The Bioethics of Loneliness
- 29 Nov 2022
- Face to face at CEC 1002, HKBU + Zoom Meeting, link will be informed through email
- Dr. Zohar Lederman, MD, PhD. , Postdoc Fellow at the Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit, The University of Hong Kong
- Dr. Levi Checketts, Assistant Professor, Department of Religion and Philosophy, Hong Kong Baptist University
About the Speaker:
Zohar is an emergency medicine physician in Israel. He received his PhD in bioethics from the National University of Singapore and he is currently a postdoc fellow at the Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit, The University of Hong Kong. His research spans public health ethics, One Health ethics, clinical ethics, and the biopolitics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Loneliness was extremely common worldwide even prior to Covid, and was a major public health issue because of its deleterious health effects. Covid made it worse, and empirical data suggest it is even more common now. Question is- what should we do about it, and why.
In this talk, I will argue that the answer to ‘why’ is a human right not to be lonely. This right stems from our right to health, given loneliness’ adverse effects on human health, and it thus being a negative social determinant of health. This right more fundamentally stems from us being essentially social creatures. If compelling, loneliness then becomes a normative term, with implications spanning several issues, including human enhancement, distributive justice, and pandemic preparedness.