winners permit the FMES/IJME to use the information provided by them in the application form(s) for sharing and posting on the FMES/IJME website; Congress website; and other dissemination materials, such as brochures, flyers, and pamphlets about the Awards.
  • Additions, deletions, and/or modifications to these rules and regulations are at the discretion of the Award Selection Committee (ASC), which may make such additions/deletions/modifications at any time.
  • Costs of participation (travel and stay) in the Awards will be borne by the FMES/IJME for the finalists (one member only), and unless specifically conveyed in writing to the applicant, should not be construed otherwise.

If applicants are unclear as to the rules or any element of the Awards, or experience difficulties of any kind, they can address their questions, problems, or queries to Richa Sharma, Awards Secretariat Coordinator, at [email protected].

Please click on the following link, download the form, fill it up and send it to [email protected].

Nomination form

Self-nomination form