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Jul
21
Tue
Future Health and New Technologies: Opportunities and Responsibilities Conference @ Keble College, University of Oxford
Jul 21 – Jul 23 all-day

The HELEX Centre 2020 conference will bring together scholars interested in exploring the ethical, legal and social implications of technological innovation in biomedical research and healthcare across the world.  Within an interactive conference programme, we will consider the future of healthcare delivery and the responsibilities for different actors within this context, addressing questions such as:

  • What are the challenges for socially responsible research and innovation raised by new technologies and how might these be resolved?
  • To what extent are current frameworks for accountability being challenged by institutional and organisational changes?
  • What new roles are emerging for clinicians, researchers, companies and regulators?
  • When are we considered ‘patients’, ‘consumers’ or ‘research participants’ in this new context?
  • How do systems of governance affect the success or failure of new technologies?
  • Will new technologies enable us to have a just and inclusive healthcare system, or will they lead to further inequalities?

 

Aug
26
Wed
34th European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care – Diversity and Bioethics
Aug 26 – Aug 29 all-day

This conference will be organized by the European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Healthcare (espmh), the Center for Bioethics & Biolaw at the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw, as well as the Bioethics Committee at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Science. The conference will focus on challenges posed by moral, religious and cultural diversity to healthcare, the life sciences and bioethics. Abstracts addressing any of the issues mentioned in the headings below from a philosophical and/or ethical perspective will be favored, although work on other topics can also be submitted.

Basic concepts

  • Diversity and pluralism
  • Relativism, objectivism and universalism
  • Moral disagreement
  • Moral compromise
  • Tolerance
  • Deliberation

Conflicts between the patient’ rights and wishes & the health practitioner’s rights and duties

  • Wish fulfilling medicine (non-medical interventions)
  • Right-to-try and compassionate use
  • Alternative medicine
  • Conscientious objection in medicine

Bioethics in democratic and/or autocratic societies

  • Bioethics and democratic values
  • Deliberative processes in bioethics
  • Moral expertise and moral experts
  • Ethics/bioethics committees
  • Moral education in a democratic society
  • Participatory medicine
  • Citizen science

Facing diversity

  • Moral pluralism and the value of human life & death
  • Cultural diversity and concepts of health, disease, and illness
  • New reproductive technologies and diverse accounts of parenthood
  • Diversity (cultural, social, ethnic, gender) and justice in healthcare
  • Methods of resolving moral disagreements

Global bioethics

  • Challenges of multiculturalism
  • Theories of global bioethics
  • Global bioethics and human rights
  • Global health problems, research, practice, and policy
  • International cooperation for health

Emerging ICT in healthcare

  • E-medicine / e-health
  • Wearables in healthcare
  • Big data on health and data mining
  • Public health surveillance technologies
  • Artificial intelligence and robotics

Anyone wishing to present a paper at the conference should submit an abstract in Word format (500 words maximum) before March 1, 2020. The Conference Programme Committee will select abstracts for oral presentation. Please send abstracts by e-mail to: Professor Bert Gordijn, Secretary of the espmh, Institute of Ethics, Dublin City University, Ireland: bert.gordijn@dcu.ie

 

Sep
9
Wed
CFP Mancept Workshops – Smart Devices: Software, User Agreements and Ownership Rights @ University of Manchester
Sep 9 – Sep 11 all-day

CFP Mancept Workshops – Smart Devices: Software, User Agreements and Ownership Rights

Usually, when an owner purchases an object, they acquire all rights the owner had over the property (Thomas, 2014, p. 30), which in the case of most consumer goods include the rights to possess, use, and dispose of their newly acquired property. Although these rights are not absolute (e.g. I can’t use a hammer I own to assault people with, drive a car I own on public roads unless I tax it, insure it and have a licence to do so or sell alcohol I have legally bought to children), owners possess wide ranging and open-ended rights to use their property and exclude others from doing so.
When it comes to smart devices, however, this is not always the case. Manufacturers of smart devices constrain purchaser’s rights to use their property as they see fit by retaining intellectual property rights over the software, binding owners with user agreements (Thomas, 2018, p. 240), and using technical measures to prevent owners circumventing clauses in agreements.
Firstly, although the individual is the owner of the hardware, they only have a licence to use the software in ways compatible with the limits outlined in the user agreement. As a consequence individuals cannot access and/or modify the code on their devices, meaning that home innovators can’t enhance their functionality (Torrance and von Hippel, 2015) or learn how their device work to know how to repair them.
Secondly, many smart devices are dependent on updates to the software to ensure correct functioning. This gives manufacturers of these devices the power to render them useless or vulnerable to cyber-attack by discontinuing updates; thus diminishing the value of people’s property. For example, Sonos, the speaker manufacturer, recently announced it was withdrawing updates from some of its older models, potentially rendering them useless in the future (Kleinman, 2020).
Thirdly, manufacturers of smart devices use both user agreements and technical solutions to preclude people from repairing devices themselves or using third party repair services, tying them in to more costly, official, repair services. John Deere, the farming equipment manufacturer, has installed software on their newer models of tractors which make ‘unauthorised’ repair by local mechanics impossible (Koebler, 2017).
In short, user agreements allow manufacturers to significantly limit people’s right to use the devices they own. As smart devices permeate more and more industries what rights we should have over them will become an increasingly pressing concern (Thomas 2018 p. 242, Perzanowski and Schultz 2016).
The aim of this workshop is to inquire into whether limitations on people’s ownership rights over smart devices are morally permissible or not. We invite contributions addressing questions including, but not limited to:

• If these prohibitions are permissible, what the reasons are for upholding these limitations on use? Are some ways of enforcing them permissible and others not?

• What are the benefits of moving away from a sale/ownership model towards a licensing model for technology? Are there ways of achieving these goals without limiting user’s rights?

• If these limitations are impermissible, why are they impermissible? What can be done to address the situation?

• Is property the best framework for addressing these issues? Are there other ways of protecting people’s rights to use objects?

• Is the problem with user agreements that users are unlikely to have given genuine informed consent to them?

• Should users be granted greater access to the code their device runs? If so, why and under what conditions?

• Is the case for granting users greater rights over their devices stronger for some types of devices (e.g. medical devices, security devices, life-saving devices) than others (e.g. smartphones)?

• Are limitations on use more worrying for attached and implanted devices than for devices we interact with less?

• Is it permissible for manufacturers to cease to offer updates? If so, when?

• Should users be granted a ‘right to repair’ smart devices? If so, what would a right to repair entail?

Contributions can be from a range of disciplines which address questions of ownership and technology including: political philosophy, philosophy of technology, bioethics, legal theory, law, socio-legal studies, regulatory theory, policy studies, political science, and political economy.

Please send abstracts of up to 500 words, blinded for peer review, to j.t.f.roberts@bham.ac.uk by the 29th of May 2020.