Values-based Theory Network

Network Leads

Anna Bergqvist


Director, Particularism in Bioethics, Professional Ethics and Medicine


I am a lecturer in Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University. I am also Director of the Particularism in Bioethics, Professional Ethics and MedicineNetwork. My main research areas are aesthetics and moral philosophy, and selected issues in mind and language. I am co-editor of Philosophy and Museums: Ethics, Aesthetics and Ontology(Cambridge University Press, 2015) and editor of a planned volume on Evaluative Perception(with Robert Cowan). I have also published on particularism, thick evaluative concepts, semantic contextualism. I am interested in the intersection between metaethics, epistemology and philosophy of medicine, currently preparing a monograph on particularism and values-based practice.

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Background and Aims
The Values-Based Theory Network (VBP Theory Network) strives to promote research excellence and interdisciplinary collaboration in the fields of analytic and continental philosophy of medicine and mental health research. It was launched at an inaugural Advanced Studies Seminar at St Catherine’s College in October 2016 in collaboration with the Network Lead’s established Wellcome Trust funded Particularism in Bioethics, Professional Ethics and Medicine Network. The network includes academics, health care professionals, policy makers, and experts by experience. Recovery and shared decision-making models are currently the gold standard for putting people at the centre of decisions about their own treatment and care. The "Values-Based Health Practices" (VBP) methodology, developed by The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health and the Philosophy and Ethics in Mental Health Program from the Department of Philosophy of Warwick University Medicine College, has been described as an approach to decision-making in social health care that incorporates the different (and potentially conflicting) values of various stakeholders in favouring the co-responsibility of the people directly involved in the care process: patients, caregivers, clinical professionals and managers. It is not, therefore, a practice that presupposes the judgment of the behaviour of the other, but of the establishment of care relations permeated by respect between the parties. The decision making regarding the procedures and care process occurs in a democratic and agreed manner. Values differences are potentially cause for conflicts, so for VBP there is a need for the development of some practical skills of theoretical interest that can minimize potential friction: Perception, reasoning, knowledge, and communication. VBP is not guided only by the development of such individual practical skills, but also by the challenges of care in multidisciplinary services. The aims and scope of the VBP Theory Network is informed by aspects of the historically influential theoretical underpinnings of values-based practice and analytic humanistic in understanding the role of the psychiatrist in the helping professions (WPA Position Statement). It also opens up a conceptual space for non-pathological ways of understanding the epistemic and phenomenological structures in understanding the lived experience of the individual patient – conceptual tools crucial in the education of the psychiatrist’s medical expertise in identifying and managing complexity and co-morbidity in mental illness, such as that between personality disorder and psychopathology, substance abuse and mental illness and the impacts and interrelationship of psychical health and mental illness. Such reorientation of focus invites important re-examination of personal autonomy and relational moral agency, and new research on the implications of value pluralism for debates about objectivity and value in science more generally.
The VBP Theory network has the following objectives:
    • To CHAMPION values-based approaches in the global spheres of medicine and mental health research, policy, and practice.
    • To PROMOTE and CELEBRATE the mutual benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration in research and knowledge exchange by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas between those working in health care and academia.
    • To PRODUCE innovative conceptual and evidence-based research that improves the quality of shared decision-making and patient empowerment.
    • To WORK ALONGSIDE experts by experience to raise the profile of their voices in research and education.
    • To EXPLORE and CONSTRUCTIVELY CHALLENGE implicit assumptions about health and illness in theory and practice.
The VBP Theory Network is open to all working at the intersection of conceptual and empirical approaches to values-based medicine, philosophy of psychiatry and mental health (as well as related fields of value philosophy and analytic psychology). The VBP Theory Network is international in scope and set up to aid the communication and collaboration between people and groups in academia, practice and communities to enable the sharing of knowledge across cultures and within different societal and health care contexts. For a list of members please click here
The VBP Theory Network strives to advance co-productive and values-based practice principles by ensuring equality of access and voice. Therefore, members are requested to adhere to accessibility practices, for example, using plain English, avoiding acronyms, sharing resources between different stakeholders.
Meetings, Activities and Announcements
Meetings and workshops are organised regularly to advance our objectives and promote concepts of shared decision-making and co-productive research, some of them with an open call for papers in the conference format. The Network will work mainly by email and through local initiatives led by members, but we aim to arrange an annual meeting in different locations through the resources of the Collaborating Centre.

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Past Events
For details of meetings and presentations until 2020 please click here

How to join the network

We welcome new members from across the globe with an interest in values-based approaches to medicine and mental health research.
    • For more general information or to apply to join the VBP Theory Network please contact Anna Bergqvist at

Quick Links

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Contact Us

If you have any ideas, suggestions or queries or would like further information please contact us

WikiVBP Reference Library

The wikiVBP Reference Library aims to provide a focused resource of literature and other materials supporting training, research and policy developments in values-based practice.

Please Click Here to go to the library

Key Areas of Collaboration

Core activities of the Centre are based around three inter-linked areas, Education, Regulation and Integration, together with crosscutting themes of Theory and Practice

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Values-based Surgical Care

Values-based practice in surgery is an innovative approach to decision making in surgery, linking science with people.


To read more please Click Here

Training Materials and Resources

The CUP Book Series

Cambridge University Press has a VBP book series.

Click here to find out more