Debating Bioethics and Making Secular France - A Presentation by Kimberly Arlin

  • Starts: 4:30 pm on Wednesday, October 10, 2018
  • Ends: 6:00 pm on Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Join us for a Works in Progress presentation by Prof. Kimberly Arkin. This talk explores the way some southern French caregivers discursively constructed what they considered a distinctively French bioethics. Caregivers built putative French ethical distinctiveness—whether positively or negatively valued—in relation to a caricature of ‘Anglo-Saxon’ individualism and transactionalism that allowed patients with sufficient resources to ‘choose’ medical options in a limitless marketplace. They argued against unfettered choice using a secular, folk psychological discourse that made patient demands look un-chosen and medical authority essential to the preservation of full human ‘dignity.’ This surprisingly consensual approach to medical ethics contradicts much of what anthropologists describe as the ‘secular’ ethos of contemporary Europe. Instead of freedom, individualism, and self-making, caregivers’ accounts of human flourishing were built on limits, medical authority, and patient heteronomy. The Works in Progress presentations are intended to foster interdisciplinary conversations among Europeanists at BU. Open to faculty, graduate students, and visiting researchers. RSVP to
Kimberly Arkin
Pardee School of Global Studies, 121 Bay State Road
1st floor
Contact Organization:
Center for the Study of Europe
Contact Name:
Elizabeth Amrien
Contact Phone:

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