Richard Huxtable has asked me to publicise this: The EACME (European Association of Centres of Medical Ethics) annual conference will be hosted by the Centre for Ethics in Medicine at the University of Bristol, between 20 and 22 September 2012: http://www.eacme2012.org/welcome/ This conference will mark the 25th anniversary of the Association, which provides an ideal opportunity to reflect […]
Morality as a Biological Phenomenon?
Does oxytocin come as a liquid? I can only assume that it does, and that it’s possible to drown in a vat of it. I’ve come to this conclusion after reading this interview with Patricia Churchland in The Chronicle of Higher Education. It ought to come as no surprise to those who’re familiar with Churchland’s […]
Singer on the Value of Lives
Peter Singer had a piece in The Guardian last week comparing the way that we value lives around the world. He points out that when NATO accidentally kills Afghan civilians, it pays out compensation. This never goes above about £5000 per death. In comparison, NICE’s threshold for funding a treatment on the NHS is £20-30k […]
Conference: Synthetic Biology: A Better Future?
This workshop looks potentially interesting. Public Dialogue Wednesday 9 March Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan’s College, Durham University 5pm Wednesday March 9th Programme 5.15 pm Introduction to the Meeting – Dr Patrick Steel (Durham University) 5.20 – 6.45 pm A series of short talks from experts in the field providing a personalised view of synthetic biology and its […]
Assisted Suicide in Oregon: a Counterblast from the Antis
Ilora Finlay and Rob George* have a new paper in the JME that takes issue with Battin et al‘s 2007 paper, concerning who makes use of physician assisted suicide in Oregon and Holland. Battin’s claim had been that there was no evidence of heightened risk for the elderly, women, the uninsured (inapplicable in the Netherlands, where […]
On Nailing one’s Colours to the Mast
“You’re a Kantian,” people in my department tell me. At least, I think that’s what they say – I’m assuming that there’s no comma before the final syllable, and that I’ve got all the vowels right. I don’t think I am, actually (a Kantian, that is – I couldn’t comment on the other option). I’m […]
Conf and CFP: 5th Postgraduate Bioethics Conference
Social Scientific Approaches to Bioethics: Methods and Methodologies 5-7 January 2011, Wellcome Conference Centre, Euston Road, London Post the empirical turn scholars at work in bioethics have been making continually greater use of social scientific approaches. One the one hand this can be seen as a fulfilment of the promise of bioethics as a truly […]
Concord in Ethics and Bioethics
Over at Pea Soup, Ralph Wedgwood makes an interesting claim: I suspect that on several issues that are the focus of fierce moral controversies today – such as homosexuality and the death penalty – there is significantly less disagreement among contemporary philosophers than in the population as a whole. Indeed, I tentatively suggest, the historical […]
Acronym Overload: HoC S&TC report on homeopathy published…
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s report on homeopathy was published today (and is available here). The findings have not been diluted; the Committee didn’t sugar the sugar pill. […]
Can Saving a Life be the Wrong Thing to Do?
Doubtless many of you will have heard by now of Kerrie Wooltorton, who, apparently depressed by her fertility problems, drank anti-freeze, called an ambulance, and handed a living will to staff at A&E. Her story is reported by the Telegraph under the headline “Suicide woman allowed to die because doctors feared saving her would be assault” […]