EPIC: Epistemic Injustice in Health Care

Year of award: 2023


  • Prof Havi Carel

    University of Bristol, United Kingdom

  • Prof Sheelagh McGuinness

    University of Bristol, United Kingdom

  • Dr Ian Kidd

    University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

  • Prof Matthew Broome

    University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

  • Prof Lisa Bortolotti

    University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Project summary

The concept of epistemic injustice (EI) in healthcare identifies epistemically unjust ways of conceiving of illness, treating ill persons and allocating healthcare. This application to healthcare, initiated by Carel and Kidd, has inaugurated a new research area with its own significant and growing literature. However, much work remains to be done. There are understudied forms of EI in healthcare; there is a need for a detailed empirical study of EI cases in healthcare and for empirical testing and validation of the concept; there is little research on how EI could be ameliorated; and the conceptual resources of EI need to be integrated into wider discourses about healthcare.

Epistemic Injustice in Health Care (EPIC) is a bold six-year research project which will address these issues. EPIC will create a step-change in EI research by addressing these four problems. The project will fill lacunae in existing EI theory; test the validity of the concept via six case studies of EI in ill health; develop strategies of amelioration; and introduce academic and clinical researchers and patient groups to EI to develop its theoretical and practical possibilities. EPIC will offer a new healthcare paradigm that will benefit patients, increase health equality and improve healthcare.