Addiction: should we penalise or treat? A public debate

Issue date: 29 March 2010

University of the West of England Thursday 8 April 2010, 18:30-20:00
Watershed, 1 Canon's Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX

Addiction: should we penalise or treat? is the topical subject of a free public debate organised by University of the West of England philosopher, Dr Havi Carel. The event will take place on Thursday 8 April 2010 from 18:30 to 20:00 at the Watershed in Bristol.

The public debate is one of the events funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the three year research project - The Concepts of Health, Illness and Disease.

Project leader, Dr Carel explains, “This research project brings together researchers from diverse disciplines to develop an understanding of health, illness and disease. This is crucial to society as how we define illness can have ethical, social and economic consequences. Addiction is an emotive topic that clearly highlights these issues. One example is smoking - should the NHS pay for the treatment of nicotine addiction or are smokers just weak-willed? By drawing on the expertise of a multidisciplinary team of speakers, the audience will hear multiple approaches to the issue before being invited to join in the debate.”

The speakers are:

Dr Nick Airey, an NHS psychiatrist specialising in addiction
Dr Piers Benn, Medical ethics
John Moore, Criminology, UWE
Dr Giles Pearson, Philosophy, University of Bristol
Dr Jonathan Webber, Philosophy, Cardiff University
Chair: Dr Julian Baggini, Editor of The Philosopher's Magazine

Dr Carel concludes, “The event has attracted interest from clinicians, drug and addiction practitioners, and service users. It promises to be a lively debate and is a chance for the public to contribute to our research. We are planning to record the debate as a podcast on the project website, as well as on the AHRC website and The Philosopher's Magazine website.”

This popular event has been a sellout and a large audience is expected for the debate. No further tickets are available but a podcast will be available on the project website after the event.

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