Exploitation in Bioethics

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation of and participation in conference

Nana Cecilie Halmsted Kongsholm - Organizer

Katla Hedinsdóttir - Organizer

Exploitation occupies a significant place in certain bioethical debates, particularly within clinical research, commercial surrogacy, biobanking, and organ trade. In these domains, moral concerns regarding, for example, fairness in transaction, decision-making on the backdrop of disadvantaged circumstances, and the burdens of risk of some persons for the benefit of others, are commonly conveyed in terms of exploitation. In most deliberations about exploitation in bioethics, exploitation has a certain tie to a concept of vulnerability: exploitation is particularly emphasized, and has particular rhetorical force, when affecting people in vulnerable circumstances. Some theories of exploitation are directly vulnerability-based, while others are confronted with the stark intuitions that there is something morally unsavory about situations allowing entrance into exploitative relations, despite the presence of (at least formal) consent.
While the concept has gained a certain level of scholarly attention in recent years, it remains muddy and underexplored. The aim of this workshop is to address this blurry picture, believing that the understanding of exploitation and its relevance for bioethics would benefit greatly from further conceptual analyses, examination of implications in terms of appropriate moral responses, inquiry into its components such as benefit or unfairness, and investigations of its connections to concepts such as vulnerability, voluntariness and consent.

Apart from the aforementioned bioethical domains, bioethics at large has been relatively void of considerations of exploitation. Ethical scrutiny of e.g. emerging biotechnologies such as personalized medicine or gene editing, tend to focus on issues of consent, benefit and risk, potentially leaving out relevant concerns of that may be framed in terms of exploitation. Can attention to the concept of exploitation contribute to a more complete ethics of biotechnologies, help organizing and formulating particular ethical concerns, or guide ethically appropriate implementations of certain biotechnologies?
8 Nov 20189 Nov 2018

Workshop

WorkshopExploitation in Bioethics
LocationKøbenhavns Universitet, Søndre Campus
Period08/11/201809/11/2018

ID: 209386371