November 5, 2018 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Screening Room (G04), 50 George Square, Edinburgh

We will hold our MI Winter Lecture, with a lecture from  Sridhar Venkatapuram, Senior Lecturer in Global Health & Philosophy at King’s College London, UK. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.

Talk Title: ‘Global Health and Equity 2.0.’

In 2015, in a world that is now lost, world governments agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 which were said to be underpinned by fundamental principles of interdependence, universality, and solidarity.  And, more recently and particularly at the World Health Organization, there is a frequent assertion of ‘leave no-one behind.’  But what does or could this ethical exhortation mean?  In this lecture, I discuss how global health actors are being pushed to achieving ambitious overall targets on the one hand, and on the other hand, ensure the worst off also benefit.  Achieving only one or neither would be seen as ethical failure.  Discussing some examples such as Universal Health Coverage, m-health in LMICs, and population ageing, I will show how different health policies informed by ethical approaches such as utilitarianism, rights, fair procedures, and sufficientarianism would aim to achieve the twin-goals.  After showing how each of them is inadequate in achieving the twin goals, I will then argue that the two goals are actually part of a larger number of dimensions we value about health.  Which dimensions to achieve and to what extent, will have to be determined by rigorous ethical reasoning, which includes public deliberation.

Biography of Sridhar Venkatapuram:

Sridhar Venkatapuram has trained in various disciplines including international relations (Brown), public/global health (Harvard), sociology (Cambridge) and political philosophy (Cambridge).  He ‘tries’ to bridge normative ethical reasoning, particularly about social justice, with relevant natural and social sciences related to human health.  Some topics Sridhar has addressed include the philosophy of the human right to health, health inequalities, global health justice, and global/social determinants of disease and mortality.  He is currently a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow working in the Global Health Ethics Unit of the World Health Organization helping develop ethical guidance for healthy ageing policies.  His first book is Health Justice, an argument from the capabilities approach (Polity).


MI Winter Lecture