Health Care Ethics with Studies in Views of Life


Research on health care ethics has been conducted at Marie Cederschiöld University since 1988. The research subject was developed in cooperation with the Ethics discipline at the Faculty of Theology at Uppsala University and Ersta vårdetiska institut (Ersta Institute of Health Care Ethics). Until 2003 Ersta vårdetiska institut was an independent unit within the non-profit welfare association Ersta diakonisällskap (now Ersta diakoni). Nowadays, health care ethics with studies in views of life is a separate research subject at the Department of Health Care Sciences at Marie Cederschiöld University.

Health Care Ethics and its place in society
Society is very interested in examining health care ethics issues. There are a number of reasons for this: advances in the field of medical devices mean people are faced with difficult new choices; the rights of patients have been strengthened, providing new material for discussions about ethical requirements and obligations; the demographic trend has resulted in an ageing population with ever increasing care needs, but also limited economic resources; priority discussions are becoming an increasingly common issue; consequently there is renewed interest in questions concerning professional ethics.

As a research subject, health care ethics with studies in views of life covers a broad spectrum of issues within the fields of medicine, health care and aspects of social work. Health care ethics may be viewed as an umbrella term for ethical aspects of all manner of human services.

The study of health care ethics includes both practical problems in everyday care and theoretical matters. Roughly speaking, the field of study includes issues within the following subareas:

  • key ethical concepts, for example, autonomy and integrity/privacy, dependence and independence, dignity, health and quality of life
  • the link between ethics and policy, for example, matters concerning fairness and priorities
  • matters concerning the relationship between ethical and legal standardisation
  • the relationship between the person requiring treatment, health care or care and the person providing it
  • matters concerning professional ethics within medicine, health care, care and social work.

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Last updated:
16 December 2021