Dr. Derrick Aarons MD, PhD

Dr. Derrick E. Aarons, J.P., MB.BS.(UWI), M.Sc.(Bioethics)(McGill), PhD

Consultant Bioethicist and Family Physician, Dr. Derrick Aarons, was elected to the Medical Council of Jamaica and served on the Council from 2009 – 2012.    During his tenure, in keeping with his training and expertise, he lobbied the Council to implement the mandatory requirement of 2 hours of Ethics Continuing Medical Education (CME) for the annual re-licensing of all registered medical practitioners.

After the Ethics CMEs requirement was implemented, in keeping with his belief that a Council should personally provide the educational requirements that it mandates, Dr. Aarons provided Ethics CMEs on behalf of the Medical Council across the country in the topics: “Customer/Client/Patient Care”, “Professionalism in Medicine”, “Ethical Duties”, “Documentation in Medicine”, “Some Challenging Ethical Issues”, and “Conduct & Liability” – which he delivered in all the major towns across Jamaica: Mandeville, Montego Bay, Savanna-La-Mar, Ocho Rios, Annotto Bay, May Pen, and Kingston.

Other accomplishments:

  • Aarons authored ‘A Guide to Ethical Practice in Jamaica’ for the Medical Council of Jamaica in 2008, an ethics booklet which the Council has provided to every medical practitioner that it registers for medical practice in Jamaica since that time.
  • Founding member of the Ethics Committee of the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) (1991-4), which launched his career to study Bioethics at McGill University in Canada.
  • Author of the Book “Vital Communications in Medicine” – available on Amazon.
  • Founding Honorary Secretary of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians (JA).
  • Inaugural Chairman of the Panel on Ethics & Medico-Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Health.
  • Author – ‘The MOH Guidelines for the Conduct of Research on Human Subjects”2001
  • Former Bioethicist and Deputy Chairman of the National Bioethics Committee of Jamaica.
  • Course Writer for “Medical Ethics & the Family Physician” and “Medico-Legal Issues in Primary Care” for the M.Sc. Degree in Family Medicine at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
  • Convenor and Founding President of the Bioethics Society of the English-speaking Caribbean (BSEC).
  • Developer – The Regional Model Code of Practice regarding HIV & AIDS for Caribbean Medical Practitioners – PANCAP
  • Past Member of the Executive and Examiner for The Caribbean Association of Medical Councils (CAMC) Examination
  • Dr. Aarons has also given numerous keynote Addresses to doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, allied health professionals, and lawyers and High Court Judges in the Jamaican Legal system.

Dr. Derrick Aarons is currently serving an 8-year appointment by the Director-General of UNESCO on the International Bioethics Committee (The IBC) of UNESCO, the only advisory body within the United Nations system that debates and forms policies on the ethical issues of advances in the life sciences worldwide.  He is also the Ethics Consultant for the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the regional public health institution in the Caribbean with the responsibility for providing strategic direction in analyzing, defining, and responding to the public health priorities of the 24 member states across the Caribbean.

Dr. Aarons has been awarded by the Bioethics Society of the English-speaking Caribbean (BSEC) for his bioethics pioneering and being the ‘Father of Bioethics’ for the Caribbean Region.