Setting an ethical agenda for health promotion

Venue: Ghent University

Location: Ghent, Belgium

Event Date/Time: Sep 18, 2007 End Date/Time: Sep 20, 2007
Abstract Submission Date: Mar 01, 2007
Paper Submission Date: Sep 01, 2007
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The promotion of health, both as a methodology and as a policy, has always been partly an ethical project. The past few decades the policy makers’ attention has not only been attracted by morbidity and mortality data, but just as much by health inequalities. Therefore, reducing health disparities and assuring people the right to the highest attainable standard of health is nowadays considered as an absolute priority by local, national and supranational institutions.
Despite the moral motivations the domain of health promotion practice is littered with ethical pitfalls. For instance, the structure of health promotion strategies is a possible threat to the autonomy of individuals. Furthermore, several health interventions can only succeed by means of coercion and it isn’t very clear whether or how the classical biomedical standard of informed consent could be applied in this particular context. Another domain where ethical analysis is required has to do with the numerous adverse and perverse side effects health promotion interventions can generate, viz. victim blaming, stigmatization, medicalization etcetera.
This conference attempts to bring together scholars from both the fields of ethics and health promotion in order to identify and to examine the ethical issues that are at stake within the context of health promotion.
The organising committee of the conference invites papers for oral presentation on the following topics:
- the moral necessity of tackling health inequalities
- the use of coercion in public health interventions
- the role of health literacy in avoiding paternalism in health promotion
- empowerment versus repression in health promotion
- health promotion as enemy or ally of individual autonomy
- health promotion and imposing conceptions of ‘the good life’
- health promotion and paternalism
- the role of health promotion with regard to ‘medicalization’ and ‘healthism’
- health promotion and individual responsibility
- the use of marketing strategies in health campaigns
- the applicability of the achievements of biomedical ethics within the context of health promotion
- individual interests versus the common good
- any other topic that deals with the ethical aspects of health promotion

Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be emailed as a Word-document to Hans Donckers at Deadline for submission is March 1, 2007.

Keynote Speakers
NORMAN DANIELS, Harvard School of Public Health, USA
NANCY KASS, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, USA
MARCEL VERWEIJ, Ehics Institute, Utrecht University, NL
ANGUS DAWSON, Keele University, UK

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