Dear Colleagues and Friends,
The candidature of the Society of Medical Informatics of Bosnia and Herzegovina to organize the MIE 2009 Conference in Sarajevo was accepted at the EFMI Council meeting held in Sant Malo (France) in 2003. The motto decided upon at this meeting was Medical Informatics in a United and Healthy Europe. Based on this motto, attendees were invited to join the Conference. What were the reasons for this motto?
The ﬁrst reason was the fact that Bosnia-Herzegovina, the central country of the region, has become a synonym for a bridge between the Eastern and the Western world. One may well refer to them as the under-developed and over-developed halves of a whole. This is a cause of concern for Europe, and possibly for the entire planet. It has created the need for what one might call “productive citizenship". Issues such as "global morality” and “planetary patriotism” also arise in this context. One needs to take a new look at issues like development, production, and consumption, ranking of human values, providing support for research, implementing new technologies and innovations in all sectors of education and training, assuring support for information on all matters pertaining to life (especially health information), promoting a high level of culture, and eliminating elements that could endanger Man’s right to a life of high quality and good health.
Mankind has lacked the economic and scientific potential to supervise public health and health promotion in some countries. This is changing now. The expansion of Man’s technological power has raised the need to take ethical responsibility for the preservation and promotion of human health. Quality health information derived from medical data is a necessity for any health system in Europe or anywhere else in the world. Health information should enable Man to implement the philosophical principle: “Every single event that happens in the world is inﬂuenced by prior events and equally influences future events”. Health informatics viewed as the sum of theoretical and practical biomedical disciplines in the past, present, and future should be based on the preservation and maximum utilisation of existing health resources, particularly in under-developed countries and in those undergoing transition.
This view of the world needs to replace the current mechanistically-oriented view of the world, which is primarily based on growth and insufficiently addresses important aspects of Man’s spiritual development. The perhaps entropic view of the world violates the most precious elements of the environment we live in, our culture, and our biological survival.
The above-mentioned dilemma and the train of past philosophies were the reason why we chose “Medical Informatics in a United and Healthy Europe” as the motto of the MIE 2009 Conference. The motto incorporates the role of medical informatics as a scientiﬁc, technological, philosophical, and medical discipline. It also raises the question as to whether and to what extent medical informatics is contributing to a new scientiﬁc, cultural, social and political community in Europe. We envision a Europe in which her citizens will be able to live safer and healthier lives. We hope MIE 2009 will provide answers to some of the questions and dilemmas that dwell upon our minds.
Prof Izet Masic, MD, PhD, Chair of LOC of MIE 2009