January Workshop: Particularism and Personalised Medicine

Poster (January workshop)

Call For Registration

Workshop: Particularism and Personalised Medicine
Manchester Metropolitan University, 7-8 January 2015
Venue: New Business School, G.33 Lecture Theatre 4, MMU All Saints Campus
Organiser: Dr Anna Bergqvist, a.bergqvist@mmu.ac.uk

Dr Anna Bergqvist, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Dr Phil Hutchinson, Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire. (Replacing Dr Anne Raustøl of Diakonhjemmet University College who has had to cancel due to illness.)


Professor Per Nortvedt, University of Oslo.

Dr Benedict Smith, Durham University

Professor Tim Thornton, University of Central Lancashire.

Dr Anna Zielinska, Sorbonne/Max Planck Institute.

Project Outline
This two-day workshop builds on our previous networking workshop on the topic Particularism in Bioethics, Professional Ethics and Medicine at MMU in Manchester (June 2014). Our focus this time is Particularism and Personalised Medicine, focussing on conceptual issues and different research strategies for incorporating “personalised care” in public health care provision in Europe with a view to effect a comparative study of the prospects for applied particularism in the different national locations.

Traditionally conceived, the core of professional ethics and medical epistemology consists of impartial and universal ethical principles, e.g., non-maleficence and respect for autonomy. These principles are supposed to apply to all moral agents. But patients, health care professionals and clinical settings differ in many and in crucial respects. One problem of the principled approach is to how to account for the ways in which impartial and universal principles are supposed to be sensitive contextual parameters such individual attitudes, cultural aspects and situational differences.
Moral particularism is a philosophical tradition that is well equipped to make sense of how health care can be personalised in a context sensitive way. According to particularists, moral thought and judgement neither need nor should be principle-based but rather requires the exercise of discernment in a case-by-case basis. It is high time to move this theoretical debate into a wider, more practical context.

After long having been neglected, the possibility of applied moral particularism is once again being given serious consideration. For instance, there has been a strong emphasis on partiality and the development of personal relationships in the field of bioethics and professional ethics. Elsewhere in clinical medicine, there has been a renewed interest in the methodology of narrative medicine, personalised (or precision) models of medicine and value based practice. Nationally in the UK, in view of the Francis Report and the Secretary of State for Health’s initial response to the crisis in the Mid-Staffordshire Trust, the language of discernment, compassion, engagement and context which drives and motivates the distinctive particularist approach is becoming increasingly important as a focus for debates over the moral and vocational nature of health care and nursing ethics.

The workshop will bring together emerging and established scholars who have made notable contributions to the reception of moral particularism in applied philosophy and the health care profession.

The workshop also serves as the inaugural workshop of the international research consortium Particularism in Bioethics, Professional Ethics and Medicine, directed by Anna Bergqvist, ccomprising Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), Durham University (UK), Uppsala University (Sweden), University of Oslo and Diakonhjemmet University College (Norway), Tilburg University (The Netherlands), CERSES Paris 1 Sorbonne (France). More information about the project can be found here:

Workshop Schedule
Wednesday 7th January 2015

9.30 – 10.00 Welcome and Registration

10.00 – 11.30 Anna Bergqvist (MMU): ‘Narrative Understanding, Value and Perspective: A Particularist Response to Fulford’

11.30 – 11.45 Tea and Coffee

11.45 – 13.15 Benedict Smith (Durham): ‘Particularism and Persons’

13.15 – 14.45 Lunch

14.45 – 16.15 Tim Thornton (UCLan): ‘Tacit Knowledge, Phronesis and Particularism’A

16.15 – 16.30 Tea and Coffee

16.30 – 18.00 Phil Hutchinson (MMU Cheshire): ‘Meaning, Medicine and Persons’

19.00 Dinner at Kro Bar (at self cost), 325 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PG

Thursday 8th January 2015

10.00 – 11.30 Anna Zielinska (Sorbonne/Max Planck Institute) ‘Holism Without Principles: Decision Making in Ethics Committees in France, Germany and the UK’

11.30 – 11.45 Tea and Coffee

11.45 – 13.15 Per Nortvedt (Oslo, UiO): ‘Partiality, Particularism and Justice’

13.15 – 14.30 Lunch and Roundtable Discussion

14.30 – 17.00 General meeting and networking activities of the consortium Particularism in Bioethics, Professional Ethics and Medicine.

17.00 Workshop Close

Financial Support
The organisers gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Wellcome Trust and Manchester Metropolitan University Research and Knowledge Exchange.

Workshop Registration
Attendance is free and open to all. Registration by email to Dr Anna Bergqvist.

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One Response to January Workshop: Particularism and Personalised Medicine

  1. Pingback: Wellcome Trust Workshop on Personalised Medicine 7-8 January 2015 | MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

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