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CNGI Conference in collaboration with F.I.A.M.C Bio-Medical Ethics Centre : The Ethical Role of Nurses in Health Promotion and Integral Human Development

The development of nurses is important because the nurses are health facilitators. Sessions on how they can have various skillset, empower nurses to be leaders, how to promote child development, community care Dr. Fr. Stephen Fernandes, Dr. Nicholas Antao, Dr. Egbert Saldanha were speakers for the conference. Nurses from all over India participated .

National Conference on Healthy Ageing on 24 and 25 Jan 2019


The FIAMC Biomedical Ethics Centre, were the Knowledge Partners of The National Conference on Healthy Ageing, held on 24th and 25th January 2019 and participated in the event in collaboration with Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work. The speakers from the FIAMC Centre were Dr. Stephen Fernandes and Dr. Anu Kant Mital who interacted with the audience during the sessions and expounded well the theme and the key issues. There was an enthusiastic and participative response from the audience who showed keen interest in discussing and putting forth their dilemmas, queries and suggestions. The overall planning and the lively speakers who were well chosen, made the conference impactful and successful.


"Palliative care in India and emerging ethical concerns in Health Care" was held or Students of MSW II year Students (College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan) at the FIAMC Bio-Medical Ethics Centre on 7 July 2018 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. The workshop was organized jointly by our Centre and the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan. The general orientation of our Centre with its vision and activities were presented by Fr. Stephen and Ms. Sharon. Dr. Mary Ann Muckaden took the session on "Palliative Care: A Matter of public health concern and social justice". Fr. Stephen Fernandes then took a session on Ethical Concerns in Organ Donation and Transplantation. Then he had a very live and interactive session with the participants. The also had the opportunity to ask any question on ethical matters. The workshop ended with the students expressing their joy of coming to the centre and also for its learning experience.


6, 7 10, 11 August 2018: Human Sexuality Program entitled: Education to Love for Std IX and X Students of Don Bosco, Matunga. These were full day programmes from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm, held in the AV Room of Don Bosco High School. A team of Dr. Enid Prabhu, Dr. Rouen Mascarenhas and Fr. Stephen Fernandes conducted this programme. The students were eager to learn and had a lot of questions. We were happy that we could respond to them most satisfactorily.


Value Education  seminar to 100 Students of Don Bosco Junior College, Lonavala: Fr. Stephen Fernandes provided Value Education Catholic Principles and Moral Values to the Junior College students. The sessions were very interactive and the topics covered included human respect and human dignity, self-esteem, compassionate care, human rights, issues of justice and peace, moral values and principles of bio-ethics such as respect for life from womb to tomb. In the question and answer session, questions concerning sexual abuse, masturbation, abortion, surrogacy, euthanasia and capital punishment were discussed in detail.

12 th to 15 th January, 2017: The 6th National Bioethics Conference (IJME-FMES) from 12 to 15 January 2017 was held at the Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA), Pune. The theme of the conference was "Healing and dying with dignity: ethical issues in palliative care, end-of-life care (EOLC) and euthanasia”. There were 370 participants from nine countries and 15 states of India. They included doctors, medical students, social scientists, academics, bioethicists, counselors, economists, lawyers, philosophers, journalists, students, theologians, community workers, researchers, advocacy organizations, administrators and international organizations. This big event was co- organized by the Forum for Medical Ethics Society (FMES), the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (IJME) and the Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal (MASUM), along with 20 other collaborating organizations. The seminar focused on Palliative Care and End of Life Care. It observed that extremely inequitable distribution of EOLC facilities across India is causing tremendous distress to a large number of patients and their families. A small team of the FIAMC Bio-Medical Ethics Centre comprising of Dr. Armida Fernandez, Dr. Egbert Saldanha, Dr. Cedric Moraes, Dr. Enid Prabhu, Ms. Sharon and Dr. Stephen Fernandes participated in this event. In the deliberations and discussions that took place, we voiced the Church's approach to palliative care and end of life care and an emphatic no to any form of euthanasia. Dr. Armida Fernandez spoke very well on the spiritual aspects of palliative care.

Spiritual Counselling is an important part of palliative care. What emerged from the conference was that the focus is to be on palliative care to the patient and not on euthanasia.


14 and 15 July 2017: "Education to Love" Programme for Std IX students, (6 divisions of 50 students each) of Don Bosco High School, Matunga was conducted by Fr. Stephen Fernandes and Sr. Sarla Macwan. Each of the 6 divisions were taken separately for the training programme as there were over 50 students in each division. The sessions were made very interactive for the students with Power Point Presentations. Fr. Bernard Fernandes, the Don Bosco School Principal was extremely happy with the feedback received and invited us to conduct the same programme for the Std X students in January 2018.

On Sunday, 13 August 2017, an Organ Donation Programme was conducted at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Khar in collaboration with Bombay Catholic Sabha. Our FIAMC past participant, Glenn Saldanha gave a Power Point presentation to the 25 participants who attended the event. He was able to adequately answer the questions asked to him by the participants.

From 13 to 15 October 2017, National Symposium on Amoris Laetitia was held St. Pius College, Goregaon: The CBCI Office for Justice Peace and Development in collaboration with CCBI Commission for Theology and Doctrine, the CCBI Commission for Family, the Diocesan Human Life Committee, Mumbai and the FIAMC Bio-Medical Ethics Centre, organized an important National Symposium on the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation AMORIS LAETITIA from Friday, 13 October 2017, 4.00 p.m. to Sunday , 15 October  2017, 6.00 p.m., at St. Pius X College, Goregaon East, Mumbai. The Title of the National Symposium was Understanding Amoris Laetitia in the Indian Situation. Over 400 delegates from 41 dioceses participated in the National Symposium. 


Inter-Religious Seminar on Organ Donation: on 01 August 2016, 4.00 to 6.00 pm: The Times of India and Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute took on the initiative once again to organize an Inter-Religious Seminar on Organ Donation on 01 August 2016. The message was loud and clear: almost no religion in the world speaks against the act of donating organs or entire bodies when it involves saving a life. The moderator was Dr. Nagarkatti. The panelists were Swami Sukhabodhananda, based in Bangalore and referred to as the "Corporate Guru", Ms. Jaya Row, founder of the Vedanta Vision, Dr. Stephen Fernandes, Adv. Irfan Engineer, Director, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai, Yogacharya Surakshit Goswami, Yogic Science trainer, Shulamith Malekar, daughter of Rabbi Ezekiel Malekar. The doctors present were Dr. Sanjay Pandey, specialist in gastro-urinary reconstructions, Dr. Nandkishore Kapadia, heart transplant surgeon and Dr. Sorabh Kapoor, consultant for Hepato-biliary surgery, both at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.

Dr. Stephen gave the Church's teaching: The Church teaches, “The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and with charity in faith and hope of the Resurrection (CCC, No. 2300).The Christian conviction and Christian faith concerning the resurrection of the body does not make resurrection depend on the intact conditions of the body when it is buried. Rather, resurrection depends on God's power to make all things new. The conviction of the resurrection, therefore is not inconsistent with the donation of organs. The victory over death is finally a divine victory. The act of love, which is expressed with the gift of one's own vital organs, is a genuine testament of charity that knows how to look beyond death so that life always wins. The recipient should be aware of the value of this gesture that one receives, of a gift that goes beyond the therapeutic benefit.

FIAMC Organ Donation Campaign at St. Teresa's Parish, Bandra on 28 and 29 August 2016. St. Theresa’s Parish, Bandra has dedicated the month of August 2016 to ‘Heal the Sick’. In particular, the parish under the guidance of Dr. Bernard Rodrigues, teh Parish Priest decided on having an awareness campaign on ‘ORGAN DONATION’ on 27th and 28th August 2016. The speakers, Glenn Saldanha and Theresa Aguiar, both past participants of the Course in Bio-Ethics did a great job, under the guidance of Dr. Stephen Fernandes. Dr. Stephen helped them to prepare the speech on organ donation in the parish. A Power Point Presentation with a brief but lively explanation was given at all the masses to the parishioners with a hope of communicating the need of donating organs in an ethically acceptable manner. The exposition was very enlightening and cleared the doubts and fears in the minds of the people about organ donation. A help desk, manned by the Bombay Catholic Sabha, distributed 200 organ donation registration forms of which 40 forms were signed and returned immediately. A questionnaire box was also placed in the Church for questions and doubts to be answered. The most important question that was answered was whether the Church supports organ donation. This event was a wonderful initiative successfully done.

A National Conference on Justice in the Family and Society was held at St. Pius College with collaboration of the FIAMC Bio-Medical Ethics Centre from October 21 to 23, 2016:: This year’s Symposium, A Call to Human Freedom and Justice in the Family and Society: Ethical Concerns and Pastoral Approaches, was held at St. Pius X College, Goregaon, from 21st -23rd of October 2016. Over 400 people from 31 dioceses in India attended the National Symposium. Those who attended included Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishops, Bishops, priests, religious sisters, nurses, doctors, those involved in the healthcare apostolate and many people from all walks of life. In all there were 30 speakers who came from different parts of India.


The Presenting of the FIAMC Award for Posters presenting Diocesan Initiatives to Celebrate Life: Dr. N.A. Antao evaluated the posters on display from the various dioceses of India and gave the FIAMC prizes to 3 winners of the poster exhibition for the most effective posters which depicted work done. The 1st Prize to the Diocese of Amravati, 2nd prize to Diocese of Jabalpur and 3rd prize to Diocese of Jammu Kashmir. Dr. Armida Fernandez effectively moderated the session on Palliative Care at the End of Life.

Adv. Joaquim Reis chaired a very important Panel Discussion on the Concept of Life and Death in Various Religions and the MTP act and the Euthanasia Bill. Adv. Reis very well summarized the ethical and legal issues connected with end of life care. Dr. Giselle Paes, Rita D'Sa and Elaine D'Souza were the M.C's for the 3 days respectively. Dr. Giselle was the M.C. for Saturday which was the longest day. She did a fantastic job of coordinating the final day's events. Cultural Programme on Friday, 21 October 2016 and Saturday, 22 October 2016. At the end of each of the two days, there was a cultural programme linked to life: On the first day “Victorian Voices" & "Celebrating 60 +"; was coordinated by Dr. Enid Prabhu & the Jesus Youth. On the second day, in the evening, there was a presentation in song and dance on the Life of Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata was staged by the Sangeet Abhinay Academy directed by Rev. Dr. Charles Vas, SVD.

FIAMC Organ Donation Initiative at St. Anthony's Church, Malvani on 6 November 2016: Glenn Saldanha and Antoinette Saldanha, both past participants of the Course in Bio- Ethics once again did a great job, by presenting an Organ Donation talk at Malvani under the guidance of Dr. Stephen Fernandes. 50 youth and adults attended the talk.


Wednesday, 17 February 2016: Value Education Session for St. Andrew's College Students. The two hour session on ethical values we cherish was conducted by Fr. Stephen Fernandes by way of an interactive session The topics covered respect for human life and human dignity. There was then a question answer session where students were given the opportunity to ask any question they wished to ask. It was amazing to know the number of doubts the students have on various moral issues. Students said they were largely influenced by their peer groups and the media in framing their opinion on various matters. This educative session clarified various doubts they had and helped them cherish the values we stand by.

15 December 2016: Awareness Programme on Organ Donation at St. Joseph's Church, Vikhroli: Glenn Saldanha, our past participant who was trained by us, conducted an interactive power point presentation. The purpose of the session was to create awareness about the urgent need for organ donation and its role in saving lives of people. 60 people attended the talk. A few of those who donated their organs also shared their experiences. Immediately after the session, 13 of the participants who attended the talk filled out the organ donation forms.


On 4 August 2015: Medical Education Seminar for Students of St. Pius College to Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Parel in coordination with Fr. Stephen Fernandes and Dr. Anil D'Cruz. The Topic for the Half day seminar was End of Life Care. Fr. Stephen's Moderator Group students had the singular opportunity of having a half day seminar in the Board Room of Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH). After a brief meeting with the Director, Dr. Anil D'Cruz, the following sessions were conducted. Dr. Sarita Khobrekar, MS gave an introductory session on TMH itself. This was followed by a session on End of Life Issues in Medical Patients by Dr. Sheela Myatra, Anesthesiologist. Then Dr. Naveen Salins, Palliative Medicine Specialist spoke on the importance of Palliative Care at the end of life. Finally, Dr. P.N. Jain, Professor of Anesthesiology, spoke on patients issues in the Terminally Ill. Every session had a Question and Answer component where the students clarified their doubts. At the end of the evening, Mrs. Swati Mhatre took the students around the Tata  Memorial Hospital.

On August 8, 2015 : The Speaking Tree of the Times of India conducted a seminar on Organ Donation and Transplantation to create an awareness of the importance of Organ Donation and also to dispel various religious myths associated with the fear of choosing to donate one's organs. The event was held at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, 4 Bungalows, Mumbai. Fr. Stephen Fernandes was one of the speakers on the panel, and he gave a lively presentation on the Catholic Church's teaching on Organ Donation. The entire programme was telecasted and one can watch it on the You tube. 31st October - 03rd November 2015: A National Symposium on Care and Compassion in the Service of Life was organized by the Catholic Nurses Guild of India in collaboration with the FIAMC Bio Medical Ethics Centre. 325 nurses from 46 dioceses and archdioceses of India, with the Apostolic Nuncio, five bishops, 16 priests and many lay healthcare professionals, attended the conference at St. Pius College, Goregaon, Mumbai. The theme was: “Challenges in Care and Compassion in the Service of Life”. The Presidential Address was given by His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias (via Video presentation). In all there were 26 Speakers from different parts of the country. B.O.T. members  moderated some of the sessions - Dr. Nicholas Antao, Dr. Armida Fernandez and Dr. Rouen Mascarenhas. Dr. Anu Kant Mital spoke on "Love, Understanding and Trust Building as Essential for the Mentally Challenged".

Alumni Sr. Lalita Demekar planned a seminar for the Sisters involved in Medical field with the help of the F.I.A.M.C Faculty
Sister Doctors,Nurses,Paramedical sisters,Pharmacist,Administrators were part of the Seminar. The resource person were Fr. Shavito Corriea And Dr. Egbert Saldanha of the F.I.A.M.C. faculty

Fr. Shavito beautifully gave inputs on Medical ethical concerns and Organ Donation .Dr. Egbert spoke on the Emergency management in Gynaecology And Obstetric   and Assisted  reproductive .He solved our practicals questions that we face daily in our ministry specifically in deliveries and explained so well the complications and how we can prevent its treatment (ART)

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