Episodes
Professor Gopal Sreenivasan delivers a New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar on the topic of Informed Consent. This talk develops a novel argument to show that prospective research subjects can validly consent to participate in a study without understanding (most of) the content of the required disclosure. Its point of departure is the right subjects standardly have to waive (most of) the investigator’s duty to disclose. Things get worse for autonomy based defences of informed consent because...
Published 06/08/21
A New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, with Professor Maureen Kelley. Much of global health research occurs against the backdrop of severe, intersectional and structural vulnerabilities, where susceptibility to disease and early death are driven by poverty, and related factors such as political conflict and climate change. Global health research priorities over the last two decades have been shaped by a small number of high income country institutions, with political commitments informed...
Published 05/24/21
A New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar with Dr David M Lyreskog. It is no exaggeration that the philosophical and ethical dimensions of age-related cognitive decline and dementia have been discussed for millennia, nor is it without reason. To this day, we struggle with understanding and dealing with the conceptual and ethical complexities which these conditions give rise to. And yet, we keep encountering new problems, challenging us to again rethink our relationship with neurodegenerative...
Published 03/01/21
Professor Morten L. Kringlebach explains how recent advances in neuroimaging offer an insight into hedonia and eudaimonia, and draws out implications for neuropsychiatric disorders. Recent advances in whole-brain modelling have helped stratify the heterogeneity of anhedonia across neuropsychiatric disorders, and the key underlying components of the pleasure network. I will show how modelling of neuroimaging data from diverse hedonic routes such as psychedelics, meditation and music could...
Published 01/27/21
MT20 New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar with Assoc. Professor Jennifer Hawkins Valid informed consent to treatment requires that the person giving consent have decision-making capacity or (what amounts to the same thing) must be mentally competent. To date the most influential model for both conceptualizing what capacity is, and for assessing it clinically, is the “four abilities model” developed by Thomas Grisso and Paul Appelbaum. Despite its popularity, however, this framework is flawed....
Published 11/23/20
Alberto Giubilini and David Jones trade views and argue each other's position on conscientious objection in healthcare In this unusual online debate, Alberto Guibilini (Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics) and David Jones (The Anscombe Bioethics Centre) adopt each other's position on conscientious objection, arguing for the opposing view in an attempt to explore not only the subject, but the very nature of disagreement and discussion.
Published 10/14/20
Recording of the New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar on surrogate decision-making after severe brain injury. Patients with ‘covert awareness’ may continue to have values and an authentic sense of self, which may differ from their past values and wishes, despite lacking decision-making capacity in the present. Accordingly, surrogate decision-makers should make decisions based on how the patient is likely to experience their condition in the present, rather than their past wishes and values.
Published 06/19/20
In this New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Professor Arthur Schafer outlines the current contours of the Canadian euthanasia debate. In June of 2016 the Canadian Parliament passed legislation (Bill-14) legalizing MAiD: medical assistance in dying. Subject to various restrictions, both mercy killing and medically assisted suicide are now legal in Canada. The contours of the Canadian euthanasia debate will be described, with special focus on the ethical issues that remain most controversial....
Published 05/11/20
In this talk, Neil Armstrong uses ethnographic material of NHS mental healthcare to raise some questions about autonomy, risk and personal and institutional responsibility. Neil Armstrong's research investigates mental health. He is particularly interested in how the institutional setting shapes so much of mental healthcare. His research aims to find ways that we might improve healthcare institutions rather than just focussing on developing new healthcare interventions. He is also concerned...
Published 02/17/20
In this talk, Prof. Peter Sandøe argues that, from an ethical viewpoint, gene editing is the best solution to produce hornless cattle. There are, however, regulatory hurdles. Presented at the workshop 'Gene Editing and Animal Welfare, 19 Nov. 2019, Oxford - organised by the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, funded by the Society for Applied Philosophy. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales;...
Published 12/02/19
Respecting patients' autonomy is increasingly important in the digital age, yet researchers have raised concerns over the barriers of access to medical data useful for data-driven medical research. Respecting patients and their autonomy, a primary obligation of medical professionals, is increasingly important in the digital age. Yet biomedical and bioethical researchers have raised concerns over the barriers of access to previously stored medical data useful for epidemiological and other...
Published 11/13/19
Professor Julian Savulescu and Dr Katrien Devolder discuss the use of genetic testing to select which children to bring into the world. Should we use genetic testing to choose which children to bring into the world, and if so, how should we choose? Is it acceptable to choose a deaf child? Should we choose our children on the basis of non-disease traits such as intelligence or fitness, if we can? Does genetic selection put too much pressure on prospective parents? In this interview with...
Published 11/04/19
In November 2018, a Chinese scientist announced the birth of the world’s first gene-edited babies and sparked outrage across the world. Professor Nie considers how China's complex socio-ethical approach paved the way for this controversial experiment. Among numerous ethical issues, editing heritable germline genomes of otherwise healthy embryos for natural resistance to HIV constitutes an effort of positive eugenics, i.e. not treating disease but enhancing genetic features. This paradigm case...
Published 10/07/19
Professor Seumas Miller defines fake news, hate speech and propaganda, discusses the relationship between social media and political propaganda. In this article I provide definitions of fake news, hate speech and propaganda, respectively. These phenomenon are corruptive of the epistemic (i.e. knowledge-aiming) norms, e.g. to tell the truth. I also elaborate the right to freedom of communication and its relation both to censoring propaganda and to the role of epistemic institutions, such as a...
Published 06/20/19
In this special lecture, Professor Mitt Regan discusses the latest research in moral perception and judgment, and the potential implications of this research for ethics education in general and military ethics training in particular. In November 2005, an improvised explosive device destroyed a vehicle in a US Marine Corps convoy, killing one man and seriously injuring another. Less than a minute later, Sergeant Frank Wuterich saw five unarmed Iraqi men standing by a car about fifteen meters...
Published 06/19/19
In this New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Professor Tony Coady argues that religion does not have an inherent tendency towards violence, including particularly war and terrorism. There is a widespread belief amounting almost to a cultural assumption in many influential circles that assigns to religion and religious difference an inherent tendency to violence. In this talk, Professor Coady highlights misleading implications and confusion between religious war and terrorism, particularly...
Published 05/01/19
Professor Seumas Miller sets out how the use of lethal and coercive forces may erode moral character and cause moral injury. According to leading psychiatrist Jonathan Shay whose patients are US war veterans, “Moral injury is an essential part of any combat trauma that leads to lifelong psychological injury. Veterans can usually recover from horror, fear and grief so long as ”what’s right” has also not been violated”. The focus of this paper is on moral injury in both military combatants and...
Published 03/26/19
Is 'gig work' exploitative and injust? In this New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Daniel Halliday examines the common concerns from an ethical perspective. Recent advances in communication economy have created new ways for consumers to access service labour. Those who own the platforms associated with these services typically do not employ their workers, but treat them as freelance or 'gig' workers. This has led to a popular complaint that gig work is exploitative or otherwise unjust, and...
Published 03/04/19
In this New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar, Simukai Chigudu examines the humanitarian politics of responding to the most catastrophic cholera outbreak in African history. The paper demonstrates how humanitarian relief operations are riven by competing claims to leadership, authority and legitimacy but often converge on the ineluctable logic of saving lives - 'the salvation agenda'. Nevertheless, the paper contends that the exigency of saving lives in this case did not, and could not, address...
Published 02/12/19
How should members of a liberal democratic political community, open to value pluralism, decide bioethical issues that generate deep disagreement? Reasoned debate will not often generate an answer equally accepted to all participants and affected persons. One political means of reaching binding because authoritative decisions are majoritarian democratic institutions. Its core feature is proceduralism, the notion both that no rule is acceptable apart from a formal method, and that the...
Published 11/06/18
Professor Steven Hoffman discusses legal mechanisms available for coordinating international responses to transnational problems, their prospects, and their challenges. Global legal epidemiology is the scientific study of international law as a factor in the cause, distribution, and promotion of outcomes around the world. It involves evaluating the effectiveness of international legal mechanisms on the basis of their quantifiable effects and drawing implications for the development of future...
Published 10/23/18
Fake news spread online is a clear danger to democratic politics. One aspect of that danger is obvious: it spreads misinformation. But other aspects, less often discussed, is that it also spreads confusion and undermines trust. In this talk, I will argue that it is this last aspect that captures the most pernicious effect of fake news and related propaganda. In particular, I’ll argue that its effectiveness is due in part to a curious blindness on the part of many users of social media: a kind...
Published 10/08/18
In this OUC-WEH Joint Seminar, Irina Mikhalevich argues that the moral status of invertebrate animals is often overlooked, and sets out why animal ethics should be more inclusive and comprehensive. Invertebrate animals account for approximately 95% of all extant species and an astounding 99.9% of all animals on Earth, ranging from the sessile and brainless sea sponge to social-learners such as bumblebees and flexible problem-solvers like the common octopus. Despite this diversity, these...
Published 06/19/18