By Dr. Lilieth Johnson-Whittaker, Consultant Clinical Nephrologist, ACPJ President, Founder, CEO and Medical Director of Sunshine Dialysis Centre LTD.

It is my very great pleasure to welcome you to Ethics 2017, the annual ethics symposium of the ACPJ. The medical activities calendar is replete with ethics conferences, but we believe that our symposia have a special place as we endeavour to present topics that deal with the core principles of medical ethics, autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence and justice.

This year is no exception as we will explore in the next few hours the topic of Conflicts of interest in Medicine.

I will not pre-empt Dr Owen James’s talk by attempting a definition as his title pretty much sums up the ethical breach in conflict of interest. Suffice it to say, that a COI exists when there is a risk, real or perceived that our professional judgement or action which should always be primarily beneficent towards our patients, may be influenced by a secondary interest. Note, the risk may simply be perceived.

Not all conflicts connote unethical behaviour or corruption and Doctors may have many COI as they manage the primary duty of care and many secondary interests including as researchers, educators and clinic managers. Such conflicts need to be managed individually and by professional codes of conduct, oversight bodies and laws.

We have assembled an expert faculty to elucidate these issues.

We are pleased to welcome our erudite faculty. Dr Owen James who needs no introduction in this forum although or chairman will remind you of his illustrious accomplishments soon will discuss the ethical basis for COI as well as elucidating the various forms if COI.

Mr Christopher Kelman is a distinguished Attorney of Law who has the requisite experience and interest in these medico ethical issues and he will be properly introduced and we shall hear from him later.

We also have the distinct pleasure of having Mrs Shereen Dawkins- Cox, an executive member of the Bioethics Society of the English Speaking Caribbean and President of the Jamaica Association of Private Owners join us in the panel discussions and I am sure her contribution to our deliberations will be impactful.

Finally, I would like to issue 2 invitations. The first is to all potential members in the audience to join the ACPJ. Dr Kimikawa Morgan-Channer will tell you more about this before the coffee break. The second is to save the date for our annual banquet and symposium which will take place on the second weekend in September. Our Banquet on Saturday September 9th and our conference on Sunday September 10th.This year we will be discussing Stroke, at topic whose time has come of age.

My Colleagues and friends welcome and I hope you enjoy and benefit from our deliberations here today.