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Medical anthropology – three perspectives on the human being in medicine

Dato: 7.-8. oktober 2021
Tid: Kl. 09:00-16:00 (begge dage)
Sted: Fysisk i mødelokale Romeo - SDU, Campus Odense
Tilmelding: Tilmelding til sekretær, Jeanet Dal på mail: dal@sdu.dk 
senest onsdag den 27. september 2021
Husk at oplyse, hvilket kursus du tilmelder dig. 
Deltagerantal Max. 16
Abstracts:   Aflevering af "Abstracts" ikke senere end onsdag den 27. september 2021
Sendes til sekretær, Jeanet Dal på dal@sdu.dk 
ECTS: 2



Medical anthropology - three perspectives on the human being in medicine

 

Course description

Throughout history, different conceptions of medical anthropology have held sway such as the holistic theories of antiquity, the biomedical understandings of modern times, and, contemporarily, a strong focus on the individual. Indeed, conceptions of the human being seem as mutable as medical practices themselves. This raises questions about the status of medical anthropology today. What is the current dominant conception(s) of the human being in a medical context? Can such a conception even be identified? Or is the medical field as it is practiced today rather characterized by a plurality of different perspectives on the human being? In the course, we will elucidate these questions through the investigation of three perspectives on the human being, arising from a naturalistic, existential-ethical, and personal medicine approach to medical anthropology, respectively.

Medical anthropology is more than a theoretical concern. Different conceptions of the human being’s nature have shaped the medical practices in fundamental ways – and still do. We will therefore, among other themes, discuss the following: Should medicine predominantly treat the organism or the patient as person, or perhaps both? When is a disease a disease and not ‘simply’ a problem in living or a statistical anomaly? Where is medical anthropology coming from, and where is it going in today’s world with unprecedented technological possibilities? With a view to the nature of the human being, what are the primary aims of health care services when treating a citizen? To what extent can and should the medical science be informed by values? How should the two fundamental concerns of medicine, ‘cure and care’, be balanced? We will discuss these and other questions in the course. Ultimately, the ambition is to shed some light on a fundamental problem to medicine: what understanding(s) of the human being is relevant to the health sciences?

 

Lectures

Søren Harnow Klausen (University of Southern Denmark): Naturalism with a Human Face

Naturalist views on health are often seen as unacceptably narrow and incompatible with a genuine concern for mental health, subjective needs and understandings of patients or the social and cultural context of health and disease. Based on a brief presentation of the functionalist view developed by Boorse and defended by Schramme and Hausman, I will try to show how an appropriately balanced naturalism can actually support more inclusive and patient-oriented approaches to health care, and complement phenomenological or existentialist perspectives on health, disease, and illness.  

Joachim Boldt (Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg): Ethics and the medical realm in existential philosophy

Medical terms and issues have been present in existential and hermeneutic philosophy from its very beginnings. Søren Kierkegaard writes about "sickness unto death" and introduces and analyzes terms such as "despair" and "angst", the physician and philosopher Karl Jaspers reflects about "the physician in the technological age", and philosopher and ethicist Hans Jonas publishes a variety of papers on ethics in medical research, gene therapy, and molecular biotechnology. The lecture will trace similarities and differences in the way these authors approach the medical realm and in their background philosophies.

Karin Christiansen (VIA University College): Personalized medicine – human self-understanding in the era of predictive medicine

In my lecture I will address and discuss a series of ethical challenges and dilemmas relating to predictions based on health data, including genomic data. I will discuss a future scenario, where more and more people are having their genome sequences determined and where epigenomes and a wealth of other data will be commonly used to predict, diagnose and treat disease. What happens to our human self-understanding, our sense of agency and freedom if customized treatments are routinely developed for each person (supported by algorithmic profiling) and where each one of us are expected to participate actively in self-monitoring activities and make proactive choices regarding our medical destiny and that of our children? We will look into changing definitions of health and illness and how the new paradigm might change the doctor-patient/client relationship.

 

Course format

The course is divided into four main blocks, the first three blocks consisting of one and a half hour of lecture and discussion (45–60-minute lecture, 30–45-minute discussion), and three student presentations including discussions (approx. 20 minutes per presentation – 10-minute presentation, 10-minute discussion), the fourth block containing solely student presentations and discussions. Prior to the course, each participant will hand in a one-page abstract that will serve as a discussion piece. The topic of the presentation is optional, provided it relates to the course. It could focus on a reading of the course literature, a presentation of the student’s own work, a presentation of an idea etc., as long as the presentation is relevant to the topic at hand. Each participant is expected to have read the other participants abstracts prior to the course. Total number of participants: 16.

 

The abstracts are to be handed in no later than 15.09.2021.

 

Schedule

:

Thursday

 

09:00 - 09:15

Introduction to the course and the lecturers

09:15 – 10:45

Lecture: Naturalism with a Human Face (incl. discussion)

10:45 – 11:00

Break

11:00 – 12:00

Student presentations and discussions

12:00 – 13:00

Lunch

13:00 – 14:30

Lecture: Ethics and the medical realm in existential philosophy (incl. discussion)

14:30 – 14:50

Coffee break

14:50 – 15:50

Student presentations and discussions

15:50 – 16:00

Concluding remarks

18:00 – ?

Dinner in the city (optional)

 

Friday

 

09:00 - 09:05

Good morning

09:05 – 10:35

Lecture: Personalized medicine – human self-understanding in the era of predictive medicine (incl. discussion)

10:35 – 10:50

Break

10:50 – 12:00

Student presentations and discussions

12:00 – 13:00

Lunch

13:00 – 14:30

Student presentations and discussions

14:30 – 14:50

Coffee break

14:50 – 15:50

Student presentations and discussions

15:50 – 16:00

Evaluation and concluding remarks

 

Meeting time and place: October 7th and 8th, 2021. Held physically at Campus Odense, University of Southern Denmark. Should circumstances still not allow for a physical meeting, however, the course will be conducted online through Zoom. Until further notice, the plan is to meet physically.

 

Literature

800 pages in total, 266 pages from each area.
Access the list of literature here.

 

Sidst opdateret: 16.09.2021