October 24th 2014

Universal ethics - universal human rights?

Prof. Dean Harris, Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

On October 16th, Prof. Dean Harris gave a “best practice” guest speech on the topic “Universal ethics - universal human rights?”

Dean Harris has studied law, practiced as a lawyer and is now a Clinical Associate Professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he teaches and publishes on Healthcare Law and Ethics.

Having a longstanding experience, also concerning China, in his MCI guest speech, he first focused on China and their rejection of Western universal values. He then applied this to the issue of ethical values and human rights in terms of how they affect the responsibility of each society to disadvantaged residents by contrasting different attitudes of solidarity in the European Union and the United States of America. Finally, he gave some interesting insights on the questions of ethics and values in the debate about US President Obama’s health reform.

More than 140 students (from both Innsbruck University and MCI) followed Dean’s very active presentation and afterwards engaged in an interesting, but also controversial, discussion moderated by MCI Professor Dr. Markus Frischhut, and summarized in a concluding statement by MCI Professor Dr. habil. Belachew Gebrewold.