Just Emergencies Episode 6: Vulnerability Part 1 with Professor Wendy Rogers

Podcast - Vulnerability Part 1

Vulnerability. It’s a term we’ve all used before. We have an intuitive understanding of what it means. But, as becomes apparent in Episode 6 of Just Emergencies: Vulnerability with trailblazer Professor Wendy Rogers, the term can mean many different things in the field of bioethics.

“Although all people bleed, some people are much more likely to get cut than others.”

As a result, Wendy Rogers, together with Professors Catriona Mackenzie and Susan Dodds developed a taxonomy of vulnerability that sheds some light on the origins of different types of vulnerability.

In the interview, Professor Rogers explains how the taxonomy came about and how it might guide responses to global health emergencies. Especially relevant to the current Covid-19 outbreak Covid-19 outbreak, is Professor Roger’s mention of how vulnerability plays out in global pandemics.

To find out more, listen to the full episode and read the transcript.

Links and Further Resources

Further Reading

  • W. Rogers, ‘Analysing the ethics of breast cancer overdiagnosis: a pathogenic vulnerability’, (2019) Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy, 22(1).
  • F. Luna, ‘Identifying and evaluating layers of vulnerability – a way forward’, (2019) Developing World Bioethics, 19(2).
  • A. Ballantyne and W. Rogers, ‘Pregnancy, vulnerability, and the risk of exploitation in clinical research’, in Clinical Research Involving Pregnant Women. F. Baylis and A. Ballantyne (eds.) (Springer, 2016)
  • C. Mackenzie, W. Rogers and S. Dodds (eds), Vulnerability: New Essays in Ethics and Feminist Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2013).
  • W. Rogers and M. Lange, ‘Rethinking the vulnerability of minority populations in research’, (2013) American Journal of Public Health, 103(12).
  • F. Luna, Bioethics and vulnerability: A Latin American View, (Brill, 2006).


‘Just Emergencies’ is produced and edited by Rebecca Richards and made with funding from the Wellcome Trust.

Our intro song is ‘The sun comes up, I come down’ by Silicon Transmitter.

Our outro song is ‘Surge and Swell’ by Pictures of the Floating World.

Both are available under an Attribution-Noncommerical-ShareAlike3.0 Creative Commons License from Free Music Archive.

Image by Jonathan Ford on Unsplash.