Wu Jieh Yee Prize in Medical Ethics and Law
This Prize was established with the support of the Wu Jieh Yee Charitable Foundation to encourage medical students to embrace critical analysis of contemporary issues in medical ethics and law. It is awarded annually to an MBBS Year 5 student on the basis of performance of assessed work in the Medical Ethics and Law curriculum and the quality of a scholarly essay.
The essays posted here demonstrate students’ willingness and skill in engaging with difficult and sometimes contentious topics. Each essay is shared with author’s permission, in the hope of triggering open and meaningful conversation that will contribute to the betterment of humankind.
Winner: Cheung Ka Yuet Kylie
Ethical Considerations of Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Among Healthcare Workers in Hong Kong
Healthcare workers are one of the most important populations to target for COVID-19 vaccination strategies due to their increased exposure to high-risk patients and potential risk of transmission within the hospital environment. As vaccine hesitancy can potentially exacerbate the impact of the pandemic, mandates for such vaccines have been proposed for healthcare workers. Thus, renewed discussions about the ethics of such policies are discussed in this essay.
I was initially inspired to write the essay about vaccine mandates after reading a series of news articles about UK and US health-care workers protesting against COVID-19 vaccine mandates. As the fifth wave was beginning to strike Hong Kong at that time and vaccine hesitancy was prevalent, I thought it would be timely to explore the topic in a more local context.
Lau Hiu Yin Dawn
Transgender in Hong Kong: Ethics and Medicolegal Perspectives
This essay explores the topic of being transgender in Hong Kong and how it relates to the local medical system, from the points of view of patients and healthcare professionals alike. The often-overlooked discrimination and obstacles that transgender individuals face under the current system are highlighted with an aim to shine light on the ethical issues and provoke thought in students and workers in the field.
The transgender community within the medical field is largely underground and invisible. As a member of said community in a society that largely misunderstands us, and from the unique position of both an aspiring doctor and a patient, I was inspired to gather the experiences of others in similar situations, as one of our tiny steps towards a better future.
Wong Darren Li Liang
The Ethics of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
Wong Hoi Yan Corliss
Guardians of the Metaverse: To what extent should psychiatrists protect the mental health of adolescents who use social networking sites? A critical discussion on physician responsibility in contemporary society
Margaret Kay HO
Rethinking Autonomy in Advance Care Planning: The Shift from Individualistic to Relational Autonomy
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for timely advance care planning, a process promoting the shared understanding and clear communication of individuals’ values and care preferences. With current individualistic approaches to ensure personal autonomy, there are concerns that advance care planning does not adequately represent patients’ care preferences as these cannot be considered in isolation of their social roles and relations. To address this, a relational approach with narrative-based medicine may be considered as a viable option to better align with the core goals of advance care planning.
“Inspired by a seminar on the local development of advance care planning during our specialty clerkship, I wanted to explore the ways in which our personal contexts shape our care preferences, and how these impacts are reflected in the current approaches to this process. The proposal of narrative-based medicine as a way to operationalise relational autonomy was actually drawn from one of our Medical Humanities classes back in our first year!”
Rohit Kumar VERMA
Juxtaposing the liberties of the individual against the argument for public interest in the context of epidemic control: reflections and dilemmas from the COVID-19 outbreak.