A message from the WFNS Ethics Committee

11 July 2017

The WFNS world meeting is our biggest event and a cornerstone of our global neurosurgical network. There is a recent debate on ideological aspects of participation. Are the recent political developments in Turkey a reason to boycott the WFNS world meeting?

We have heard the claim that participation supports the political system. I am sure that neurosurgeons on both sides of the Turkish borders have a clear opinion on human rights and democracy. Indeed, the international neurosurgical community is a humanitarian family that stands above ephemeral political systems and neurosurgeons should forge a network to promote values of medicine; values that are expressed in the principles of Childress and Beauchamp: do good, don't harm, respect justice and support autonomy. These values are compatible only with respect for human rights and democracy. Still, we have met for scientific and personal interaction in a number of countries with despicable regimes and low respect of human rights. We have done so, because our colleagues and their patients in such countries have gained from our support of goodness and our support has strengthened the global neurosurgical alliance. We should be humble enough to realize that an individual boycott has very little significance in a global perspective - while our joint collaboration is a powerful force and an ethical statement.

Safety is another topic of discussion. Rare random acts of terrorism occur all over the world; they can be studied by game theory, but we have not considered such analyses meaningful for the committee. It is known that humans assess risks irrationally and we realize that terrorism occurs globally. Personal reasons and official safety advice are relevant and the committee does not address these.

We do, however, take a clear stand on the idea of ideological boycott: 
Our participation and support of good principles is a much more powerful protest than staying at home. 
WFNS Ethics Committee, Chairman 
Tiit Mathiesen 
WFNS Central Office 
Rue du Marché, 1260 Nyon, Vaud, Switzerland 
Tel: +41 22 362 4303, Fax: +41 22 362 4352 

La Asociación Colombiana de Neurocirugía es una entidad de carácter científico y gremial que desarrolla actividades de capacitación de personal y profesional basados en los principios individuales éticos, académicos y de liderazgo con fines sociales de servicio y excelencia.

Acceso Socios


Asociación Colombiana de Neurocirugía.

Carrera 16 # 97 - 46
Oficina 201

Tel:  (+571) 4 326 936
Cel:  (+571) 313 886 0800


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