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13th Global Summit of National Ethics Committees - health literacy and children’s participation in decisions concerning their health

Lisbon 15-17 September 2022
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13th Global Summit of National Ethics Committees - health literacy and children’s participation in decisions concerning their health

In a session entitled “New strategies and tools to address literacy in Bioethics”, recognising the evolving nature of the decision-making capacity of children in matters regarding their own health, Ritva Halila, Chair of the Steering Committee for Human Rights in the fields of Biomedicine and Health (CDBIO) referred to the preparation of a Guide on children’s participation in medical decision making.

The guide is being developed in cooperation with the Council of Europe Steering Committee on the Rights of the Child. Primarily targeted at healthcare professionals, the guide considers the rights of the child, the rights and responsibilities of the child’s legal representatives, and the child’s interests interconnected with those of their family members.

The importance for everyone to understand health information and know what healthcare services are available and how best to access them was highlighted by Siobhan O’Sullivan, Vice-Chair of the CDBIO.

She referred to the preparation of a new guide to health literacy to promote equitable access to health care for all, including people in vulnerable situations.

The CDBIO guide is intended for decision-makers, health professionals and health providers to help them inter alia identify the needs of individuals in accessing healthcare, and to support the development of more accessible and inclusive health systems in which health literacy serves as a profound pillar in relation to good governance.

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The 13th Global Summit of National Ethics Committees brings together representatives from National Ethics and Bioethics and other advisory bodies from countries all over the world for an event of seminal strategic importance, representing a unique opportunity to foster international debate and to build consensus on priority issues of global interest in the fields of Bioethics.