Big Data for NCD risk factor surveillance: how can we use existing data sources to better inform our decision making and to monitor and evaluate NCD policy actions?
Prince Mahidol Award Conference 2019, Side Meeting
30 January 2019, Bangkok, Thailand
Organiser: World Health Organization (WHO)
Non-Communicable Diseases; Data Ethics; Public Health
Discipline(s) – Public Health; Bioethics
In this paper we are concerned with how restrictions of parental rights are assessed, understood and justified in state interventions, specifically in child protection removals of newborns. In most states it is the courts or court-like bodies that have the authority to make decisions about such restriction of parental rights, and our data material for the analysis is the written judgements that justified that an intervention is considered necessary or not. Our aim is to understand the actual reasoning and justification of a child protection intervention that concerns the best interests of a newborn baby, and especially we focus our analysis to the courts considerations of parental capacities. Our study contributes to the discussions about the legitimacy of state interventions, as well as improve our understanding of the principle of the child’s best interests and how it is balanced against parental rights.
2-5 October 2018, Porto, Portugal
Organiser: European Scientific Association on Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents
Child Protection; Child Welfare; Social Work; Family Care
Discipline(s) – Social Work, Child Care
Pediatric Neuro-Enhancement – Interdisciplinary Research Week
Ethical, Social and Legal Questions in Comparison between North America and Germany
7-11 March 2016, Osnabrück / Germany
Conference Organiser: Universität Osnabrück, with support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research
“In terms of human functioning, an enhancement is by definition an improvement on what went before. If it wasn’t good for you, it wouldn’t be enhancement.” – John Harris, p. 9 (Enhancing Evolution).
This quote encapsulates a pretty common assumption about enhancements – not only the definitional element of the first half, but also the arguably more normative claim at the end ‘if it wasn’t good for you, it wouldn’t be enhancement.’ It is of course reasonable to assume then that enhancements are, not only good things generally, but are also good things for the people who undergo them; that they are good for the enhanced individual. However, Jen has argued, and Sarah has explored, the fact that that this can’t always be said to be the case.
Jen has argued that cognitive enhancement is not something that is an inherently good thing to bestow on young children, and that this can be demonstrated clearly in the way that we deal with gifted children in our society today, and could even lead to unforeseen consequences such as a new kind of disability. Meanwhile Sarah has explored the idea that moral enhancement (for all its conceptual issues) is something that does not directly benefit the enhanced individual, and that efforts to offer someone a reason to undergo such an intervention are likely to fall flat. Today, they discuss their research.
“Reflections on Bioethics and Law – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”
Centre for Social Ethics and Policy, School of Law, The University of Manchester / UK
4 November 2016
Despite the welfare of the child being the ‘paramount consideration’, it appears that the law is currently not objective in its application to children. There is an undeniable link between healthy child development and education, with the latter greatly impacting on mental health and general well-being. Drawing on the example of the differential treatment of gifted children in an educational context, I argue that the legal framework with regard to learning disabilities and cognitive impairments operates contrary to the proclaimed goal of protecting and promoting the welfare of the child. This, I argue, constitutes unjustified discrimination, especially since there is a case to be made that highly cognitively able children could be considered disabled under a social model of disability. Whilst the group of affected children is small at present, developments in cognitive enhancement technologies mean that many more children might in the future be discriminated against. In addition, since the most promising cognitive enhancement interventions involve genetic technologies, such as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, authorisation from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority will likely be required. This means the state will be acting as a facilitator in ‘creating’ cognitively enhanced children, and as a result shares in the responsibility for such children and their particular welfare needs. Given the current treatment of gifted children in our educational and welfare system and the similarities to cognitively enhanced children, it is time to start regulating for the future.
Human Enhancement and the Law: Regulating for the Future
7-8 January 2016
St. Anne’s College, Oxford / UK
Conference Organiser: The NeuroLaw Project, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Assuming that the purported goal of much legislation as well as ethical argument is the protection of the welfare of children, I challenge some of the conceptions which currently inform the cognitive enhancement debate. Using an example from English education law, I demonstrate that there are gaps in the debate which need to be addressed if we are to continue attempts to increase children’s cognitive abilities, whether by pharmacological, genetic, or other means. Addressing a problematic asymmetry in interpreting what is good for children, I suggest that we ought to look for alternative interpretive concepts, such as offered by the concept “DiffAbility” and the idea of neurodiversity. This should lead to actual enhanced well-being of children independt from notions of normality and/or disability, rather than an enhancement only of abilities.
14-17 June 2016, Edinburgh, Scotland
Organiser: International Association of Bioethics
Cognitive Enhancement; Welfare of the Child; Social; Model of Disability; Giftedness Studies; Child Development
Discipline(s) – Public Health, Ethics and Law
Enhancing Understanding of Enhancement
27-28 October 2015, Belgrade, Serbia
Conference Organisers: The Center for the Study of Bioethics & The Hastings Center
Wir werden immer älter und bleiben dabei im Durchschnitt sogar gesünder. Große medizinische und technologische Fortschritte ermöglichen einen stetigen Anstieg der durschnittlichen Lebenserwartung und einige ambitionierte Biogerontologen sprechen sogar von der Möglichkeit der Unsterblichkeit, die mehr oder weniger greifbar zu sein scheint.
Aber nicht alles was machbar ist, ist auch erstrebenswert. Besonders die potenziellen gesellschaftspolitischen Konsequenzen stellen uns vor eine Herausforderung und erfordern eine gezielte ethische Betrachtung. Einem Recht auf gesundes und langes Leben stehen Forderungen nach globaler Gerechtigkeit und einer Gesamtnutzenbetrachtung gegenüber. Und schließlich stellt sich auch die Frage, in wie weit aus individueller Sicht ein deutlich verlängertes Leben wünschenswert ist.
3-7 October 2012, Würzburg / Germany
MinD-Akademie – (R)Evolutionen