Samuel Kerstein: Dignity and Disability

sam2Philosophy, Humanities Forum
Wednesday, April 9 | 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

The annual Barker Lecture is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and co-sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Samuel Kerstein (Ph.D., Columbia University) is professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research focuses on Kants moral philosophy, normative ethics, and bioethics. Several of his current projects stem from his book How to Treat Persons (Oxford, 2013). For example, he is developing a Kantian conception of the dignity of persons and exploring its implications for issues in bioethics, including the fair distribution of scarce, life-saving resources and moral constraints on medical research.

When we allocate scarce life-saving resources such as organs for transplant, we determine who will live and who will die. This lecture aims to help determine just what ethical constraints should guide the allocation of resources. Some ethicists and policy makers claim that we should give treatment to someone who would return to full health after treatment rather than another who would be disabled. Professor Kerstein sets out reasons for rejecting this claim and considers whether it is consistent with a principle of respect for the dignity of persons.

Admission is free.

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