Ethics and Health

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) invite PhD students in philosophy to register for the “Ethics and Health” course, which will be held on 14, 16, 28 and 30 March 2017, at Utrecht

Organizing university

Utrecht University


14, 16, 28 and 30 March 2017

Application/registration deadline

4 March 2017

Aim / objective

In this PhD course we explore a number of ethical topics and debates in relation to health and health care. The course is open to both PhD students with a background in philosophy and those with a background in other sciences relevant to bioethics. PhD students will do short introductions of key topics and concepts, on the basis of pre-studied literature. The maximum number of participants is 16.

We have combined different topics in two very broad conceptual themes: “health, disease and quality of life” and “autonomy, justice and solidarity”. An important part of the course is to aim at conceptual clarification of key terms (e.g., health, quality of life, solidarity) as basis for normative ethical discussions. The various practical ethical topics will be introduced in guest lectures, and PhD students are encouraged to rethink, discuss, and test the various concepts and normative ideas that have been presented in the general introductory sessions.

Guest lecturers are also invited to explain how they do ethical research on the topics they work on, what methods they prefer and why, and what research questions they envision for the future.

Language: English (unless all participants are Dutch-speaking). Participants should expect to study approximately 60-80 pages of literature in preparation to each day, and prepare brief presentations about the literature.


Disease, health, and quality of life

Introduction: Disease, health, and quality of life

Tuesday 14 March Morning (Drift 23, ruimte 012)

  • Personal introduction; aims of the course.
  • Introduction and discussion of key concepts and conceptual distinctions.

Tuesday 14 March Afternoon (Drift 23, ruimte 012)

  • Health, disease and quality of life – from disability to enhancement. Caroline Harnacke

Medical Technology

Thursday 16 March Morning (Trans 10, ruimte AW de Grootkamer) (019)

  • Human germ-line genome editing: an ethical exploration.  Guido de Wert

Thursday 16 March Afternoon (Trans 10, ruimte AW de Grootkamer) (019)

  • Diagnostic and screening technology in health care. Marianne Boenink
  • Concluding discussion on ideals of health and quality of life.
Autonomy, justice and solidarity

Introduction: Autonomy, justice and solidarity

Tuesday 28 March Morning (Drift 23, ruimte 012)

  • Autonomy and justice as key values in health care and health policies: concepts and theories.

Tuesday 28 March Afternoon (Drift 23, ruimte 012)

  • Autonomy at the end of life. Suzanne van de Vathorst

Justice and health

Thursday 30 March Morning (Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, Van Ravensteynzaal)

  • Justice, solidarity and expensive health care treatment.

Thursday 30 March Afternoon (Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, Van Ravensteynzaal)

  • Personal responsibility for health vs solidarity? Inez de Beaufort
  • Concluding discussion on ideals of autonomy and justice in relation to health.

Thursday 30 March:  Drink starts at 15:30 pm (Cohenzaal, Trans 10)


For OZSW members: Free
For non-ozsw members: 250

Registration/application form