ESPMH lounge



Oslo, Norway, 7– 10 August 2019


 Call for Abstracts

This conference will be organised by the European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Healthcare and the Centre for Medical Ethics, the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo. 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. It is questions like these that we would like to explore 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.

Borderline conditions

  • New concepts of disease, illness, or sickness
  • The co-production of concepts of human malady
  • Between esthetics and ethics
  • Identity-related conditions
  • Diagnostic creep, overdiagnosis
  • Medicalization

Clinical Ethics

  • Non-hospital/health care settings
  • Involvement of patients, relatives, and other parties
  • Relation between professionalism and ethics
  • Handling suffering without knowledge (of etiology or effective treatment

Health systems

  • Resource allocation and ’non-medical’ conditions
  • Resource allocation and non-medical services (e.g. dentistry etc.)
  • Professional dominance vs other stakeholder dominance
  • AI for diagnosis and treatment decisions

Moral residue

  • ยทMoral dilemmas
  • Moral failure
  • Moral disagreement
  • The problem of resolution in moral discourse
  • Tragic choices

Non-medical interventions

  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Male circumcision
  • Sports medicine
  • Medical enhancement

Refugees and asylum seekers

  • DNA-testing, ethics and migration
  • Age determination in refugee children
  • Refugees’ access to health care
  • Domestic violence among asylum seekers

Expanding sciences and disruptive technologies

  • Robotics, machine learning, and intelligent systems
  • Sensor and monitoring technology
  • Gene editing, gene drives
  • DTC genetic testing
  • Genetics testing and indigenous populations
  • Citizen science

Anyone wishing to present a paper at the conference should submit an abstract in Word format (500 words maximum) before March 1, 2019. The Conference Programme Committee will select abstracts for oral presentation. Please send abstracts by e-mail to: Professor Bert Gordijn, Secretary of the ESPMH, Institute of Ethics, Dublin City University, Ireland (

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