Ethics and Meaning

For us, a solid support for families is based on their own strengths. We consider world view and religion as potential sources of motivation and strength. They play a large role at the beginning and the end of life as well as during family transitions and periods of illness. Ethical questions that are raised throughout our lives also are subject of our research.

How world view and meaning inspire us in love relationships, in education and in care is a question we raised with families and experts of diverse religions and world views (Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Islamic and liberal). The results appeared in 2008 in the book ‘Zin in gezin? Kan levensbeschouwing de duurzaamheid van gezinsrelaties bevorderen?’ (In the mood for family? Can world view promote the sustainability of family relationships?)

In the symposium and the publication ‘Vaders, zonen en islam: migreren tussen Oedipus & Abraham’ (Fathers, sons and Islam: migrating between Oedipus & Abraham) from 2012 we asked why the western Oedipus myth, which illustrates the father-son conflict, does not work as a framework to understand and support Muslim families. Perhaps the Islamic Abraham myth offers better inspiration for a model of ‘responsible engagement’ and of harmony, rather than conflict, between father and son?

Consciously or subconsciously, in the upbringing of our children, we pass on our ideals of a good and meaningful life. In 2014 the project ‘World view and upbringing ideals’ shed light on a large diversity of upbringing ideals, as well as the experience of these in Dutch-Christian families (by Driestar Educatief in Gouda) and in Flemish Muslim families.

‘Islamic visions on relationships and upbringing’ was the title of the tree days training programs we offered for over two decades with the aim to promoting the dialogue between social professionals of diverse backgrounds and to optimise the family support provided to Muslim families. Other topics were also discussed, such as Islamic visions on psychiatric problems, or on people with a handicap, or on euthanasia and the end of life. In 2019 we offered training about ‘Islamic counselling’. In 2020 we organised several webinars on similar topics.

Ethical questions regarding pregnancy and birth have had our attention for a long time. In 2013 we researched how psychosocial support for families should occur during prenatal diagnostics and screenings. From 2014 until 2016 we looked at the impact of the NIPT, the non-invasive prenatal test which allows for the tracing of chromosome abnormalities in a safe way. Ethical questions families have to deal with, were central in this: what do you do when the test results give cause for concern about the health of your child? How do you reach a ‘good decision’? We have released various publications and offered trainings on these topics.

Additionally, ethical questions related to the end of life are discussed in our projects and activities. ‘Thinking sooner about later’ invited elderly people in 2013-2015 to think about their future and end of life so that they could have a firmer grip on their lives. We will organise a few readings and supplementary education regarding euthanasia and palliative care in 2021.

Ethics and the beginning of life. Ethical frameworks for prenatal diagnostics

Date 
Friday, May 27, 2016 - 09:00 to 16:30
Organized by 

Afbeelding 
Pregnant woman gets an ultrasound scan

Ethics and the beginning of life. Ethical frameworks for prenatal diagnostics

In this short course - on Friday May 27th 2016 - we provide professionals (physicians, caregivers) with ehtical frameworks to express and discuss ethical concerns. 

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Afbeelding 
Pregnant woman gets an ultrasound scan

Short course: Ethics and the beginning of life. Ethical frameworks for prenatal diagnostics.

Short course by lecturer and researcher Adelheid Rigo and lecturer Erik Claes.

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Date 
Friday, March 17, 2017 - 10:00
Organized by 

Afbeelding 
muurschildering van islamitisch gezin waarvan de dochter gaat studeren

Raising children with the Quran in Flanders

Parenting according to Islamic educational ideals: what does that mean?

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Afbeelding 
muurschildering van islamitisch gezin waarvan de dochter gaat studeren

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