Ethics of health care and research in small-scale communities

The conference is organised by the Nordic Committee on Bioethics in collaboration with the University of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn, 12 September 2019.

Time and place


University of the Faroe Islands, Kongshøll, Vestarabryggja 15, 100 Tórshavn 12.09.2019 from 09:00 to 17:00

Contact person


Providing high-quality health care and research to citizens living in small-scale communities (SCCs) raise a number of ethical challenges. SCCs are often located in geographically remote areas where resources are scarce and access to professional expertise is limited. The health care professionals and researchers working in these communities are likely to know – even be in family with - the people they treat, nurse, and invite to participate in research. This may create a number of challenges related to privacy and confidentiality. 

Issues of stigmatization may also arise when the patients, who belong to a community where “everybody knows each other and everybody's business”, suffer from mental illnesses and infectious diseases. Ethical issues may also be encountered when ethnic groups and immigrants with different perspectives and cultural values are involved. Currently, health care professionals and researchers receive little support in addressing such complex ethical issues.

This conference will discuss main ethical challenges regarding accessibility to health care and priority setting, privacy and confidentiality, and stigmatization, when providing health care and conducting research in SCCs, and explore potential solutions to address these challenges. 

See the complete conference programme

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Anna Herou - Senior Adviser
Contact person Anna Herou
Senior Adviser
Work +47 480 63 139