The Ethics of Powerlessness: The Theological Virtues Today.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Essex
Department Name: School of Philosophy and Art History

Abstract

Our aim is to articulate an ethics of powerlessness, that is, an ethical framework for understanding and responding to circumstances of profoundly diminished agency from the perspective of both the affected individuals and those who care for them. We draw on the resources of phenomenology to make clear the underlying structure of experiences of powerlessness. We further draw on a neglected source in the history of Christian ethics in order to recover an understanding of what Thomas Aquinas described as the theological virtues: faith, hope and love (or charity - caritas). Our hypothesis is that a suitably adapted understanding of the theological virtues can provide the core of an ethics of powerlessness that can in turn provide guidance in navigating the challenges of diminished agency - even for those who do not share Aquinas' specifically Christian faith. We apply the results of our investigation to the contemporary public policy crisis concerning ethical care for aged or terminally ill patients in NHS settings.

Standard systems of ethics are united by a common structural feature: they are characteristically addressed to agents who are empowered to act in response to the demands of their situation. These standard ethical theories then teach the empowered agent something about how to exercise their power and agency. But human lives are often visited by circumstances where the power to act is profoundly diminished. Such circumstances include serious illness, depression, addiction and aging. They also include situations in which carers find themselves powerless to improve the circumstances of those for whom they care. In all these cases, we find ourselves beset by acute feelings of powerlessness. The standard ethical theories are ill-equipped to address these challenges. How do I act ethically when there is little or nothing that I can do to change my circumstances, or those of someone for whom I care, and yet feel there must be something I can and should do? Does ethics have anything to say to persons who find themselves in these situations?

The need for an ethics of powerlessness has been set in sharp relief by recent crises of public policy and public trust, particularly in connection with care for the aged and the terminally ill. Until 2012, the so-called "Liverpool Care Pathway" (LCP) provided guidance to doctors and other carers regarding ethical treatment at the end of life. Following several months of public controversy, the Department of Health confirmed in July 2013 that the LCP will be phased out over the next twelve months. To date no successor framework has been endorsed. Scandals such as the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust crisis have highlighted the ethical dangers in this area; but what would it be to get things right? From the perspective of the patient, standard injunctions to self-reliance, self-control and will-power are often counter-productive because they presuppose exactly the sort of robust agency that has been lost. From the perspective of carers, emphasis on such terms as 'compassion', 'vulnerability', 'empowerment' and 'spiritual care', which feature prominently in the relevant guidelines and policy documents, is often insufficient because these concepts are difficult to pin down. We need a fresh approach.

Benefits of the research include:

. An account of diminished agency - in general and with reference to palliative care.
. An account of faith, hope and love as contemporary virtues of powerlessness across religious and secular contexts.
. Improved public policy and care delivery in end-of-life contexts by fostering better understanding of powerlessness, the ethical challenges it raises, and the key terms in which policy documents and practice guidelines conceptualise the issues - such as 'vulnerability', 'empowerment', 'compassion', 'care for the whole person' or 'spiritual care'.
. Advances in on-going debates in virtue theory, virtue epistemology and the philosophy of agency.

Planned Impact

Our Ethics of Powerlessness project will apply resources from the humanities to a pressing challenge in ethics and public policy. It directly answers recent calls for fundamental research into the experience of dying and the ethics of palliative care. The events organised by the project and the research outputs themselves will directly inform the on-going review of the practices of care at the end of life.

In July 2013 the Department of Health published the so-called Neuberger Report (NR): More Care, Less Pathway: Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway. The NR called for the phasing out of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), which since 2003 had provided care-guidelines for patients deemed to be dying. The Report also highlighted the lack of specific guidance for nurses caring for patients at the end of life and the need for the Nursing and Midwifery Council to provide such guidance as a matter of urgency. Accordingly, the NR issued an urgent call for research: in particular, it recommends a) that the government fund research, not just into the 'biology of dying' but 'into the experience of dying, because there are critical and legitimate social and health objectives and benefits that must be understood in how patients, their relatives or carers experience care at the end of life' (1.26); and b) a 'collective commitment and plan of action for the whole health and care system to put greater emphasis on caring and compassion' (3.10).

The Ethics of Powerlessness project directly takes up these challenges. It draws on the resources of phenomenology in order to advance understanding of the experiences of terminally ill patients; and it recovers neglected resources from the history of Christian ethics in looking for ethical guidance for care. A fundamental aim of the research is to gain clarity about the "theological virtues": faith, hope and love (or charity - caritas). These virtues are often invoked in the charters of Christian hospices, but it is has been unclear how they can be applied in guiding concrete practices of care. Some healthcare professionals also express unease about applying these Christian ideas in our multicultural society. This makes our inquiry into the conditions under which faith, hope and love can be construed as secular virtues all the more important to help policy-makers in the face of the pressing demand for improved end-of-life care.

The main beneficiaries would be:

. Policy-makers in the field of palliative care, through better understanding of the ethical challenges associated with powerlessness at the end of life, together with an improved understanding of ethical responses to those challenges.
. Patients in end-of-life situations, through improved self-understanding and empowerment in the difficult palliative care decision-making process.
. Their relatives and carers: through improved understanding of profoundly diminished agency and of the potential for faith, hope and love as virtues of powerlessness.
. Medical staff: as stated by the NR, 'care of the dying requires not only substantial technical knowledge and clinical skill but above all it needs excellent communication skills' (p. 10). Improved understanding of experiences of powerlessness will enable health care professionals to communicate sensitively with patients and their relatives.

Benefits will be delivered by means of:

. Consultations with our network of patients, health-care professionals and policy-makers
. Liaising with hospice networks and workforce training
. A series of six public workshops and round tables held at Essex
. Three end-of-year conferences held in London
. Green papers presenting digests of the research and analysing changes in palliative care policies and guidelines
. A website publicizing research material and results, with pod casts of the various events
. Media exposure, including radio broadcasting

Publications

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Batho D (2016) Heidegger and hallucination in British Journal for the History of Philosophy

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Batho D (2018) Reticence in European Journal of Philosophy

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Han-Pile B (2017) Hope, Powerlessness, and Agency in Midwest Studies In Philosophy

 
Description Between July 2015 and June 2016, we focused on the notion of powerlessness and explored it in three different contexts:
a) A Medical Humanities Workshop on end-of-life issues (see Green Paper on 'Experiences of Powerlessness in End-of-Life Care'). We have introduced a new notion, that of the 'power to be oneself', to help understand what is under threat in such experiences, and how to alleviate, at least partly, such threats.

b) An Academic Workshop on the structure of experiences of powerlessness (see Green Paper on 'The Phenomenology of Powerlessness). We drew from the empirical data gathered in the first workshop as well as from the tools of phenomenology to analyse the structure of experiences of powerlessness, and to develop the concept of the power to be oneself by distinguishing between two levels of application:
i) first order: the power to be oneself applied routinely to navigate everyday situations;
ii) second order: the power to be oneself applied in the case of breakdowns of everyday situations (such as severe illness or injury, trauma etc).

c) Our end-of-year conference on 'Virtue Theory and the Medio-Passive Agent' which took place in London on 17-18th of June, 2016. This event helped open up a field of research at the intersection of virtue theory, the philosophy of agency and medical ethics. The material presented both reflected and has since shaped our own research.

From July 2016 until June 2017, we focused on the theological virtues and have explored their potential as virtues of powerlessness in two different contexts:

a) an academic workshop on 'Faith, Hope and Love in the Theological Tradition' (see Green Paper on 'Faith, Hope and Love in the Theological Tradition'). We identified four key questions:
i) are the theological virtues irrational, and if so, does their irrationality prevent from being virtues, and thus from contributing to the good life?;
ii) What is the exercise of agency involved in the theological virtues, and is it robust enough to allow for the agent being held responsible for what they do?
iii) Are the theological virtues needed for the exercise of the moral virtues? Can they be secularised?
iv) Can virtues of radical dependency remain ethically appropriate if one denies the truth of such dependency?

b) An academic workshop on 'Critical Perspectives on the Theological Virtues'. Our key findings are as follows:
i) major objections to the idea of the theological virtues can be reduced to two forms: objections to the theological aspect of the theological virtues, and objections to the claim that these virtues are virtues at all, on the grounds that they are irrational.
ii) there is a fault line between remedial and palliative conceptions of what is needed to address our experiences of powerlessness. If what is needed is merely remedial, then there is no role for the theological virtues because the cardinal virtues and the practices that follow from them are enough to restore the good life. If what is needed is palliative (because the situation cannot be redressed), then the theological virtues have an important role to play to ensure that life is lived in the best possible way.

c) An end-of-year conference on 'Faith, Hope, and Love as Virtues in Modernity'. Our key findings are as follows:

i) a possible response to objections to the theological virtues on account of their supposed theological commitments. Faith, hope, and love may be virtues of acknowledged finitude, that is, they may be necessary in order to live in light of the fact of being finite. If acknowledging that you are finite does not entail faith in an infinite God, then the 'theological virtues' may have a non-theological value.
ii) the theological virtues may play a necessary role in sustaining a stance of vigilance towards the possibility of emerging, unforeseen ways to live well.
iii) faith, hope, and love may have a role in living well in light of our inability to fulfil particular ethical demands. This finding connects the results of the second year to the research goals of the third year, in which we explored (among other things) the experience of moral distress, namely, the painful experience of feeling as though you should be able to do the right thing, but that you are not able to do it.
iv) Together, these results suggest that the theological virtues may have a role to play in the cultivation of the power-to-be-oneself, as described in the first year of the project, in such a way that does not require the individual to have any particular theological commitments.

From July 2017 until July 2018 we focused on the practical implications of our research by means of two Medical Humanities Workshops:

a) 'Powerlessness, Addiction and the Twelve Steps Programmes' (November 2017). Our key findings are as follows:
i) The many approaches to addiction in the current literature are implicitly underpinned by an antinomy: either (a) addiction is a condition from which the addict passively suffers and which needs medical treatment, or (b) it is a pattern of behaviour that the individual actively maintains.
ii) Careful analysis of the principles established by Wilson for the Twelve Step Programme may show a way out of this antinomy. The antinomy itself is premised on a strict opposition between passivity and activity: either addicts are passive and need help, or they are active and to blame for their addiction. By contrast, the Twelve step programmes rely on the thought that the very acknowledgement of her powerlessness, when properly understood, is empowering for the agent. Such acknowledgement, we argue, is both passive and active: it is what we call 'medio-passive'.
iii) Investigating medio-passive agency may allow us to understand and develop further possibilities for recovery from addiction.

b) 'Powerlessness and Moral Distress'. Our key findings are as follows:
i) Moral distress is usually understood as the painful feeling experienced by a person when she believes that she had identified the right course of action but feels prevented (often by institutional or financial constraints) from undertaking this course of action. We identify significant inconsistencies and tensions in the emerging literature on moral distress and pinpoint five requirements for an appropriate analysis of moral distress. We propose a redefinition of moral distress as the inability to be oneself in the face of constraints that render the individual powerless.
ii) Although moral distress is a painful experience for the individual, there may be some virtue in it because it denotes an ethical sensibility which makes the carer a better carer than if she did not experience moral distress.
iii) We explore ways of coping with moral distress which would develop this ethical sensibility while removing the harmful effects of moral distress on the individual (in particular the so-called 'crescendo effect').

(c) An end-of-year conference on 'Faith, love and hope in a secular world'. Our key findings are as follows:

(i) Faith, hope and love can be understood as virtues of powerlessness without these needing to involve doctrinal commitments
(ii) While their status as secular virtues remains contested, there remains a need within secular thought to account for the paradox in which distinctive possibilities of empowerment arise when agents accept their powerlessness.
(iii) This need arises not least in contexts of chronic illness where ways of living well with chronic illness show that we should not make physical health a requirement for human flourishing.
Exploitation Route In the 2015 Medical Humanities Workshop closed Roundtable the notion of the 'power to be oneself' was unanimously viewed as having significant explanatory power and potential practical implications. The participants of this Roundtable included general practitioners, patients, nurses, a physiotherapist and spiritual healer, members of various organisations such as Health Watch Essex, and researchers. A sociologist asked us for permission to use the concept to make sense of the practice of writing life narratives at the end of life.

In the first 2016 workshop the notion of the power to be oneself was picked up by three different researchers in the context of psycho-therapeutic practices.

The two academic workshops of November 2016 and February 2017 made significant contributions to ongoing interdisciplinary debates about the theological virtues and their place in ethical life. The Green Papers were deemed to provide excellent teaching material and key contributions within them were already taken up by several speakers at our end of year conference of June 2017.

The EoP team has further delivered this material at two practitioner training events: the St Helena EoP Study Day (May, 2017) and the EAP Summer School (July, 2017). Both these events were very highly rated by participants very nearly all of whom expressed an interest in attending further EoP events.

Our two 2017 Medical Humanities Workshops have also been highly successful and have received excellent reviews from participants. Our workshop and roundtable of November 2017 - Addiction, Powerlessness and the Twelve Step programmes - brought together psychiatrists, academics and members of the public with personal experience of addiction. In association with this event, the EoP produced and published a further Green Paper which stands to make a ground-breaking contribution in articulating the antinomy at the heart of ongoing discussions around addiction, choice and compulsion and in laying out a novel way forward. We are have been invited by Routledge to publish a version of this material in their upcoming impact-oriented 'Focus' series.

Our Workshop and Roundtable of February 2018 - 'Moral Distress and Powerlessness' - brought together nurses, doctors, psychiatrists, philosophers and members of the public to discuss experiences of moral distress. While there is now an established discussion around moral distress in the US, our workshop and associated Green Paper blazes a trail here in the UK. We are currently in discussion with staff at St Helena's about how to advance this work. We anticipate that this research will have direct applications within and beyond medical practice (including, for example, in contexts of policing).

During the winter of 2017 B. Han-Pile got in touch with Patricia Benner, a former nurse and a world-leading expert on nursing, to introduce her to EoP research. Benner was enthusiastic and convened a workshop in Berkeley in April 2018 to showcase EoP research on powerlessness and moral distress. This allowed the team to make further contacts in the US and to start disseminating our research there.
Sectors Education,Healthcare

URL http://powerlessness.essex.ac.uk/
 
Description In 2016 the EoP team made comments on two sets of drafts for NICE guidelines ('Care of Dying Adults in the Last Days of Life' and 'End of Life Care for Adults in the Last Years of Life: Service Delivery'). Each time some of our recommendations were accepted and the relevant documents, changed. In 2017 our Green Paper on 'Experiences of Powerlessness at the End of Life' was used as the basis of a professional development module at Saint Helena Hospice and at the Essex Autonomy Summer School. In 2018 our Green Paper on 'Moral Distress' was used as the basis of a professional development module at the Essex Autonomy Summer School. We also held an EoP workshop at Berkeley (USA) with Patricia Benner, a former nurse and a world-leading expert on nursing. Also in 2018, the Principal Investigator helped organise and took part in a BBC Radio 4 programme, 'In Our Time' (with Melvyn Bragg), on 'Hope'.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Education,Healthcare
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Feedback on NICE Draft guidelines: Care of Dying Adults in the Last Days of Life
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Participation in a National Consultation - Feedback on NICE draft guidelines: End of life care: Delivery of adult services for people in the last year of life.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/GID-CGWAVE0799/documents/final-scope
 
Description Training module on 'Powerlessness at the End of Life' taught at St Helena's Hospice
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Title Database of blogs highlighting experiences of powerlessness 
Description In this database we are drawing together public domain accounts of experiences of powerlessness in healthcare. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None 
 
Title Database of literature on moral distress 
Description Thie database contains a review of important literature on moral distress 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The database was important for the creation of a Green Paper on moral distress, itself central to our medical humanities workshop on moral distress. 
 
Title Database of news articles covering health and palliative care. 
Description In this database we collect links to relevant news articles. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None 
 
Description Feedback on NICE Draft guidelines: 'End of life care: Delivery of adult services for people in the last year of life' 
Organisation National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We gave feedback on the NICE Draft Guidelines on 'End of life care: Delivery of adult services for people in the last year of life'. Some of our feedback was incorporated into the guidelines (see University of Essex recommendation on p.239-241 of the NICE report). In particular ID #29: 'action: in the definition of palliative care, replace "live as actively as possible" with "live as well as possible"'. There is no reason to suppose that maximising activity in the last days of life is suitable for all patients in palliative care. Some may seek comfort in the company of relatives or friends, in meditation or in reflecting on their life. The ultimate goal should be that patients live as well as possible, not as actively as possible, to the end of their life. This significant change will keep open different avenues for palliative care.
Collaborator Contribution None
Impact NICE Guideline scope: 'End of life care for adults in the last year of life: service delivery'.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Feedback on NICE Draft guidelines: Care of Dying Adults in the Last Days of Life 
Organisation National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We gave feedback on the NICE Draft Guidelines on 'Care of Dying Adults in the Last Days of Life'. Some of our feedback was incorporated into the guidelines (see first University of Essex recommendation on p. 855 of the NICE report).
Collaborator Contribution None.
Impact Amendment to recommendation 1.1.5.
Start Year 2015
 
Description 'Ethics of Powerlessness' website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This is the dedicated EoP website, which went live at the beginning of December. It had 1311 views in January 2016 (we can't get numbers for more than a month at a time).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://powerlessness.essex.ac.uk/
 
Description Academic Workshop "The Phenomenology of Powerlessness" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Academic workshop exploring the phenomenology of powerlessness, with talks from UK and international philosophers and theologians. Held at the University of Essex, the workshop was open to all, and attendees included academics, students, health care practitioners, patient supporters/groups and the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://powerlessness.essex.ac.uk/the-phenomenology-of-powerlessness
 
Description Academic Workshop: Faith, Hope, and Love as Virtues in the Theological Tradition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our Autumn 2016 workshop, 'Faith, hope and love as virtues in the theological tradition',took place at the University of Essex on Friday 25th November 2016.The workshop examined the tradition in which faith, hope and love (caritas) are regarded as virtues. While often neglected in contemporary ethics, this tradition is rich in leads for thinking through the challenges arising from experiences of powerlessness. We examined some key moments in this tradition, from its early sources in Greek and early Christian thought, through lines of development in Augustine, Aquinas and later thinkers. Our aim was to tease out from this tradition its major themes and sources of contention, with a view to reassessing its on-going importance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://powerlessness.essex.ac.uk/category/previous-events
 
Description End-of-Year Conference: Virtue Theory and the Medio-Passive Agent 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our end of year conference, 'Virtue Theory and the Medio-Passive Agent', took place in London on Friday and Saturday 17-18th of June, 2016. This event gathered together philosophers, working at the intersection of virtue theory and the philosophy of action, to debate whether and how the idea of medio-passive virtues can be made theoretically coherent and practically applicable.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://powerlessness.essex.ac.uk/virtue-theory-and-the-medio-passive-agent
 
Description Engagement with Saint Helena's Hospice (Colchester) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We met with Mark Jarman-Howe, the CEO of Saint Helena's, and a number of members of his team in August 2015. Since then we have been in touch by email and are due to meet again to discuss further avenues for collaboration. We also have agreed to teach a pilot module on 'The Ethics of Palliative Care' at the Hospice in 2017. We met again with Mark Jarman Howe in March 2017 to finalise the details regarding the content and delivery of the module. The module will be taught on 5th June 2017 and will be open to colleagues from the hospice and current students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
 
Description Final Meeting of the Lay Advisory Board 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In this meeting, we presented the findings of the project up to now and canvassed advice from a panel of lay stakeholders as to a) whether the project is heading in the right direction; b) possible future directions for the project; c) possible contacts and opportunities to further increase our impact activities; d) avenues for exploring the development of a follow-on funding grant
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description First Meeting of the Lay Advisory Board 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In this meeting, we presented the findings of the project up to now and canvassed advice from a panel of lay stakeholders as to a) whether the project is heading in the right direction; b) possible future directions for the project; c) possible contacts and opportunities to further increase our impact activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Healthwatch Essex 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We engaged in outreach to the local Healthwatch, Healthwatch Essex, meeting with members of the research team. The Healthwatch sent a representative to two of our workshops. We have received feedback on the project, in terms of its success and also guidance on how to proceed to further improve outreach (for instance, organising focus groups), both from the visiting representative and others in Healthwatch.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description Interview on Powerlessness with D. McLean (Institute of Ideas) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The principal Investigator gave a long interview (3812 words) about the Ethics of Powerlessness to the Institute of Ideas. The editor reported that the relevant page of their website had a significant number of hits.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://iai.tv/articles/the-ethics-of-powerlessness-an-interview-with-beatrice-han-pile-auid-1095
 
Description Medical Humanities Workshop "Experiences of Powerlessness in End-of-Life Care" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Medical humanities workshop exploring key issues surrounding the ethics of powerlessness in end of life care, with the help of health care researchers, health care practitioners and philosophers. Held at the University of Essex, with local and international speakers, the workshop included a round table comprising professionals, academics, healthcare practitioners and the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://powerlessness.essex.ac.uk/experiences-of-powerlessness-in-end-of-life-care
 
Description Participation in Essex Autonomy Project Summer School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The EoP team delivered a Professional Development module on 'Moral Distress' at the Essex Autonomy Project Summer School. Feedback from the participants was very positive.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Participation in Essex Autonomy Project Summer School 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We will teach a module on the Ethics of Powerlessness in the context of the three-day Summer School and hold a clinic based on a series of case-studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Participation in a collaborative workshop between the University of Essex and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A workshop on future collaborations between researchers at the University, practitioners and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Participation to BBC Radio 4 'In Our Time' on 'Hope'. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Having previously taken part in three 'In Our Time' programmes (with Melvyn Bragg), the principal investigator (BHP) got in touch in 2017 with Simon Tillotson, the producer, to suggest a programme on 'Hope'. The suggestion was received with enthusiasm and the programme took place on 22 November 2018. Bragg's team reported very significant interest (audience figures to follow). Han-Pile received a number of unsolicited emails from the public emphasising how interesting and thought-provoking the programme had been for them. Following up on the success of the programme, Tillotson asked Han-Pile for further suggestions. Han-Pile suggested a programme on 'Love'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00017vl
 
Description Presentation at a medical ethics conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr. Dan Watts and Dr. David Batho presented to the Ilkey Colloquium on Health Care Ethics on the project's research on experiences of powerlessness and the power to be oneself.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation to clinicians at the Maudsley Hospital 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact EoP was invited to present our research to a group of health care practitioners (mostly psychiatrists) at the Maudsley Hospital. We presented on 'Powerlessness and Selfhood'. The talk was very well received.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Public Talk at Sheffield Cathedral 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A presentation of the main lines of research of EoP to a small group of non-academics (circa 10) with an interest in issues in the medical humanities. The presentation sparked lively questions and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Second Meeting of the Lay Advisory Board 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In this meeting, we presented the findings of the project up to now and canvassed advice from a panel of lay stakeholders as to a) whether the project is heading in the right direction; b) possible future directions for the project; c) possible contacts and opportunities to further increase our impact activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description The Theological Virtues in Critical Perspective 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our Spring 2017 workshop, 'The Theological Virtues in Critical Perspective', will take place at the University of Essex on Friday 24th February 2017. How suspicious should we be about the tradition in which faith, hope and love are regarded as virtues? Is faith only for the weak? Can hope be more than wishful thinking? Is love ever really virtuous? This workshop will take up these and related questions from various critical perspectives, drawing especially on the Stoics, Spinoza, Nietzsche and Adorno.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://powerlessness.essex.ac.uk/theological_virtues_in_critical_perspective
 
Description Workshop on Addiction, Powerlessness, and the 12-Step Programmes 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact This event was a medical humanities workshop drawing together researchers, practitioners and service users, on the topic of addiction, experiences of powerlessness, and 12-Step Programmes
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshop on Moral Distress at Berkeley (USA) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact In December 2017 the principal investigator (BHP) got in touch with Patricia Benner. Benner is a former nurse based in San Francisco and an internationally recognised expert on nursing. Benner was very interested in EoP work and organised a workshop at Berkeley showcasing our research and findings. The audience was mostly comprised of health care practitioners (in particular nurses or gerontologists) and patients. The audience reported significant interest in the topics debated and asked for further engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018