PREVIOUS SESSION: Ethics in healthcare and medical technology

Thursday May 31st

19:45 live music
20:15 speakers
Café Loburg

Our healthcare is evolving and new technologies are emerging rapidly. For example online consultations, automatic surveillance for elderly with dementia or maybe even health-care robots. This might make care better, easier and probably cheaper. But at the same time medical technological developments have always also spurred ethical questions: should we allow everything which is (technologically) possible? However, it is questionable whether it is always helpful to speak in terms of being ‘for’ or ‘against’ a specific technology. In this Science Cafe ethical concerns will be discussed regarding medical technologies with a special focus on vaccination. Our first speaker Dr. Alistair Niemeijer will focus on the ethics of medical and health technologies, whereby it will be argued that health (or lack thereof) in relation to technology should be conceived of as something that is undergone, rather than something which can be chosen. The limitations of (freedom of) choice is also an issue in the talk by Prof Marcel Verweij. More and more parents are hesitant towards vaccination, and this is undermining public health. How to evaluate this from an ethical perspective?

Dr. Alistair Niemeijer is assistant professor in care ethics at the University of Humanistic Studies and post doc researcher at the Department of Social Medicine of VU University Medical Center. His PhD focused on the ethical aspects of surveillance technology in long term care. He is currently project leader of the ZonMW researchproject “Fostering new normative expressions of human dignity for people with multiple health problems in Utrecht” which has been conducted in cooperation with the Municipality of Utrecht.

Prof. Marcel Verweij holds the chair of philosophy in the Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen UR. His research and teaching cover a very broad area in applied philosophy and ethics, including animal ethics and business ethics, but his primary focus is public health. Since 2005, Verweij is member of the Health Council of the Netherlands. He has been involved in more than 20 advisory reports for the Minister of Health, including reports on collective vaccination, screening, preconception counselling, special policies for high-risk groups, and expert reports on Q-Fever and Mexican Flu.