Workshop: Medical Humanities and Ageing, 10/12/2014

cc by-sa 2.0

Aged (by Chedder cc by-sa 2.0)

An initiative of the CHCI Medical Humanities Network Program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI)

Date: Wednesday 10th December 2014

Location: K0.31 (Small Committee Room), King’s Building, King’s College London, Strand Campus, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

The Centre for the Humanities and Health, King’s College London, would like to invite you to our first workshop on medical humanities and ageing. We are one of the six CHCI member centres and institutes working on a project to further the development of medical humanities as a subject of study: each partnering centre conducts specific research on ageing, undergirded by collaborative reflection on issues of evidence, value, and evaluation.


10:00 – 10.30: Welcome

10:30 – 11:30: Panel: Fragile Persons

Dr Lucy Burke, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Martina Zimmerman, King’s College London

11:30 – 12:00: Coffee break

12:00 – 13:00: Panel: Old Age and Community Networks

Professor Pat Thane, King’s College London

Dr Hannah Zeilig, University of the Arts, London

13:00 – 13:30: Concluding remarks

Seating is limited, so if you would like to attend, please contact Dr Maria Vaccarella ( by Monday 1st December 2014 

New publication: Elselijn Kingma & Natalie Banner “Liberating Practice from Philosophy”

Former post-doctoral fellows at the Centre for the Humanities and Health, Dr Elselijn Kingma and Dr Natalie Banner have recently re-considered the philosophical core of values-based medical practice in their chapter “Liberating practice from philosophy: a critical examination of values-based practice and its underpinnings,” in Dr Michael Loughlin (ed. by), Debates in Values-Based Practice. Arguments For and Against, Cambridge University Press (Oct. 2014).

As they explain in the introduction to their investigation,

Values Based Practice (VBP) has been developed and promoted by Bill Fulford over the past 20 years. In this chapter we investigate the relationship between the practical, skill-based aspects of VBP and its supposed philosophical basis. Firstly, we argue that the practical, skills-based and educational aspects of VBP do not require the philosophical underpinnings and commitments that Fulford packages them with. Instead, most of the practical aspects of VBP are compatible with a wide range of positions on philosophical methodology and a wide range of substantive philosophical claims. Secondly we argue – drawing upon a range of published objections, adding some of our own – that there are severe problems with the philosophical claims Fulford commits to. Thirdly, we point out that these philosophical commitments do not in fact derive from OLP at all, which plays a much smaller role in VBP than Fulford claims. We conclude that most of the practical, skills-based and educational aspects of VBP – which seem, as far as we can judge, laudable – can be retained, but that their association with a supposed philosophical basis is disingenuous, misleading, and should be dropped.

Debates in Values-Based Practice is structured as a dialogic volume, so this and other chapters complement Prof. Bill Fulford‘s own account of values-based practice. The collection, which also includes his responses to the contributors’ commentaries, looks like a very rich, thought-provoking text for anyone interested in healthcare provision.

Drawing the line between identifiable and anonymised health data: dilemmas for a conscientious public servant

Please attend the CPPR Seminar tomorrow!

Dr Malcolm Oswald (University of Manchester)m will talk about “Drawing the line between identifiable and anonymised health data: dilemmas for a conscientious public servant”

5th February 2014
LG11 Franklin Wlikins Building, Waterloo Bridge Wing

Researchers, commissioners, pharmaceutical companies, even the Prime Minister, want to use the “big data” within heath records for public and private good. However, the law tells us to draw a line between anonymised data which can be used for “secondary purposes” like research and commissioning, and identifiable data, which should be protected.
But where should the line be drawn? The law provides relatively little guidance. The truth is that almost all useful datasets, and any datasets for “big data” processing, fall somewhere between these two extremes. But what does that mean for policy? If “anonymised data” almost inevitably carries some small risk of identifying patients, should the public be asked for consent before anonymised data are processed? If so, how is the population to be informed and asked? Should resources be spent on such a communication campaign rather than patient care? What is a conscientious public official to do?

All Welcome, tea, coffee and sandwiches provided!

5th February 2014
LG11 Franklin Wlikins Building, Waterloo Bridge Wing