Frankfurt/ Offenbach, Germany, 21 – 24 AUGUST 2024

Medicine, healthcare, and the market

Call for Abstracts (closed)  


36th European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine & Health Care

This conference is organized by the European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Healthcare, the charitable Ketteler Hospital, Offenbach (Teaching Hospital of Frankfurt University Medical School), and the Senckenberg Institute of History and Ethics in Medicine, Frankfurt University Medical School.

The intersection of medicine, healthcare, and the market brings forth a plethora of philosophical and ethical issues that provoke a re-evaluation of prevailing healthcare systems and market practices, urging consideration of alternative models that might better serve the common good while still fostering innovation and efficiency. Abstracts addressing any of the issues mentioned below will be favored, although work on other topics can also be submitted.

Main Topics of the Upcoming Conference

Regulations and Oversight

  • Balancing innovation with public safety and ethical practices
  • Role of government and regulatory bodies
  • Design of regulatory frameworks promoting ethical practices
  • Accountability and enforcement mechanisms

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

  • Impact of patent laws on generic drug availability
  • Balancing innovation incentives with affordable medication access
  • Ethical implications of strict IPR regimes on global health
  • Access to essential medicines in low and middle-income countries

Consumerism and Health

  • Consumer-driven healthcare and its implications for health outcomes
  • Influence of consumer culture on health behaviors
  • Ethical concerns in marketing and advertising of medical products
  • Patient empowerment versus medical paternalism

Resource Allocation and Priority-Setting

  • Ethical considerations in healthcare budget allocations
  • Allocation of scarce healthcare resources
  • Ethical frameworks for priority-setting in market-based systems
  • Distributive justice and healthcare rationing

Cost of Innovation

  • Economic sustainability of healthcare innovation
  • Balancing costs and benefits
  • Pricing of life-saving or life-enhancing medications
  • Ethical pricing models for pharmaceuticals

Commodification of Health

  • Ethical implications of healthcare as a traded commodity
  • Impact on physician-patient relationship
  • Ethos of medical practice
  • Moral limits of markets in healthcare

Access and Equity

  • Universal healthcare versus market-based healthcare systems
  • Equitable access in market-driven healthcare systems
  • Disparities in healthcare access and outcomes
  • Intersection of socio-economic factors with healthcare access

Profit Motive and Patient Welfare

  • Corporate ethics in pharmaceutical and healthcare industries
  • Alignment or conflict with promoting patient welfare
  • Influence on medical research and clinical decision-making
  • Profit-driven healthcare and quality of care

Transparency and Informed Consent

  • Ethical advertising and marketing practices in healthcare
  • Pricing transparency
  • Ensuring informed consent amidst financial incentives
  • Disclosure of conflicts of interest

Global Health Capitalism

  • Global healthcare equity and international collaborations
  • Impact of global market forces on healthcare access
  • Responsibilities of multinational corporations and wealthy nations
  • International trade agreements and healthcare

Anyone wishing to present a paper at the conference should submit an abstract in Word format (500 words maximum) before March 1, 2024. The Conference Programme Committee will select abstracts for oral presentation. Please send abstracts by e-mail to Professor Bert Gordijn, Secretary of the espmh, Institute of Ethics, Dublin City University, Ireland: