October 10, 2007, Updated September 13, 2012

Dr. Yoram Blachar: I am proud to be part of the medical profession, a field that bridges borders.Israeli pediatrician and nephrologist Dr. Yoram Blachar was named president elect of the World Medical Association at its annual conference over the weekend in Copenhagen.

Blachar, head of the pediatric nephrology unit at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot and chairman of the Israel Medical Association since 1995, recently completed two consecutive terms as chairman of the WMA council. During this time he headed various working groups, including the Committee for Social-Medical Issues and the Committee for Funding, and led moves to counter trade in organs in China.

The WMA, which represents 84 national medical associations and nine million physicians worldwide, aims to provide best practice guidelines on ethical issues such as the rights of patients, research on human subjects, care of the sick and wounded in times of armed conflict, torture of prisoners, the use and abuse of drugs, family planning and pollution.

The Israel Medical Association is the official workers’ organization representing physicians in Israel. international body’s policy statements, including papers on “medicine and genetics” and “children’s right to medical care,” and in 1999 hosted the WMA annual conference in Tel Aviv.

Blachar’s election suggests a relaxation of the strained relationship of recent times between the IMA and the world body, despite renewed calls for an academic boycott of Israeli research earlier this year.

IMA secretary-general Leah Wapner said that the WMA’s selection of Blachar as its figurehead demonstrates its willingness to dissociate its internal operations from larger political controversies.

Appropriately for an organization which styles itself as a free, open and inclusive forum for the discussion of socio-medical affairs, Blachar has emphasized his commitment to the promotion of WMA’s charter of global equity, saying he will endeavor to bring non-member Arab and African states into the world body.

“I am proud to be part of the medical profession, a field that bridges borders,” he said.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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