Navigating Doctor-Patient Relationships in India

Through February 16, 2020
UChicago Center in Delhi

Feb. 15

The relationship between doctors and patients is meant to be one of trust. However, the growing privatization of healthcare has transformed this traditional fiduciary relationship between doctors and patients into a transactional relationship between service providers and customers. In India, there is an erosion of trust in the doctor-patient relationship as a result of a weak public health infrastructure. Additionally, the exacerbation of disturbing elements of violence are triggering a near breakdown of the doctor-patient relationship.

The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, the Forum for Medical Ethics Society, the University of Chicago’s Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence, Center in Delhi, and MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, are organizing a two-day symposium to understand and analyze the trust deficit in the doctor-patient relationship. The program will include a series of discussions with patients’ rights groups, doctors, other healthcare practitioners, researchers, and policy makers.

This event is by invitation only. 

About the Organisers

Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy
The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy is an independent think tank based in Delhi and Bengaluru doing legal research to make better laws and improve governance for the public good. Vidhi engages with the Government of India, State Governments, the Judiciary and other public institutions to inform policy-making and also to effectively convert policy into law. Vidhi undertakes original legal research, petitions courts on important law and policy issues, and collaborates with civil society, academic institutions and other stakeholders to have a positive impact on governance. Vidhi has worked extensively on issues relating to health and patient rights. In the past Vidhi has worked on diverse projects including grievance redressal mechanisms in public health establishments, India’s organ transplant regime and end of life care.

The Forum for Medical Ethics Society
The Forum for Medical Ethics Society emerged from a unique combination of activism and education/sensitization at the interface of the healthcare system and society’s needs; drawing concerned professionals from healthcare and from related fields such as the social sciences, humanities, and law; as well as activists from civil society to work together. Over the last 27 years, FMES has been able to establish three platforms:

  1. FMES carries out its programmatic work via its Health, Ethics and Law (HEaL) Institute for Training, Research since 2018.
  2. Publication of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (IJME) since 1993.
  3. National Bioethics Conferences (NBCs) platform established in 2005.

NBCs are organised every two years on diverse themes and serves as a space for the peer community to come together for deliberations and networking on pressing issues. So far, seven NBCs have been organized including the joint 14th World Congress of Bioethics and 7th NBC in December 2018.

The University of Chicago Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence
The Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence at the University of Chicago was established in September 2011 with a $42 million gift from the Matthew and Carolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation. The Bucksbaum Institute’s mission is to improve patient care; strengthen the doctor-patient relationship; enhance communication and decision-making in health care through research and education programs for medical students, junior faculty, and master clinicians; and reduce health care disparities. To achieve its mission, the Institute has appointed over 390 Master Clinicians, Senior Faculty, Junior Faculty, Associate Junior Faculty, Medical Student, and Undergraduate Student Scholars. In addition, the Institute offers a pilot grant program for Faculty Scholars; an annual lecture and seminar series; courses for Pritzker School of Medicine students; and an academic clinical excellence track in partnership with the University’s undergraduate college.

The University of Chicago Center in Delhi
The University of Chicago’s Center in Delhi provides a base for research, teaching, and dialogue among scholars from the University, across India, and around the world. It builds on a rich history of intellectual collaboration between Chicago and India. The Center is designed to serve scholars at all levels, and across all disciplines. It serves as a working space for Chicago faculty and students, a gathering place for alumni, and a nucleus for rekindling old relationships and forging of new ones. Programming at the Center is focused on three core areas: Science, Energy, Medicine, and Public Health; Business, Economics, and Policy; and Culture, Society, Law, and the Arts. Through academic and public programs, and outreach and collaboration, scholars use the Center to address scientific, political, social, and cultural issues that are important to India and the world.

The University of Chicago MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics
In 1983, with generous support from Dorothy J. MacLean and the MacLean family, the University of Chicago established the nation’s first program devoted to clinical medical ethics. The MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics aims to improve patient care and outcomes by promoting research in clinical medical ethics; by educating physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals; and by helping University of Chicago Medicine patients, families, and health care providers identify and resolve ethical dilemmas. Under the leadership of Dr. Mark Siegler, founding director, The MacLean Center has also established an internationally renowned medical ethics fellowship program, which has graduated more than 500 fellows.