concepts-of-diseaseThis conference, organised by the Healthcare Values Partnership at Oxford University, aims to explore the understanding of disease as an evolving concept of multi-disciplinary concern in medicine, the humanities, the social sciences, and law. In particular, the conference seeks to investigate the moral responsibilities or failures that are implied by present and emerging notions of disease, but also the conceptual components of these notions. To this end, we especially intend for the conference to stimulate ongoing conversations about concepts of disease between humanities researchers and healthcare workers (e.g. doctors, nurses, therapists, researchers, etc.).

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Havi Carel (Professor of Philosophy, University of Bristol)
  • Dr Therese Feiler (Wellcome Trust Post-Doctoral Researcher, Healthcare Values Partnership, University of Oxford)
  • Jonathan Herring (Professor of Law, University of Oxford)
  • Joshua Hordern (Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, University of Oxford)
  • Neil Messer (Professor of Theology, University of Winchester)
  • Andrew Moscrop (GP & Researcher, University of Oxford).
  • Thomas Schramme (Professor of Philosophy, University of Liverpool)
  • Katherine Southwood (Associate Professor [Old Testament Studies], University of Oxford)
  • Jan Westerhoff (Associate Professor in Religious Ethics [Buddhism], University of Oxford)

Our central questions for the day will be as follows. Is disease a biological and/or molecular dysfunction, a failure of will and personal responsibility, and/or sin? Conversely, how are these terms defined with regards to disease? How do they relate to each other? And how does the medical and/or moral understanding of disease around these issues impact on philosophical and theological, technological and legal negotiations? What are the endpoints of emerging developments in medicine implied by what we mean by disease? If identifiable, are these developments irreversible? Most importantly, how will any of these developments relate to the broader civic place of healthcare and the regard citizens have for each other? By focusing on the notion of disease between dysfunction, responsibility and sin, the conference seeks to investigate the moral and ethical implications of emerging trends in healthcare.

Posters on the conference theme are invited. Context for the conference theme and possible questions to be addressed are available here. Please send your abstract no later than 28th November to Therese Feiler.

The conference takes place 11th January 2017, 9.30am – 5pm at St Luke’s Chapel, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford. It is free to attend thanks to the support of the Sir Halley Stewart Trust.

For more details, free registration, and the Call for Posters please click here.


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Centre for Medical Humanities
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