The relevance of complexity theory to Bioethics

Event type
Department seminar
Bioethics Centre

The Cynefin Framework asserts that problems can be divided into four different types: Simple, Complicated, Complex and Chaotic.

The Disorder Domain sits between them as the place problems are before it is clear which type it might be. This framework is usefully applied to health care.

A different mode of thinking is required for each sort of problem. Simple problems can be managed by best practice guidelines and protocols, complicated problems require analysis and expertise, complex problems require brain storming and trial and error, and chaotic problems require action.

I will argue that bioethics is overly reliant on analysis to find the “best” available option which only applies well to complicated problems and that a different approach is needed for the complex problems that we usually have to deal with - Dr Ben Gray.

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