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Human Genomics and Medical Technology

Advanced European bioethics course ‘Human Genomics and Medical Technology, ethical opportunities and threats’, March 11 - 14, 2014

Course Profile and Objectives

Advanced European bioethics course 'Human Genomics and Medical Technology' is organized yearly by the section of Medical Ethics.

The lives of contemporary men and women are entangled with technology. Looking around in our human-made environment, it is clear that we no longer primarily live in a biotope, but in a technotope. If science and technology only brought gifts, perhaps this wouldn't be a problem. But we have learned that these gifts can and often do have a flip side.

As a result, the naively cornucopian conception of science and technology has gradually lost credibility: the ambiguous effects of technology call for a more discriminating attitude. Are there ways to take into consideration this ambiguity?

In this course we aim to find answers to the following questions: What actual ethical issues are connected with the use of new biotechnologies? How do ethical issues germinate within medical research? What are the consequences of innovative biotechnology for both clinical practice and the health care system? How are concepts of humanity, responsibility and human dignity re-evaluated and how do they change due to changing biotechnologies? What are the basic philosophical insights into human-technology relations that lie at the core of these ethical issues?

Course Subjects and Methods

During the lectures basic philosophical and ethical concepts related to research and to the impact of new technologies on an individual and a societal level will be introduced. There will be ample time for questions and debate. Small group discussions and working groups are devoted to in-depth discussions of different cases and particular contemporary issues in the area of human genetics and medical technologies.

Members of the staff are, among others, Evert van Leeuwen, professor of medical ethics in Nijmegen; Ineke van der Burgt MD, PhD, Clinical Geneticist, Nijmegen; Joris Veltman PhD, Associate professor Genomic Disorders, Nijmegen; Gert-Jan van der Wilt PhD, Professor Health Technology Assessment Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Health Technology Assessment, Nijmegen; Lidewij Henneman, PhD Senior Researcher, associate professor, Clinical Genetics, Community Genetics, Amsterdam; Gert-Jan van Ommen PhD, professor of Genetics, Leiden.

Prof. Michael Parker, professor of Bioethics and Director of the Ethox Centre, Universiteit van Oxford has been invited to present the keynote lecture.


This course is designed with participant from various backgrounds in mind: researchers working in the field of human genetics, biomedical sciences, life sciences, genetics and biology and physicians doing research that has a genetic component, professionals from other areas in healthcare such as physicians and nurses who specialize in clinical genetics, oncology, rheumatology, internal medicine, health care administrators, bioethics committee members, professionals working in the pharmaceutical industry, professionals in the areas of ethics, philosophy and theology, and PhD students undertaking courses of study in any of these areas.

Programme overview

For a complete overview of the programme, click here. More information will be made available shortly.


Costs: € 790. There is a discount of € 100 for early registration (before 15-1-2014).

Registration is possible through this link.

Contact: Simone Naber. E-mail: s.naber@iq.umcn.nl


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