Building an Open Burma Through Medical Ethics

Can signing a consent form contribute to democratic transition?

Myaing Myaing Nyunt believes so. In 1988, Nyunt left her home country of Burma as the military government violently suppressed a pro-democracy uprising. While working in a mobile clinic on the country’s border with Thailand, she saw how health care is an opportunity to teach people that they have rights—rights to privacy, autonomy, and information.

Today, as Burma slowly begins to open, Nyunt, now a professor at the University of Maryland, has returned to Burma to teach health professionals and students what she’s learned about medical ethics. Small changes, she believes, grow into meaningful reform—an act as simple as having a patient sign a consent form can help that person internalize a sense of his or her fundamental freedoms.

“That little person is not a singular instance,” Nyunt explains. “She has her friends, her community, and that’s going to spread … Small changes must take place to get to one large goal.”

See more and subscribe to At Open Society: Video iTunes RSS

Learn More:



Drug-related illegally-gotten money laundering is the biggest issue for Myanmar now. For that kind of "personal interest of a handful of peoples",democracy for Myanmar will be just a joke.

Yes, we can help to imrove life through collective effort.

Congratulations on your foresight and your courage

if she/he consent to be provided service that is offered then its legal binding.Human being need to be guided by principles that require the patient agreement which i most oblige to that.thank you.

I wish her well

Equity of access to health-care is fundamental to human rights. The exercise of it such as seeking consent etc is very fundamental. Every exercise of a human small as it may seem scaffolds to freedom and the responsible exercise of human rights.

it is great, she tried everything she can so as to make a difference in the way she want the world shape to be.

people has to learn and practice how one can provide contribution to the greater goal.

Add your voice