The inexorable march to progress: Sadequain, Industry and Agriculture II, 1984. Section of mural on display in State Bank of Pakistan Museum, Karachi
The Human Genome Project (HGP) was completed in 2003 and the subsequent push for genetic research has made human DNA a coveted material, the ‘gold’ of the twenty-first century. Increasingly, because of the ease with which research can be conducted in developing countries, a lot of genetic research is taking place in locations such as Pakistan and genetic testing is making its way into the clinical arena.
Our June 2022 newsletter brings together three perspectives of genetics in Pakistan, in the domains of clinical medicine and research: Farhat Moazam’s essay looks at the issue of genetic tests rapidly making their way into clinical practice in developing countries like Pakistan which, juxtaposed against a lack of genetic counseling, can lead to tragic consequences for families. Zainab Afshan Sheikh, in her article describing her ethnographic study on genetic research in Pakistan, comments on the analogy of a ‘gold mine.’ She discusses the impact of genetic research on both local investigators and participants, including therapeutic misconception and the perception of research as a way of accessing healthcare resources. Based on data from her Master in Bioethics thesis, Natasha Anwar writes about the lack of national and institutional ethical oversight for genetic research and publications in Pakistan.
Also included in the newsletter is a short report on the International Association of Bioethics’ 2021 “Award for Bioethics Service in the Face of Challenges,” given to human rights activist and teacher of bioethics, Amar Jesani. Other content includes write-ups by alumni, Melba Katindi and Amjad Mahboob, about their PGD Projects, and brief reports and images of CBEC events from January to June 2022.
A group of Karachi clinicians meet periodically to discuss issues related to healthcare. In a recent meeting, a troubled physician presented the case of a two year old child with deranged kidney functions seen in the clinic.
Zainab Afshan Sheikh
How do people engage in genetic research in Pakistan – and why? Since 2015, I have been studying the development of genetic research in Pakistan with this question at the core.
The biblical Solomon, a king of Israel and son of King David, was renowned for his wisdom, power and his fortune, often described as one of the largest in the ancient world.
From June 2021 to March 2022, I conducted teaching sessions to introduce basic research ethics knowledge to community paralegals supporting key populations in Kenya.
On June 23, 2022, CBEC organized a one day workshop focusing on academic writing skills for its faculty, alumni and healthcare professionals from the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT).
From our Archives
Amber Romasa Nagori
Kant famously said that the highest significance of beauty is to symbolise moral good, while for Schelling and Hegel the greatest revelation of beauty rested in the arts.