Center for Ethics
Disease: Representation, Research and Rights
The prevention and treatment of disease is a key area to which significant resources are devoted; it thus invites myriad ethical questions. How do we decide, for example, which diseases receive priority in funding for research and education? How do such factors as gender, race, sexual orientation, age, and disparities between rich and poor influence such decisions--and shape approaches to healing? Who, in fact, should carry the financial burden of researching, preventing, and treating disease? Do the policies and practices of pharmaceutical, insurance companies, hospitals, and other corporate entities tend to increase or alleviate disparities in who receives treatment or preventive care? How are people who suffer from disease viewed and treated by society? To what extent are they perceived as disabled? How do the media, academics, and artists represent disease, and to what extent do they have a responsibility to advocate for more ethical systems of research and treatment? Finally, what are the global implications of these issues?