Preparing for its first annual meeting, which is to be held towards the end of this year, the WAMS’ General Council is now in the process of finalizing the country lists of its delegates. The main subject of the program at the meeting will be involving the first piece of work related to an international charter of medical norms and standards which has been planned and worked on recently.
Setting norms and standards in science in general is not an easy task, and in the science of medicine, in particular, it is highly difficult. One big part of the difficulties, where the public and medical professionals are involved inter-connectedly, comes from ever-happening discrepancies, conflicts, disputes and controversies we face daily, and not much is done about it because there is no universal consensus about it. Unilateral institutional dominance, and commercial and scientific monopolies and their consequential subjugation make the difficulties more dramatic and frequently worse.
If a vital but controversial medicine approved, sold and used in some countries is banned in some others, a universal platform for getting to know it and discussing it, and debating and ruling on it must be put in place. Why such a medicine is unsafe or why it is not must be questioned. Why a widely used life-saving operation technique is not used in the country where it was developed must be questioned. Why an important scientific theory firmly settled on research-based literary platforms is not adopted as much as it is expected to be must be questioned and probed into.
In our practice of clinical and research medicine, which is built on a foundation of trust, honesty and integrity, we have sizeable volumes of guidelines, protocols and fundamental ethical standards in use. In this medium, scientific controversies and disputes would only be expected to refine and distill our knowledge and enrich our insight. While the reality, however, continues to disappoint, we are happy and confident to say that the remedy is in our hands.