Work as a chair of in-house ethical committee
I see many of advanced treatment here in Kyushu University Hospital where I work which needs to be reviewed from the ethical viewpoint. We need to ensure balance of effectiveness and safety when physicians attempt to apply drugs, treatment or procedures which are not approved by the government in the regulatory system. I work as a chair of the ethical committee in my hospital which deals with wide variety of medical treatments. Application of non-approved drug, device, procedure are most common in our regular agenda, while in extreme and rare case we discussed a family problem in which guardians rejected risky treatment to their baby which was proposed by our medical team on full agreement with confidence. You may be familiar with ethically contentious case in which a patient refuses blood transfusion for religious reason even he/she may get into critical condition caused by massive bleeding during surgery. I hope you to understand that there are wide variety of cases with points to discuss in ethical committee. However, I have to admit at this time point that ethical review is still regarded by most doctors as one of the tiresome administrative process for providing advanced treatment even in university hospital. Concurrently, it is also true that the significance of ethics is growing in many respects in Japanese healthcare system.