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Facing the Challenges of Ethical Communication Across Differences in Disciplines, Cultures and Class: The Case of Bile Duct Cancer in the Mekhong Delta
December 14, 2018 - 12:30-13:30
Bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma, abbreviated to CCA) is a rare disease in most parts of the world; but in the Mekhong delta areas of mainland South East Asia its high prevalence comes from chronic liver fluke infection. In Thailand this translates to around 20,000 deaths per year, with an estimated similar number in Lao PDR. The complexity of the problem is not, however, solely a medical one. Much more, it is one that clearly requires a respectful and ethical engagement across disciplines and between people, recognizing our subjectivity as humans. The problem of CCA calls for interdisciplinary collaboration between medicine, the social sciences and the humanities. But it also calls yet more urgently for an openness to dialogue and a willingness to listen to the Other.
Rachel Harrison is Professor of Thai Cultural Studies at the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at SOAS, University of London. She has published widely on issues of gender, and sexuality, modern literature and cinema in Thailand as well as the comparative literature of South East Asia.