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About Us


The NI Ethics Forum is a not for profit membership association. Our constitution can be found here.

What is the Ethics Forum and who does it serve?

The Ethics Forum is a multi-disciplinary group which seeks to promote an awareness of the ethical issues which arise in the delivery of health and social care. The Forum attracts members from the disciplines of medicine, nursing, social science, law, theology, philosophy, health economics as well as interested lay people.

The Ethics Forum has been established:-

(1) To provide those individuals who have undertaken a course in the application of moral reasoning, philosophy, law and health economics to the practice of health and social care with an opportunity to further develop and apply these skills on completion of their formal studies.

(2) To provide a means of sharing a wide range of expertise in health care ethics in Northern Ireland. A number of individuals from the Province serve on national bodies responsible for setting moral guidelines for their professions.

(3) To equip those who have identified a need to develop skills in moral reasoning to complement their clinical skills.

(4) The Ethics Forum was not formed with the intention of becoming a lobbying group to promote any one viewpoint. It aims to encourage as wide a discussion as possible allowing each of its members to develop their own problem solving skills through study, discussion and debate with others.

Strategic Objectives of the Ethics Forum and Current Activities

(1) To promote the discussion of the ethical issues arising in medicine and health care. The Forum organises a number of events throughout the year in pursuit of this objective. Details can be obtained from the Forum Secretary.

(2) To encourage local research in medicine and health care ethics. The Forum publishes and keeps updated a Directory of Members, containing a list of members and their areas of interest. This is intended to facilitate networking, making it easier to contact other members with a particular expertise or with a common interest. The Forum’s annual publication ‘The Journal and Proceedings’ contains papers given at the annual conference and locally produced articles including the winning entry in the Forum’s annual essay competition open to students of all disciplines.

(3) To develop a database of resource materials. A number of Forum members are involved in teaching ethics. The Forum seeks to facilitate this work by collecting information on available resource materials and making this available to its members and others.

(4) To promote the development of local ethics study groups. Small group discussions of real cases are the most valuable learning tool in the area of applied ethics. The Forum seeks to promote such groups by encouraging its members to identify other interested individuals working in a similar area and to begin to meet to discuss the cases they find difficult.