Posthumanism and the New Ethics of Medical Practice—Epidemiology as the New Deontological Paradigm


  • Timea Vitan Resident doctor, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” Bucharest, Romania



epidemiology, deontology, COVID-19, posthumanism, bioethics


In the context of the COVID19 pandemic, during last year all public attention has been focused on Medicine. Epidemiology is no longer just one medical specialty among many others, but became the main paradigm and the unique background of medical science. The individual pacient has turned into the collective pacient. Medical policies are not centered on the pacient anymore, but on its social group. In this article I will try to show how the characteristics of medical practice changed since the pandemic began and which are the deontological implications of such changes. With a short introduction on the medical policies proposed by the WHO during the last decades, I wish to underline the recent history of medical practice and its obvious turning point occasioned by the pandemic. Once the new bioethical vantage points are set, I wonder to which extent posthumanist philosophy foresaw this new deontological paradigm. Having Rosi Braidotti`s “The Posthuman” as my starting point, I maintain that medical doctors no longer practice on a humanist background, but with a sort of commitment that goes beyond the individual. However, this is not an antihumansit pledge, because contemporary medical doctors still adhere to certain humanist principles. As it so often happens, we will be left with even more questions. If the pacient is no longer the individual, but the group of individuals, which is the nature of a symptom and how should we decipher its meaning? How would a new medical science look like if we are to build it not on a human but on a posthuman biology?


Braidotti, R., (2011). Nomadic Theory. The Portable Rosi Braidotti. Columbia University Press.

Braidotti, R. (2016). Postumanul (O. Anemţoaicei, Trans.). Hecate. (Original work published 2013)

Braidotti, R. (2017, January 20). On Affirmative Ethics [Video].

Brundtland, G. H. (1998, October 28). Importance of Snow. UCLA Department of Epidemiology.

Colegiul Medicilor din România, (2016). Codul de deontologie medicală, publicat în 7 decembrie 2016, Monitorul Oficial 981.

Drumwright, M. (2015). Behavioral ethics and teaching ethical decision making. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 13(3), 431–58.

Gorvett, Z. (2021, January 8). The 432-year-old manual on social distancing. BBC Future.

Ioniţă, B. (2016, January 5). Jurământul lui Hippocrate şi lumea modernă. Radio România. Agenţia de presă.

Mill, J. S., (2014). Utilitarismul (V. Mureşan, Trans.) ALL. (Original work published 1863)

Târcoveanu, E., Vasilescu, A., Epure, O., & Dorobăţ, D. (2013). Mai este actual jurământul lui Hippocrat?. Jurnalul de chirurgie, 9(3), 205-207.

World Health Organization. (1958). The First Ten Years of the World Health Organization.

World Health Organization. (2020). Constitution.




How to Cite

Vitan, T. (2021). Posthumanism and the New Ethics of Medical Practice—Epidemiology as the New Deontological Paradigm. Journal for Social Media Inquiry, 3(1), 106-118.

Publish your work at the Scientific Publishing House LUMEN

It easy with us: publish now your work, novel, research, proceeding at Lumen Scientific Publishing House

Send your manuscript right now