QUEZON CITY, Philippines- On November 6, 2015, a paper entitled, “Developing a Code of Ethics for Hilot,” was presented by Asst. Prof. Marie-Sol Hidalgo at the 16th Asian Bioethics Conference held at St. Paul University. Asst. Prof. Hidalgo is a faculty member of the University of the Philippines Open University and a PhD candidate at the Universiti Sains Malaysia. She is studying the institutionalization of Hilot in the Philippines, and part of her research is the ethics of Hilot practice.
The need to develop a Code of Ethics arose during the drafting of the National Competency Standards for Hilot and the guidelines for its implementation. A Technical Working Group, composed of three organizations, namely the Association of Traditional Health Aid Givers Philippines, Inc. (ATHAG), Alyansa ng Manghihilot at Albularyo (AMA), and Hilot Pinoy was convened by the Philippine Institute for Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC)) to come up with these standards and guidelines. During the latter part of the process, Hidalgo discussed the importance of a Code of Ethics to the TWG and presented existing models from other healing modalities. She drew up the Code of Ethics with inputs from members of the TWG.
The presentation was successful, with the delegates from different countries showing interest in the Code of Ethics and in the practice of Hilot. She was later approached by delegates expressing their support for the efforts of the TWG in professionalizing and integrating Hilot in the National Health System.
The conference was organized by the Asian Bioethics Association, Eubios Ethics Institute, American University of Sovereign Nations, SPC Healthcare Ministry, and St. Paul University Quezon City.
It was held from Nov. 3-8, 2015 with the theme, “Bioethical Challenges and Responses to the New Glocal Knowledge Economy.”