ESPMH - The European Society For Philosophy Of Medicine And Healthcare
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7 – 10 August, 2019

This conference will be organised by the European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Healthcare (ESPMH) and the Centre for Medical Ethics, University of Oslo (Norway). We may think we know what the terms ‘medicine’ and ‘health care’ denote and what activities should be classed as falling under each of them. Yet both medicine and health care have fuzzy borders in themselves and also overlap with other areas of human activity, e.g. in relation to the legal system or the cosmetic industry. This raises philosophical questions about how we should understand activities that are ‘at the edge of medicine’ and ethical questions about how we should evaluate such activities. Should the ethics of medicine supply the guiding principles, or should activities at the edge be governed by other considerations? These and similar questions will be explored and addressed in the conference. Abstracts addressing any of the issues mentioned in the headings below from a philosophical and/or ethical perspective will be favoured, although work on other topics can also be submitted.

Registration form       (Draft) Programme      Conference brochure

Call for abstracts

Borderline conditions
  • New concepts of disease, illness, or sickness
  • The co-production of concepts of human malady
  • Between esthetics & ethics
  • Identity-related conditions
  • Diagnostic creep, overdiagnosis
  • Medicalization
Health systems
  • Resource allocation & ’non-medical’ conditions
  • Resource allocation & non-medical services (e.g. dentistry etc)
  • Professional dominance vs other stakeholder dominance
  • Al for diagnosis & treatment decisions 
Non-medical Interventions
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Male circumcision
  • Sports medicine
  • Medical enhancement
Exmanding sciences and Disruptive technologies
  • Robotics, machine learning, & intelligent systems
  • Sensor & monitoring technology
  • Gene editing, gene drives
  • DTC genetic testing
  • Genetics testing & indigenous populations
  • Citizen science
Clinical Ethics
  • Non-hospital/health care settings
  • Involvement of patients, relatives, & other parties
  • Relation between professionalislm & ethics
  • Handling suffering without knowledge (of etiology or effective treatment)
Moral residue
  • Moral dilemmas
  • Moral faliure
  • Moral disagreement
  • The problem of resolution in moral discourse
  • Tragic choices
Refugees and asylum seekers
  • DNA-testing, ethics & migration
  • Age determination in refugee children
  • Refugees' access to health care
  • Domestic asylum seekers
The programme of the conference will include plenary sessions as well as parallel sessions. Anyone wishing to present a paper at the conference
should submit an abstract in a word document (500 words max) by March 1st, 2019. The Conference Programme Committee will select abstracts for oral presentation. 
The deadline for registrations is June 1st, 2019.
Abstracts and registrations should be sent by email to Professor Bert Gordijn, Secretary of the ESPMH, Director of the Institute of Ethics, Dublin City University, Ireland (address: bert.gordijn at




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