|Register Now for the 7th Annual Program in Ethics and Health Conference|
Topic: Identified vs. Statistical Lives - Ethics and Public Policy
Thursday, April 19, 2012
The Inn at Longwood
Friday, April 20, 2012
The Sheraton Commander
Decision makers and the public tend to feel more strongly obligated to assist "identified" people at risk than to assist "statistical" ones. As an illustration, when a group of Chilean miners was stranded following a 2010 mine accident, the rescue mission garnered worldwide support and millions of dollars, but the public had not felt a similar need to invest in mine safety measures that would save more statistical lives. What factors trigger or explain this difference in attitude and behavior? How is it manifest when we think about global health problems, such as treatment and prevention (and "treatment as prevention") for HIV/AIDS? Do institutions, such as the law enhance it? Is there any ethical justification for this bias, for example, as a matter of obligation toward each and every individual? Is it, alternatively, a moral error, rooted in well-known cognitive biases? These interdisciplinary issues will be explored at this conference, which will be held in two venues - in the Longwood area and Cambridge - signaling the cross-cutting importance of this topic to all segments of the academic community.
For the Conference Agenda, click here.
Harvard Global Health Institute
The Harvard University Program in Ethics and Health
HSPH Center for Health Decision Science
The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at HLS
Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics