Philosophy of Medicine, Bioethics, and Medical Humanities

My research examines ethical, philosophical, and socio-cultural aspects of the development and use of medical and care practices as well as public health research, from phenomenological, hermeneutical and empirically philosophical perspectives.  

 My research examines subjectivity and intersubjectivity in health care. I also investigate the role of embodiment for subjectivity and agency, how specific assumptions and norms about bodies can be and are expressed, transformed, strengthened or questioned in medicine, and what this means for patients and health care professionals. I study lived experiences of health, well-being, and illness; how the use of medical technologies can help shape self-perception and perception of one’s own or others’ bodies, and I engage with questions in medical ethics and public health ethics. This is for example the case in a 6-year research program on subjectivity, agency, and normativities with/in medical screening programs, for which I am the PI (funded by the Swedish Research Foundation). Within this program, we study the cases of early testing and screening for dementia, preconception adult carrier screening, and mental health questionnaires sent out to school-children in Sweden.

My research is situated within and contributes to medical humanities, philosophy of medicine, bioethics, empirical philosophy, and feminist theory. I also often engage with work within philosophical anthropology, medical sociology, or more recently, science and technology studies, and I find it fruitful to combine empirical research with philosophical analysis. As a result, much of my research has an interdisciplinary medical humanities character.

Body, Culture, Ethics

Previous research of mine has explored ethical, philosophical, and socio-cultural issues related to genetic testing, intersexuality, organ donation, egg donation, surrogate motherhood, aging/dementia, as well as different cultural and religious conceptions of death. To give some examples, I have been the PI of projects that have examined enacted norms about parenthood in medicine, parents’ experiences of donating a kidney to their child, and how norms about sexed embodiment can be expressed and enacted within specific medical practices and can help shape decisions about genital surgery when a child is born with intersex anatomy. My research has also examined how medical therapy, surgery and technology as well as experiences of pain and suffering can inform and form our ways of engaging with others and the world and our self-understandings. I have worked with ethical, philosophical and socio-cultural aspects of infertility, assisted reproduction, suffering, illness, and pleasure.

Past International Experiences/Research Stays (selection)

I have been Pro Futura Fellow at Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) and Visiting Fellow vid St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge (2014-2015), postdoc/intern at the World Health Organization, Geneva (Nov-Dec 2005), and Ethics Fellow at Cardiff University (2000-2001), as some examples. I have been responsible for the international research network Gender and Health (financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, 2009-2011), together with Ass. Prof. Anette Wickström and Dr Lisa Guntram, and part of the international Family Ethics Consortium (lead by Prof. Marian Verkerk, Groningen University).

Teaching experiences: Medical ethics, gender, and normativity studies

My teaching experience includes courses at undergraduate, master’s, and postgraduate levels within the areas of biomedical ethics, ethics, bioethics, gender studies and health, theoretical perspectives of humanistic and social science health research, and qualitative and philosophical methodology. I often teach on courses that have an interdisciplinary structure where issues or phenomena are studied from a variety of perspectives.

Most of the PhD candidates whom I have supervised, and who now have defended their theses have been working in the area of medical humanities and/or bioethics. I am currently primary supervisor for three PhD students, and co-supervisor for one PhD student. I have supervised around master theses, written in Swedish, English, and in a few cases, French or Spanish, mainly at the international master program Health and Society and at the Swedish Samhälle och Kulturanalysprogrammet (societal and cultural analyses).

Medical Humanities

Research in medical humanities and social sciences has taken place at Linköping University for long, and such research lays at the heart of the LiU Medical Humanities and Social Science Network. I am jointly leading this network, together with Ass. Prof. Anette Wickström and Prof. Ericka Johnson. The aim of the LiU Medical Humanities and Social Science network is to make visible and strengthen research in this field, and enable collaborations across the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

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