The Problem of Exaggerated Responsibility: An Anthropological Perspective
The Problem of Exaggerated Responsibility: An Anthropological Perspective
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The Problem of Exaggerated Responsibility: An Anthropological Perspective

 

Registration Link: https://hkuems1.hku.hk/hkuems/ec_hdetail.aspx?ueid=85011.

Title: “The Problem of Exaggerated Responsibility”: An Anthropological Perspective”

Speaker:
Dr Teresa Kuan
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, CUHK

Abstract:
Ethicists are commonly concerned about conditions necessary to assign responsibility when some degree of responsibility is due. When a set threshold is reached, accountability can then be expected. Medical ethicists are commonly concerned along these lines when discussing the moral responsibility of clinicians towards their patients. 

In this paper I focus on quite the opposite concern: people taking responsibility when no such responsibility is due or to an extent that is disproportionate to their scope of control. This is what happens for instance when you feel remorse and take responsibility over a patient’s death even if there were absolutely nothing else you could have done.

I explore this notion of exaggerated moral responsibility through my past ethnographic research in China. My plan for the talk is to present the paper for 30 minutes and then open it up for discussion, hopefully hearing from clinicians about their experiences of exaggerated responsibility.

Please see the published version of Teresa’s journal article attached.