Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
OnderwijsUniversity of Groningen Summer SchoolsWhat about the Family?


Marian Verkerk

Marian Verkerk , PhD is Professor of Care Ethics at the University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen. Marian Verkerk studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University. In 1985 she obtained her doctorate thesis on Ethics and Welfare Policy at the University of Utrecht.

She stands for practically oriented ethics, developed from the bottom-up and from inside-out; which are in connection with the practice-based experiences of people. Ethical issues in the field of palliative and chronic care, but also in the field of care and technology have her specific interest.

Besides research, Mrs. Verkerk is also interested in the way humans have 'moral conversations' together. In recent years, the development of methods in this area had her special attention. Especially dialogical methods, which further reflection and responsibility

Dr Ainsley Newson is Associate Professor of Bioethics at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the ethical aspects of emerging genetic, genomic and reproductive technologies and how they are implemented into practice. Ainsley’s primary methodology is theoretical bioethics, but she also works with qualitative and quantitative researchers. She holds multi-disciplinary qualifications, with a PhD in Bioethics from the University of Melbourne and Bachelor degrees with honours in Science (majoring in human genetics) and Law. She has published over 80 refereed papers and book chapters and has received grant funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia), the Australian Research Council, the European Union, the Wellcome Trust and the National Institutes of Health Research (UK). Ainsley co-chairs the Education, Ethics and Social Issues Committee of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia and sits on the Clinical Ethics Advisory Panel for the New South Wales Department of Health. She is also a regular media and public commentator on ethical issues in genetics, genomics and emerging biotechnologies.


Christian Munthe is professor of practical philosophy at the University of Gothenburg. Through his work on reproductive ethics and the ethics and philosophy of person centred care and shared decision-making, the role of family and close personal relationships has has emerged as a critical topic in need of much more exploration in the ethics of health and social care. This summer school offers a unique and much needed opportunity to advance this area and offers to opportunity to explore a wide range of themes in a unified way. His contribution to the school will be to present philosophical analysis as well as some empirical research relating to the ethics of  family involvement in clinical decision-making. A particular focus will regard adolescent patients and patients in psychiatry, especially regarding areas requiring large amounts of self-care.


Jackie Leach Scully is Professor of Social Ethics and Bioethics at Newcastle University, UK, where she is also Executive Director of the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre. Her main research areas are in public bioethics; feminist bioethics; disability bioethics and the moral significance of embodiment; new reproductive and genetic technologies; and the bioethics of disaster victim identification and humanitarian responses. She uses primarily qualitative methods to generate empirical material with which to inform normative ethical reflection. The author of several books including Disability Bioethics: Moral Bodies, Moral Difference (Rowman & Littlefield), co-editor of Feminist Bioethics: At the Center, On the Margins (Johns Hopkins University Press, with Laurel Baldwin Ragaven and Petya Fitzpatrick), she is currently Editor of the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics.


Veerle Provoost is a professor of empirical research methods for ethics and bioethics and a postdoctoral researcher of the Bioethics Institute Ghent. She has a Masters in Philosophy (Ghent University, 1997), a Masters in Gerontology (Free University of Brussels, 2000), and a PhD in Social Health Sciences (Free University of Brussels, 2005). She lectures courses in statistics, empirical ethics (research master course), qualitative, quantitative and experiment research design and analysis for ethics and bioethics, and in Socratic conversation and questioning techniques. She was also a lecturer for two PhD-courses on advanced methods for qualitative research in bioethics at the Institut für Bio- und Medizinethik (institute for Biomedical Ethics) at the University of Basel (2017) and is currently a Guest Professor on "Moral sciences and humanist studies" at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of the Free University of Brussels.

Over the last years, she coordinated the Task Force on Ethics and Law and the Special Interest Group Ethics & Law of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). She is a founding member of the Bioethics Institute Ghent and a member of the board of De Maakbare Mens. Her research interests centre on empirical bioethics in the field of reproductive medicine and include mainly lay people's moral decision-making, especially patients' reproductive decision-making (with a focus on decisions about the disposition of surplus cryopreserved embryos, gamete donation, and decisions of deaf people about genetic testing in light of their reproductive planning). From 2011-2017, she coordinated an interdisciplinary team of seven researchers who worked on a study about genetic and social parenthood in the context of donor conception. You can see Veerle talk about a part of this study in her TED-talk of 2016 .


Kristin Zeiler is Professor at the Department of Thematic Study: Technology and Social Change, Linköping University. Her research examines philosophical, ethical, and socio-cultural aspects of the development and use of medical technology, therapy, and surgery, including how these – as well as experience of pain and illness – can help form our ways of engaging with others and the world and inform our self-understandings. Recent research of hers cross-pollinates feminist phenomenology with feminist technoscience in the analysis of ethical aspects of bodily exchange practices such as egg and organ donation. Zeiler’s publications include the volumes Feminist Phenomenology and Medicine (eds. Zeiler and Käll, SUNY Press, 2014) and Bodily Exchanges, Bioethics and Border Crossing: Perspectives on Giving, Selling and Sharing Bodies (eds. Malmqvist and Zeiler, Routledge, 2016). She is PI of the programme A Feminist Analysis of Medical Screening – Normativity as Research Object and as Practice (2017-2023).

Last modified:03 January 2018 09.38 a.m.