7th Annual International Clinical Ethics Conference

Continuing and Emerging Challenges in Clinical Ethics

This conference aims to train clinical ethics committee (CEC) members, CEC administrators and other healthcare professionals interested in clinical ethics skills and responsibilities. Participants at the conference can expect to learn from local and international experts at the plenary sessions, and in the interactive roundtable sessions, they will engage with experts and fellow participants in exploring cases and concepts to enhance their knowledge in clinical ethics education, skills and responsibilities.


Session 1: Medical Advice: Implementing Hii v Ooi

The landmark decision Hii Chii Kok v Ooi Peng Jin London Lucien and Another has greatly shifted the legal standard for medical advice in Singapore. Previously, what information needed to be disclosed depended on what reasonable medical professionals would deem pertinent. Now, Singapore’s Supreme Court has endorsed a modified version of the Montgomery-standard, where disclosure depends on what a reasonable patient would find material, or what the doctor knows is important to that particular patient. Notably, the SMC’s Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines recently endorsed a similar position. This session will reflect on Singapore’s shift towards a more patient-centric position in providing medical advice.


Session 2: Innovative Interventions

The line between medical care and research are becoming increasingly blurred, especially as patients become increasingly aware of the latest healthcare innovations. When standard of care is failing, they or their physicians may turn to unproven interventions. At the same time, we need to guard against desperation interfering with sound decision-making. This session will look at cases involving referrals for ‘compassionate use’ of unproven, experimental interventions, where there must be a balance between empowering patients and avoiding exploitation of their vulnerability.


Session 3: Foreign Workers

Singapore has a large foreign worker population, one that helps sustain its growth and quality of life. When such workers fall sick, healthcare professionals may face particular dilemmas surrounding consent and standards of care. For example, workers on work passes may rely on their employers to coordinate care and communicate their situation, but the employers are conflicted: they are liable for medical expenses exceeding the insurance cap. This session will emphasise the need for healthcare professionals to respect boundaries and the norms of informed consent when treating foreign workers, while being cognizant of the realities of the patient’s situation that may legitimately affect care decisions.


Session 4: Frailty and Chronic Care

As Singapore’s population ages, an increase in frailty and chronic care is inevitable. Such patients are in a precarious position: they are greatly dependent upon health professionals and may have limited physical autonomy. In light of this vulnerability, clinical ethics committees have a role to play in ensuring proper care and respect in cases involving the chronic care of frail and dependent patients. This session will discuss the particular challenges of chronic care, and the ways professionals can address and overcome those challenges.


The conference venue is the Kent Ridge Guild House, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

The Kent Ridge Guild House is the largest of three guild houses managed by the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS). Situated in the NUS campus, it offers a plethora of facilities for its members to continually foster a lifelong relationship with NUS and the wider graduate community.

Address: 9 Kent Ridge Drive Singapore 119241
Tel: (65) 6779 1811

Transport Options to Venue: MRT, Bus, Car

Directions to venue:



Conference participants are responsible for making their own accommodation bookings. The accommodation rates below are just a guide. Please check with the respective hotel, unless stated otherwise.

Hotels Near to the Conference Venue

Park Avenue Rochester (31 Rochester Drive, Singapore 138637)
 Room: S$195++
Deluxe Room: S$225++

Santa Grand Hotel West Coast (428 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118769)
Superior Double 
Room: S$128++
Deluxe Double 
Room: S$140++

Fragrance Hotel Waterfront (418 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118759)
Room: S$112++
 Room: S$121++

Fragrance Hotel Ocean View (432 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118773)
Room: S$112++
Room: S$121++

Conference Programme

Day 1 (15th Jan 2018)

Time Programme Speakers
0850 to 0900 Welcome Address Roy Joseph
Theme: Medical Advice
0900 to 1030 Primer & Panel – Medical Advice Post Hii v Ooi

Sumytra Menon

Bernadette Richards

1030 to 1100 Tea Break
1100 to 1300

Roundtable 1

Case Discussions

Facilitated by CBmE staff
1300 to 1400 Lunch
Theme: Innovation
1400 to 1500 Primer & Panel – Innovations Titus Lau
1500 to 1530 Tea Break
1530 to 1730 Roundtable 2
Case Discussions
Facilitated by CBmE staff
1730 to 1740 Wrap up and housekeeping CBmE staff

Day 2 (16th Jan 2018)

Time Programme Proposed Speakers
Theme: Foreign Workers
0900 to 1030

Primer & Panel – Foreign Workers

A group discussion of the ethical, legal and professional issues arising in foreign worker care

Sharon Kaur

Amitabha Lahiri

Joanna Chan

1030 to 1100 Tea Break  
1100 to 1300

Roundtable 3

Case Discussions

Facilitated by CBmE staff
1300 to 1400 Lunch  
Theme: Frailty & Chronic Care
1400 to 1500 Primer - Frailty & Chronic Care Chris Lien 
1500 to 1530 Tea Break  
1530 to 1730

Roundtable 4

Case Discussions

Facilitated by CBmE staff
1730 to 1740 Wrap-up & closing statements CBmE staff

Pre-Conference Workshop

Information on this workshop will be updated in due course.


Joanna Chan

Chan Shi-En Joanna, MCEM, M.Med (EM), is an emergency medicine senior resident with an interest in ED palliative care, patient safety and care of vulnerable populations. Since graduating from the National University of Singapore eight years ago, she has worked in Changi General Hospital, KK Women and Children's Hospital, and, currently, Singapore General Hospital.

Sharon Kaur

Sharon is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya. She teaches Medical Law and Ethics to both undergraduate and graduate students, Her research interests have primarily revolved around medical research ethics and issues of competency and consent. She recently spent a year as a Visiting Research Fellow with the CENTRES programme at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics at NUS where she developed an interest in issues relating to Global Health Ethics and the rights of marginalised populations.

Amitabha Lahiri

Amitabha Lahiri is a Consultant with the Department of Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery, National University Hospital . In his clinical practice he is involved in the treatment of various conditions of the hand including industrial and workplace injuries. Besides clinical practice he is actively involved in research and education. His areas of research include neural interfaces, biomechanics and simulation models for microsurgical training, which he has published and presented at numerous national and international forums.

Titus Lau

Titus Lau is a Senior Consultant, Program and Medical Director of Hemodialysis with the Division of Nephrology, National University Hospital. He is the Deputy Chairperson of the NUH Ethics Committee as well as a member of the National Transplant Ethics Committe. He is presently the Chairperson of the Chapter of Renal Physicians, Academy of Medicine, and Board Member of the College of Physicians, Academy of Medicine, Singapore. He is also a member of the National Residency Training Committee for Internal Medicine and Renal Medicine. He has had past and present research initiatives and collaboration funded by industry sponsors, NMRC, BMRC, NUS, NUHS, A*Star, Spring, NKF, and NIH (US).

Dr Christopher Lien

Dr Christopher Lien is Director of Community Geriatrics in Changi General Hospital. A graduate from National University of Singapore (2008), he trained in General Internal and Geriatric Medicine in Scotland (1995-2001), and has a masters in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School (2013). His main areas of interest are in transitional, intermediate and long-term care and in Parkinson's Disease for older people. He is currently Chair of the Chapter of Geriatricians (College of Physicians, Academy of Medicine) and is a board member of NTUC Health, St Andrew’s Community Hospital, the Lien Centre of Palliative Care (Duke-NUS) and Governor at the Lien Foundation.

Bernadette Richards

Bernadette Richards is an Associate Professor at Adelaide Law School and an active researcher in medical law and bioethics. She has worked at the University of Adelaide for a number of years and her research focus is in the area of medical law and ethics. Her work sits at the nexus of ethics and the law in the context of medical treatment, with a particular emphasis on consent to medical treatment.

Sumytra Menon

Sumytra Menon is a Senior Assistant Director at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics (CBmE), Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. She is the Programme Director of Clinical Ethics Network + Research Ethics Support (CENTRES), which trains members of clinical, research and transplant ethics committees. Sumy is a lawyer by training and has a particular interest in the law at the end of life, and clinical and research ethics. She is a member of the Joint Steering Committee on Advance Care Planning and various institutional ethics committees.

Registration is now closed!

  • Registration Fees
    $100 (inclusive of 7% GST) includes conference materials, coffee/tea/refreshments, and lunches. The fee is the same whether you attend one or both days of the conference. Please note that this registration page is for the main conference only.
  • Registration Deadline
    Payment should have been made by 31 December 2017.
  • Payment
    Once you complete the registration process, please pay on our secure online payment portal using Visa or MasterCard. You will receive an email confirming registration shortly after payment. For convenience, we highly recommend you pay online via credit card. If you do not have a credit card and wish to pay by cheque, please email us before registering. 
  • Group Bookings
    Please email us for more information before registering.
  • Cancellations & Refunds
    Please notify us of any cancellations by 31 December 2017. Refunds are at the discretion of the Conference Organizers.

Contact Us

If you have any queries about the conference, please contact the Conference Secretariat:

Miss Devi Veeramah
DID: +65-6601 1209
Email: medvdsk@nus.edu.sg

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.