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VIRTUAL SEMINAR – Green Bioethics: Environmental Sustainability and Health Care – RECORDING

This is a recording of the online seminar that took place on 3rd May 2023 featuring Cristina Richie

By Phil Greenwood · May 4, 2023

Cristina Richie, PhD is a Lecturer in the Philosophy and Ethics of Technology department at the Delft University of Technology and was the School of Social and Political Science Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh in 2020. In 2021, she was endorsed by the British Academy for a UK Global Talent Visa. Richie was previously an Assistant Professor in the Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies Department at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University (Greenville, NC). In 2019, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Her research is dedicated to just, sustainable health care. In addition to her monographs, Principles of Green Bioethics: Sustainability in Health Care (Michigan State University Press, 2019) and Environmental Ethics and Medical Reproduction (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), Dr. Richie is the author of over fifty articles in journals including The Lancet, American Journal of Bioethics, the Journal of Medical Ethics, and the Hastings Center Report.

Richie is the Head of the Netherlands Unit (Rotterdam) of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics, and holds a nominated fellowship at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity at Trinity International University (Deerfield, Il).


Health care is ubiquitous in the industrialized world. Yet, every medical development, technique, and procedure impacts the environment. By 2017, the National Health Service’s Health, and Social Care sectors had a carbon output (CO2) of 27.1 million tons. Carbon dioxide emissions contribute to climate change, climate-change related health hazards, and perpetuate environmental racism.  In response, the NHS has implemented a Carbon Reduction Strategy, but this is a largely superficial approach to reducing the carbon emissions of the medical industry, because it focuses on health care structures like buildings and transportation. The doctor-patient relationship and health care delivery are indeed the most carbon intensive part of the medical industry, and  indeed the scope of biomedical ethics. Thus, Green Bioethics synthesizes environmental ethics and biomedical ethics to move towards sustainable, just health care