The Center comprises eighteen units and departments. Its principal function is the promotion of academic research and educational activities, both in Israel andoverseas. The yearly program includes conferences, seminars, lecturers and meetings, all involving eminent speakers and discussants.
The UNESCO Chair in Bioethics
The Center's Director, Prof. Carmi, currently holds a Chair established as part of the work of UNESCO, promoting teaching and research in the field of Bioethics. The current project is the encouragement of teaching programs in Medical Ethics and related topics in medical schools world-wide. At present 70 universities with medical faculties are involved, together with an international scientific committee of 130 experts, who have an advisory role. One aim of the Chair is to publish and circulate teaching manuals about ethical and legal dilemmas in various fields of healthcare. The five volumes of the series are complete and are being circulated among thousands of professionals in medical schools around the world.
The Department of Professional Conferences and Symposia
Under the leadership of Mrs. Miriam Peled, this Department provides six one-day conferences each year for healthcare, legal and ethics professionals working mainly in Israel, and one international congress. In addition regular postgraduate courses and seminars are organized, encouraging exchange of views between those working in healthcare fields - such as Medicine, Nursing, Psychology and Social work.
The Department is headed by Prof. Roberto Mester and Adv. Oren Asman, alongside various
experts in the fields of psychiatry and law. The Department operates a forum for discussing possible changes in the laws regarding the mentally ill and related statutes; and holds frequent meetings for discussing contemporary issues in forensic psychiatry.
Since its establishment in 2002, the Department has held various conferences and symposia.
The Department for Human Communication, Health and Ethics
Dr. Daniella Keidar directs this group, which gives guidance, consultation and training in the areas of mental and physical health. Its aim is increasing of awareness among the public and in relevant institutions as to improvement and maintenance of the quality of life and prevention of health problems. The emphasis, using academic, research and practical approaches, is better understanding of personal relationships in everyday life. Expansion is planned on an international level, further developing dialogue normative and ethical values in varying organizations and systems.
The Department for Psychology, Health and Ethics
Prof. Moshe Zaki leads an academic group comprising senior psychologists in research and clinical practice, and experts in law and ethics. The group cooperates with psychologists' organizations in Israel and the Ministry of Health in the promotion of study and research in the areas of psychology, law and ethics in Israel. Facilities exist for regular dialogue between practitioners, training of experts and provision of advice about research matters.
The Department for Alternative/Integrative Medicine,Law and Ethics
The Department headed by Dr. Eldad Schiff activates an academic staff and cooperates with CAM professional organizations, the Israeli Medical Association and patients' organizations. The Department's mission is to promote ethical and legal awareness in the field of CAM as well as providing guidance in developing ethical tools for CAM practitioners and physicians. Major activities:
■ Conferences to increase awareness of CAM-legal and ethics-related topics.Developing curricula in CAM, Law and ethics for CAM students.
■ Workshops on CAM ethics for CAM practitioners and organizations.
■ Facilitating development of ethical codes related to CAM.
■ Establishing a platform for dialogue between patients, CAM practitioners and physicians around CAM and integrative medicine ethical issues.
The Department for Genetics, Law and Ethics
The Department for Genetics, Law and Ethics was established in 2005 by Prof. Amnon Carmi who nominated a steering committee chaired by Dr. Roy Gilbar, a lecturer in the school of law in Netanya Academic College.
The aim of this department is to promote public as well as academic debate about the legal, ethical and social aspects of genetics. The vision is that the department will become an influential element both in research and in policy making in this field. The central objective of the department is to produce multi-disciplinary research that examines dilemmas and practical issues in the work of geneticists and genetic counselors in Israel. It is hoped that the work of the department will be considered when policy making in genetics is formulated.
The department's steering committee comprises about 20 members, professionals and academics, whose area of expertise and interest is genetics. The committee includes medical doctors, lawyers, bioethicists and social scientists.
In order to fulfill its aims and vision, the department acts in various ways: It organizes conferences for professionals, academics and the public and contributes to the various activities organized by the Center. Most importantly, it has recently started a field research in several genetic clinics in Israel. The research examines the views of doctors, patients and the public at large on several aspects of the doctor-patient relationship in this area of genetics.
The Center's Social Club
Every month an informal social evening gathering is held in Haifa, open to professionals. On each occasion, a senior speaker presents a lecture followed by a
The Forum for Health and Law in the cinema
Every two months, sponsored by Haifa Municipality, a movie concerning Medicine and Law is presented, following a short lecture and discussion. This program is organized by Adv. Maya Peled-Raz.
"Medicine and Law" - an international journal
Our international journal edited by Prof. Carmi and Dr. Mohammed Wattad is published quarterly. The year 2006 marked 25 years since its foundation. Our contributors are experts in the fields of practice, teaching and research in medical law and allied disciplines. So far, about 2000 articles have been published in the journal. The renowned Kennedy Institute of Ethics has accepted "Medicine and Law" as a "priority journal", thus further enhancing its academic stature.
The Hebrew Journal (bi-annual) Refu'a Umishpat"
The Center gives academic support to the journal "Refu'a Umishpat" (Medicine and Law) of the Society of Medicine and Law in Israel, edited by Adv. Jonathan Davies.
The Publication Unit
Every year the unit commissions and publishes a new book on a subject relating to medicine, law and ethics. The volumes published so far cover the areas of patients' rights, psychiatry, epilepsy and genetics.
The Library Unit
With the encouragement and guidance of the Center, the main library of the University of Haifa, has built up the largest collection in Israel of material useful for study and research in health, law and ethics. Over 5000 volumes and audio cassettes are available for the reader.
The Unit for Environmental Bioethics
The unit, headed by Dr. Daniel Mishori, proposes to promote ethical research on the impact of humans, biotechnology and the biological sciences on the environment and human health, especially regarding relations between research and policy (e.g. the precautionary principle), environmental justice and the human conduct towards the non-human world.
The unit will organize interdisciplinary academic workshops on environmental bioethics, foster academic papers, promote discussions on bioethics and the environment in academic journals and encourage public and educational discourse. Furthermore, the unit will establish a professional committee that will advise governmental and other agencies on environmental bioethics.
The Unit for Veterinary Practice, Law and Ethics
This unit was established in 2006 and is headed by Dr. Dan Carmely, an equine veterinarian and homeopath. The other members of the group are veterinarians who work either in private practice or are employed by various government agencies, local authorities and academic institutions.
The unit has identified two objectives. Firstly, it is aiming to establish norms for the treatment, breeding, management and use of all species of animals, irrespective of whether they are used for companionship, recreation, production, research and horse racing, with full consideration of their welfare. To this end, these norms will be established by on-going analytical discussion of day-to-day dilemmas, which arise in the daily practice of veterinary medicine and working with animals. In addition to creating a resource library on veterinary ethics, the unit also aims to publish ethical codes for veterinarians on maintaining good relationships with professional colleagues and clients. Following the establishment of these norms, the unit then aims to inculcate these norms into the day-to-day activities of practicing veterinarians and make the general public aware of their existence. To this end, the unit plans to hold regular series of conferences and seminars, using local and internationally-recognized speakers, for veterinarians to discuss and disseminate information on the ethical use of animals and behavior of veterinarians and animal welfare.
The Department of Physiotherapy, Law and Ethics
The purposes of this new Department established in March 2007 is to develop awareness within the various physiotherapy organizations and emphasizing the ethical aspects in this specific discipline.
The scope of initial activities will be to introduce the ethical code of physiotherapy to the practicing professional community in Israel. Also, to broaden and deepen the thought and practice of ethics, teaching and educating of ethics by physiotherapists, lecturers and clinical instructors. Last but not least - Promotion of research in the field.
Nursing and law forum
On September 2006 the department of Nursing and Law was established in the International Center of Health Law and Ethics. Its members are authorized nurses with juridical education or lawyers.
The department's objectives are as follows:
1) Establishing a professional body that will promote legal and moral achievement.
2) Promoting the law of nurses in Israel.
3) Being a resource for consulting and clarification of juridical problems from daily clinical work.
4) Updating nurses' knowledge in the clinical field.
5) Leading practical workshops.
6) Performing workshops to raise awareness to medical and law topics.
7) Supplying training and guidance to teachers in the Nursing and Law field.
8) Forming case studies booklet on medical negligence for teachers.
9) Performing research in the medical and law field
Head of forum:
Prof. Nili Tabak R.N, PhD, LL.B
Head of Master program Tel-Aviv-University
Head of Ethic Unit, School of Professional Health, Tel-Aviv-University
The forum will meet a few times in a year. The forum activates sub committees each responsible for a different topic. The chair of the committee will advise the forum about the activities and progress of the sub-committees. Sub-committees meet every six weeks.