Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO

Should medical science alone decide what is good for society?

The first week of the PhD course 'CCBIO903: Cancer research: Ethical, economic and social aspects' was held from the 19th to the 22nd January.

Professor Cairns pointing at the screen during teaching at CCBIO course CCBIO903.
Professor John Cairns is very dedicated in his teaching!
Roger Strand

Main content

This course was led by a teaching team consisting of three people: John Cairns, Professor in health economics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor Roger Strand and post-doctor Anne Blanchard, both at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities in Bergen. All three are affiliated to the CCBIO.

Raising important questions

Over this first week, the following questions were discussed: How to model economic decisions to help choose between two drugs? How to economically evaluate changes between health states? Should medical science alone decide what is good for society, and what society needs? Which ethical theories are guiding us when we face dilemmas in medical practice? Why are the funds for cancer research increasing every year: is it because of hope or despair?

Committed students

Seventeen well-prepared PhD candidates and students from the Forskerlinje programme took part in the course. The depth of the discussions was very impressive, and led to rich interactions. Both participants and lecturers learned a lot from the process, and we are all looking forward to the next week in February!