Hard Choices in Nordic Health Care 2.0

A Nordic conference on ethics in priority settings in health care - 20 November 2017, Stockholm

When a patient is diagnosed with a rare diagnosis or a mortal disease, medicine and life-prolonging treatment should be offered. However, the required medicines and treatments are often expensive, and economic resources are limited. This presents public health care with some hard choices. There is a strong moral justification not to deny treatment because of cost; however, given limited resource within public health care we may have to choose whom to treat or whether to cut costs within other needed services instead.

With this conference, the Nordic Committee on Bioethics aims to highlight fundamental ethical principles that should guide the priority settings in the modern health care. The conference is aimed at medical professionals, policy makers, academics and the general public, and is a follow-up of the NCBio workshop "Hard Choices in Nordic Health Care – Expensive treatments and priority settings", held in Stockholm in November 2015.

Please note that the seminar is free of charge,  but participants pay their own travel and accommodation costs. The conference is organised in cooperation with the Swedish Society of Medicine.


Preliminary programme:

08:30  Opening and welcome, NCBio Chair Professor Kirsten Kyvik

08:40  Introductory remarks and presentation of the programme, Local host Professor Ingemar Engström

Session 1: What are the goals of medicine?

08:45  Mapping the goals of medicine, Professor Maartje Schermer, ErasmusMC Rotterdam

09:15  The nature of suffering and the goals of medicine, Professor Fredrik Svenaeus, Södertörn University

09:45  Discussion

10:00  Coffee

Session 2: Needs or demands as driving forces in health care

10:30  Justice and priority settings in health care, Professor/Director Angus Dawson, University of Sydney

11:00  The cake and its bits: can universal health care systems survive (without) ethical priority setting?, Professor Christian Munthe, University of Gothenburg

11:20  Health care as a commodity or a sign of solidarity?, Professor Bettina Lemann Kristiansen, University of Aarhus

11:40  Discussion

12:00  Lunch

Session 3: Does age matter?

13:00  Intergenerational Cooperation and Priority
Setting Between Age Groups
, Professor Greg Bognar, Stockholm University

13:30  The question of age in priority settings, Professor Jan Abel Olsen, University of Tromsø

14:00  Discussion

14:30  Coffee

Session 4: How much is a life worth?

15:00  The place of economics in priority settings, Associate professor Samuli Saarni, University of Helsinki

15:30  Is there a limit to health costs, Professor Gudmundur Heidar Frimannsson, University of Akureyri

16:00  Discussion

Final lecture:

16:30  Who should make the hard choices in health care, Director Birgir Jakobsson, Directorate of Health, Iceland


Venue: The Swedish Society of Medicine, Klara Östra Kyrkogata 10, 101 35 Stockholm


You will find more information about the conference at ncbio.org


from 08:30 to 17:00
Registration deadline: 20.11.2017 - 09:00
Marianne Aastebøl Minge - Chief Operating Officer
Contact person Marianne Aastebøl Minge
Chief Operating Officer
Work +47 936 02 527