19 May 2010
Venue: Clinical Lecture Theatre, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End
The Republic of Health - Ethics and Politics in 21st Century Healthcare
Richard Ashcroft, Professor of Bioethics
Modern medical ethics and health policy are centrally concerned with patient autonomy, choice and empowerment. Three recent trends complicate this model. Behavioural science research challenges the ideal of the patient as sovereign, rational decision-maker. Modern public health challenges the ideal of the liberal individualism of mainstream bioethics. And work on the human right to health, emphasises the need for strong institutions and active citizen participation. These trends force us to rethink medical ethics. I will argue that there are untapped resources in political philosophy which allow us to do so, with important practical implications.