Morally responsible risk communication
[2014-09-30] Risk communication has to be effective. But it also needs ethical legitimacy. This has become particularly clear after the Fukushima nuclear disaster when three of the reactors suffered meltdowns. But how can we meet these demands?
In an article that was recently published in the Journal of Risk Research, Jessica Nihlén Fahlquist and Sabine Roeser suggest a three-level framework for morally responsible risk communication: A legitimate procedure, an ethically justified risk message and evaluation of the effects of both message and procedure.
According to them, emotions also have an important part to play in risk communication. When it comes to addressing and explicating moral values, sympathy, empathy and feelings of responsibility have leading roles.
On October 7, Sabine Roeser will hold an open lecture on fear, care and hope: Moral emotions and risk analysis at Uppsala University. Welcome!
Read article in the Journal of Risk Research: Nuclear energy, responsible risk communication and moral emotions: a three level framework
The principles for sharing
[2014-09-23] To improve health care and validate research, we need to provide easier access to samples and data: Access that at the same time is ethical. This is the guiding principle in a new charter for sharing of biospecimens and data published by an international group of researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics.
The value of collections of data and biospecimens is rising. But this doesn't mean there is more sharing of samples or data. One reason is the different ethical and legal frameworks that are making it difficult for researchers in different countries to collaborate.
Deborah Mascalzoni, philosopher at CRB, is one of the authors. According to her, another reason has to do with the investment it takes to build a sample collection:
"Sometimes researchers are not that keen on sharing. There is a fear that the valuable work they have put into their sample collection will not be recognized. To try and solve that problem, we have provided a framework for recognition in the charter", says Deborah Mascalzoni. More
New view on family relationships
[2014-09-22] Healthcare today raises moral problems that don't really fit into the 'standard' bioethics. But if we re-phrase them in terms of problems in the ethics of families, they become visible. The authors of a recent position paper on the ethics of families in the Journal of Medical ethics claim that we need a distinctive ethics for families in bioethics.
The authors are members of the Network on Ethics of Families. Ulrik Kihlbom, Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics at CRB, is one of the authors. In the paper, they discuss what 'family' actually means and why families are so important to the people who live in them.
According to them, an ethics of families means that relationships have to be negotiated in the light of family relationships. Any decisions about medical treatments have to be made taking these negotiated responsibilities into account.
Justice must also be provided. This justice, according to the authors, has to be served both between families and society. But also within the families themselves.
Read article in the Journal of Medical Ethics: Where families and healthcare meet
OPEN LECTURE OCT 7 >> Fear, care and hope: Moral emotions and risk analysis
Risk research has shown that lay people and experts perceive risk in different ways. On October 7, Sabine Roeser, Professor of Ethics at the Delft University of Technology, will argue that emotions and moral values should play an important role in decision making about risks.
Technological risks raise important ethical issues. Nanotechnology, biotechnology, ICT, and nuclear energy can improve human well-being. But they could also convey risks due to accidents and pollution. Technologies can trigger emotions as a consequence of these effects. These emotions include fear and indignation: Emotions that often lead to conflicts between experts and laypeople.
Sabine Roeser will focus on examples from health and engineering contexts to illustrate how an alternative approach of emotions can help improve public discourse. Read more >
Save the date: Epigenetics as the meeting point between nature and nurture
We welcome you to a multidisciplinary workshop on Epigenetics to explore the potential for multidisciplinary research initiatives
Sessions on the early development phase, nutrition, pharmacology, mental disorders and the social contexts
When: 19-20 March 2015, Uppsala, Sweden.
Where: Uppsala University main building
Speakers: Marco Boks, Eero Castren Jean-Pierre Changeux, Robert Erikson, Kathinka Evers, Mats G. Hansson, Christina Hultman, Eva Jablonka, Juha Kere, Hugo Lagercrantz, L.H. Lumey, Christopher Murgatroyd, Helen Neville, Gísli Pálsson, Elisabeth Radford, Bart Rutten, Dietmar Spengler, David St Clair and Denny Vågerö
ETHICS BLOG: Does bioethics understand the family?
[2014-09-30] Traditional bioethics does not pay sufficient attention to the role that family relationships can play, for example, in decisions about organ donation.
New opportunities in healthcare create moral problems that bioethics therefore cannot identify and manage. To identify and understand these moral problems requires a specific ethics of families, writes among others Ulrik Kihlbom in an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics.
The authors are members of the “Network on ethics of families.” In the article, they use a striking example of a moral problem that becomes invisible in standard bioethics. I believe the example is authentic. More