Ethics Committee Webinar Series – Moral Uncertainty – Lessons from Covid-19
Thursday, 27 October 2022 – 12.00noon – 1.00pm
This webinar will consider moral uncertainty by exploring how different theories apply to a single clinical case. Moral uncertainty is defined as ‘the question of what to do when we do not know what (morally) to do”—using a case study of her own mother’s deterioration and death from Covid-19, Professor Greenhalgh will identify and apply a number of philosophical theories relevant to managing moral uncertainty, including utilitarianism, deontology, practical rationality and feminist philosophy. She will conclude that different moral theories lead to different conclusions about the best course of action in situations of moral uncertainty and that the study of a single case can provide insights into how to act in morally complex situations.
Trish Greenhalgh is Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences and Fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford. She leads a programme of research at the interface between the social sciences and medicine, working across primary and secondary care. Her work seeks to celebrate and retain the traditional and the humanistic aspects of medicine and healthcare while also embracing the exceptional opportunities of contemporary science and technology to improve health outcomes and relieve suffering. Three particular interests are the health needs and illness narratives of minority and disadvantaged groups; the introduction of technology-based innovations in healthcare; and the complex links (philosophical and empirical) between research, policy and practice.