The Centre for Medical Humanities and Bioethics (CMHB) is a new research centre that opened at Linköping University in 2020. The centre is a meeting place for researchers with backgrounds in the humanities, social sciences and medicine. It is hoped that the centre will promote such aspects as the relational and cultural dimensions of medicine and care.
The CMHB was opened by Vice-Chancellor Jan-Ingvar Jönsson on 1 October 2020. Researchers from several specialities met in a dialogue around the opportunities and challenges facing the medical humanities and bioethics, and around the covid-19 pandemic. Two of the topics discussed were the medical humanities and digitalisation, and how various groups in the population have been differently affected by covid-19.
– It was intended that the opening should stimulate discussions around medical humanities and bioethics, and it was clear at the time that the ongoing pandemic was a challenge that must be addressed. Important perspectives were identified, such as how patients and healthcare personnel had experienced the acute situation during the spring of 2020, and the care and treatment given. Ethical questions aroused during the pandemic were also on the table, says Professor Kristin Zeiler, director of the CMHB.
Research into setting priorities in the healthcare system, norms and self-determination is becoming increasingly important as the medical care system is facing new challenges.
Those working in the medical humanities regard healthcare and medicine as cultural phenomena, and they study medicine, health and disease from historical, ethical, philosophical, cultural and social perspectives.
– Research into setting priorities in the healthcare system, norms and self-determination is becoming increasingly important as the medical care system is facing new challenges, says Lisa Guntram, senior lecturer and coordinator at CMHB.
During the opening celebrations on 1 October, three international guests discussed the challenges and opportunities within the medical humanities and bioethics. The discussions involved Professor Corinne Saunders from Durham University in the UK, Professor Klaus Høyer from the University of Copenhagen, and Professor Bjørn Hofmann from NTNU and the University of Oslo.
The round-table discussion centred on covid-19 and included three researchers from Linköping University: Anna Bredström, senior lecturer in the Division of Migration, Ethnicity and Society, Lauren E. La Fauci, research fellow in the Department of Thematic Studies – Gender Studies, and Professor Lars Sandman, from the Division of Society and Health.
The Centre for Medical Humanities and Bioethics is financed jointly by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and LiU’s vice-chancellor.