Department of Philosophy



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WATSON HALL, ROOM 517 @ 4:00 p.m.


Udo Schüklenk (Queen’s University)


Title:  “The Ethical Challenge of Access to Experimental Agents

for Ebola Virus Disease Patients”



     During the recent outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia a WHO panel of experts recommended that patients infected with the Ebola virus be provided with access to experimental drugs. Among the agents considered by international medical NGOs operating emergency medical centres in the affected countries were a number of existing drugs that have been approved for conditions other than Ebola as well as unregistered interventions that had only shown success in animal models (mice, guinea pigs and monkeys).

     I have been fortunate enough to be able to analyse the ethical challenges posed by this idea while undertaking field research in Liberia and Sierra Leone on behalf of a medical NGO considering how to operationalise the WHO panel's recommendation. 

     In this presentation I will be offering an ethical rationale in support of the WHO panel's advice. This is followed by a more detailed analysis of various ethical challenges that arise if one were to offer experimental agents to patients suffering from a fast-acting high mortality disease such as Ebola.



*If you have accessibility requirements, please contact Marilyn Lavoie (



Tentative Fall Schedule

The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce the following (tentative) schedule of talks in the Colloquium Series.  Unless otherwise noted, all talks will be held on Thursday afternoons in Room 517, John Watson Hall, Bader Lane, beginning at 4:00pm. Everyone is welcome. Further details about each talk will be sent out weekly. Talks and question period to be followed by drinks at the University Club


FALL 2015

Sept 24:  Cheryl Misak – University of Toronto (Graham Kennedy Lecture)           

Oct 1:      Babette Babich – Fordham University

Oct 8:      Torin Doppelt – Queen's University

Oct 15:    Boris Hennig – Ryerson University

Oct 22:    Nicole Hassoun – Binghamton University

Oct 29:    Rockney Jacobsen – Wilfrid Laurier University

Nov 5:     Lukas Meyer – University of Graz (Dunning Trust)

Nov 12:   Udo Schuklenk – Queen's University                            

Nov 19:    Kate Manne – Cornell University

Nov 26:    Angela Martin – McGill University