Center for Ethics

Disease: Representation, Research and Rights

Center for EthicsSchedule of Events | Library Resources

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?