NBC-6 Brochure

The IJME National Bioethics Conference

The IJME National Bioethics Conferences are a meeting ground for delegates from India and abroad to report, debate and brainstorm on a wide range of ethical issues in health, healthcare and health research. Each NBC has witnessed the active participation of bioethicists from across the globe.

Sixth IJME National Bioethics Conference

Healing and dying with dignity: Ethical issues in palliative care, end-of-life care and euthanasia

The Sixth NBC will be an opportunity to discuss three closely-related themes in healthcare ethics which deserve urgent attention, clarity and action to honour patients’ right to healing and dying with dignity.

Two areas of concern to be covered in this conference are Palliative Care and End-of-Life Care. With the extremely inequitable distribution of facilities across the country, a large number of patients and their families are left in tremendous distress.

Much debate on euthanasia was sparked off by the 42-year-long persistent vegetative state of the nurse Aruna Shanbaug, after being brutally assaulted at her hospital. But this discussion needs to be taken forward. The conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on this and related issues with a view to achieving some recommendations for legal and health systems policy reform in the country.

Conference programme

Plenary Sessions, Workshops, Symposia, Poster Presentations, Speak Outs, Film Panorama

Five plenaries will be woven around the sub-themes Palliative care, end-of-life care and euthanasia of the conference. However, parallel sessions for oral presentation of papers, poster presentations, workshops, and symposia will be open to subjects from within the broader discipline of bioethics, including the conference sub-themes.

Film Panorama: This is intended for screening of films on various themes from within the discipline of bioethics. The film screening will be followed by discussions with experts.

Pre-conference Satellite Meetings

The Sixth NBC will provide a space for those entities interested in organizing a pre-conference meeting on a topic related to the theme of the conference as well as themes from the broader discipline of bioethics.

Organisational structures of the Sixth NBC

Conference Organisers

  • The Forum for Medical Ethics Society (FMES). FMES was founded by a group of Mumbai-based medical practitioners in 1989, with the primary agenda to highlight issues in medical ethics and generate discussions around them. The organisation has played a critical role in developing, and supporting the growth of bioethics in India.
  • The Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (IJME) First published by FMES in 1993, IJME has worked to highlight ethical principles in healthcare, draw attention to malpractices in the healthcare system, create awareness of the rights and responsibilities of patients and doctors, promote discussion with patients, and give importance to patients’ perspectives.
  • Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal (MASOM), Pune ( MASUM was co-founded by Dr Manisha Gupte and Dr Ramesh Awasthi in 1987 during their five year stay in the drought-prone Purandar block of Pune district. It evolved out of a commitment to women’s rights within and outside the home, working with a feminist perspective and a human rights approach. MASUM holds that people can resolve their own problems collectively with some amount of external support; thus, it focuses on strengthening people’s perspectives on democracy, equality, secularism and social justice.

Associate Collaborator

The Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune Maharashtra. ( The Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences offers post graduate courses in public health. The School mentors students from all over the world, providing an understanding of public health and health services in developing countries, using India as an example. Faculty at the School are engaged in three innovative research areas of birth defects, ageing and evidence based Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine.

National Advisory Committee

The National Advisory Committee of the Sixth NBC consists of experts from various disciplines who have engaged with palliative care, end-of-life care, and euthanasia.

  1. Dr M R Rajagopal, President, Pallium India, and Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Policy and Training on Access to Pain Relief, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
  2. Dr R K Mani, CEO (Medical Services) and Chairman, Critical Care, Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine, Nayati Healthcare & Research Pvt. Ltd, Gurgaon, Haryana, India
  3. Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, Secretary, Department of Health Research, New Delhi, India
  4. Dr Sundar Sarukkai, Professor, Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, Manipal, Kamataka, India
  5. Dr Thelma Narayan, Director, School of Public Health, Equity and Action (SOPHEA), Secretary, Society for Community Health, Awareness, Research and Action (SOCHARA), Bengaluru, Kamataka, India
  6. Dr Vasantha Muthuswamy, President, Forum for Ethics Review Committees, India (FERCI), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
  7. Former Senior Deputy Director General and Chief of the Division of Basic Medical Sciences, Traditional Medicine and Bioethics, Indian Council for Medical Research

  8. Vidya Tai Bal, Founder Member, Nari Samata Manch, Founder Member, Miloon Saryajani (a Marathi monthly magazine on women’s issues), Pune, Maharashtra, India

Conference Organising Committee

The Conference Organising Committee comprises the following representatives of FMES, IJME and MASUM

  1. Dr Hema Pisal (MASUM)
  2. Ms Leni Chaudhuri (FMES)
  3. Dr Ramesh Awasthi (MASUM)
  4. Dr Sanjay Nagral (FMES)
  5. Dr Sunita Bandewar (IJME)

Collaborating Organisations

The organisations/institutes who have confirmed their collaboration for the Sixth NBC till date are given below. The process of exploring collaborations will continue. If your organisation is interested in collaborating, please contact the Conference Secretariat.

  1. Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (
  2. Can Support, New Delhi (
  3. Centre for Enquiry Into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT), Mumbai, Maharashtra (
  4. Centre for Ethics, Yenepoya University Mangalore, Kamataka (
  5. Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ), New Delhi (
  6. Halo Medical Foundation, Usmanabad, Maharashtra (!)
  7. Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Mumbai (
  8. Society for Right to Die with Dignity
  9. Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala (
  10. St John’s Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Kamataka (
  11. YRG Care, Chennai (

National Coordination Committee

The representatives of the collaborating organisations will serve on the National Coordination Committee.


The upcoming sixth National Bioethics Conference is being organised in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Pune is a city teeming with a large number of multidisciplinary educational institutions, proud of its vibrant culture of performing arts, and the hub of a strong civil society movement. Home to interesting heritage sites, it is blessed with a year-round temperate climate. January is the best time to be in Pune to enjoy its warm sunshine and cool breeze.

YASHADA, Baner Road, Pune ( has been chosen as a venue for the Sixth National Bioethics Conference for its excellent infrastructure, numerous conference halls and syndicate classrooms equipped with the latest in acoustics and audio-visual systems, broadband connectivity and splendid lawns interspersed with shady trees.

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