Professional Ethics, Medical Personnel, and Genocide – Call for Papers for Online Workshop

September 29-30, 2021

The online workshop Professional Ethics, Medical Personnel, and Genocide will examine genocide in the context of public health, focusing on bioethics and the role of medical professionals in times of genocide. Despite the scholarly attention paid over the past two decades to various aspects of biopolitics, the issue of medical professionals in times of genocide is still marginal in Genocide Studies beyond academic works that examine the eugenic policies and role of doctors in Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe.

The aim of the workshop is to examine the relationship between professional ethics, personal agency, and genocidal state policies. How did ideology and religion contribute to the construction of professional ethical discourses? What factors influenced the responses of medical professionals to genocidal policies? While medical professionals bear various degrees of responsibility (for instance, from signing falsified death certificates during the Holodomor to direct responsibility for genocide in the case of Radovan Karadžić in Bosnia or Théodore Sindikubwabo in Rwanda), the focus will not be limited to the category of “perpetrator” but will also address the concepts of “bystander,” “victim” and “rescuer” and will explore the fluidity of these notions.

We aim to gather experts who work in a range of disciplines, including but not limited to historians, anthropologists, political scientists and scholars of bioethics to participate in an interdisciplinary discussion. The workshop will contribute to the study of and interconnections between biopolitics, bioethics, and genocide, issues that are especially important as we face the challenges of a global pandemic.

Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words and CV to Dr. Oksana Vynnyk and by June 4, 2021. Accepted contributors will be notified by June 16, 2021.

Organized by the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC), Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta.

Professional Ethics, Medical Personnel, and Genocide – pdf


HREC was established in 2013 through the generous support of the Temerty Foundation.