Bioethics Meets Political Philosophy

January 26, 2024 - January 27, 2024
Interdisciplinary Centre for Ethics, Jagiellonian University

Grodzka 52
Kraków 31-044

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Jagiellonian University
Jagiellonian University

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Bioethics discusses problems of political significance, such as the distribution of resources, regulating research with human participants, limiting new technologies in biomedicine (e.g., germline gene modification), the value and limits of privacy, ownership of body parts, conflicts between individual and public goods in healthcare and others. Nevertheless, thus far there has been relatively little exploration on how bioethics relates to political philosophy. Exploring topics on the intersection between these fields is particularly important in the context of issues such as public health emergencies, vaccine hesitancy, science skepticism, and the decline of public trust. On the one hand, this exchange can help bioethics move forward by drawing on current work in political philosophy. On the other, canonical discussions in political philosophy (such as on distributive justice, social equality, the limits of state authority, freedom, and domination) can all benefit from a better appreciation of the ethical aspects of health.

The conference aims to explore and further develop interactions between bioethics and political philosophy, particularly in connection with, though not limited to, democratic deliberation and trust. The event will bring together specialists working in bioethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of science (especially philosophy of medicine).

Keynote speakers

Alex Broadbent (Durham University)

Rochelle Burgess (University College London)

Call for abstracts

We invite abstracts of no more than 500 words (excluding references) connected to these topics. Possible contributions may include (but are not limited to)

  • The justice principle in bioethics (also in global and/or historical perspective) and wider social justice concerns.
  • Cost-effectiveness and discrimination in health care rationing.
  • Property and patenting in biomedicine and pharmacology.
  • Freedom and paternalism in clinical medicine.
  • Interaction between political theory and bioethics.

We particularly welcome topics on deliberative approaches, legitimacy, and justice in relation to health.

  • How can deliberative approaches help build trust or address legitimate distrust?
  • How would deliberation frameworks work for biomedical issues with global scope (e.g., pandemics, or health effects of climate change)?
  • Public engagement, patient organizations, and trust in biomedical sciences.
  • Applications of feminist and critical theory approaches as well as philosophy of race and gender in relation to bioethical problems involving trust and discriminated groups.

Abstracts prepared for blind review can be submitted to [email protected] in PDF format by October 10th. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by November 20th. The conference will take place in person.


The event is funded by the projects BIOUNCERTAINTY funded by the European Research Council and “Values, Trust, and Decision Making in Public Health” co-funded by the European Commission and the Polish National Science Centre under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

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January 11, 2024, 9:00am CET

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