Why Medical Ethics Needs More Philosophy

philosophy of medicine

Professor Julian Savulescu

Why Medical Ethics Needs More Philosophy

ABSTRACT: In this lecture Professor Savulescu will argue that both bioethics and medical ethics together have, in many ways, failed as fields. His diagnosis is that better philosophy is needed. He gives some examples of the importance of philosophy to bioethics, focusing mostly on the failure of ethics in research and organ transplantation, although he also considers genetic selection, enhancement, cloning, futility, disability and other topics. Rather than considering any topic comprehensively or systematically he seeks to illustrate why philosophical analysis and argument remain as important as ever to progress in bioethics and medical ethics.

This is the first of two brief workshops run by the Oxford Philosophy and Medicine Network. Researchers representing the different areas of philosophy of medicine within the Network will present their ongoing work and get feedback from other researchers within the network. The aim of these workshops is twofold: (a) for Network members to share their ongoing and planned research, (b) for Network members to identify areas of current and future overlap, with a view to developing collaborative research grants. Taking time scarcity into account, these workshops will last between 60 to 90 minutes and be organized around lunch or tea time. In addition to existing members of the Network, practicing clinicians will be encouraged to attend. This will help make sure that the aim of the Network (to practice medically relevant philosophy) is maintained.


Medical Humanities

Contact name: Dr Jeremy Howick
Contact email: jeremy.howick@phc.ox.ac.uk
Audience: Open to all