Postgraduate Research, Papers and Programmes

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This provides an overview of the Bioethics Centre, including staff, papers and programmes, and research.

Text of Postgraduate Research, Papers and Programmes

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    Bioethics Centre, University of Otago P.O. Box 913, Dunedin 9054

    New Zealand

    Phone 64 3 4747977 Fax 64 3 4747601

    Email Facebook TheBioethicsCentre

    Twitter @bioethicscentre Website

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    STAFF OF THE DEPARTMENT Academic Staff Head of Department Prof. D.G. Jones Professors D. Evans G. Gillett Associate Professor J-B. Nie Senior Lecturers Dr L.C. Anderson Dr N. Pickering Lecturer S. Walker Professional Practice Fellow S. Elkin Assistant Research Fellows Dr M.R. King M.I. Whitaker General Staff Administrator V. Lang

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    RESEARCH IN THE DEPARTMENT The wide range of research projects and activities of the Centre aims to examine the conventional and novel moral dilemmas arising from medical research, clinical settings, and advances brought about by life sciences and biotechnologies. Great efforts are focused on exploring previously rarely-chartered areas and innovative conceptual and methodological approaches. Moreover, the Centre is committed not only to research-informed teaching in its extensive educational program but also to active engagements with social and public policy issues at local, national and international levels. Staff of the Centre have received external research grants from such funding bodies as the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, the Law Foundation, and the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Bioethics is a diverse area of study. Broadly, it includes, but is not limited to: ethical issues in healthcare; conceptual and philosophical questions arising from biology and the technologies that surround it; and the role of science and the humanities in understanding life in all its forms. This research typically involves aspects of many different academic disciplines. Staff at the Centre actively collaborate with researchers from philosophy, the biological sciences, health care, anthropology, sociology, history, law, theology, psychology, and others. The Centre hosts a biennial conference to draw together bioethics researchers throughout New Zealand and beyond to present and discuss theirs and others work.

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    Research themes Centre staff have conducted research spanning a wide range of topics within bioethics. This has included distributive justice and resource allocation, the ethics of genetic technologies and stem cell research, and the practice of ethical review committees in New Zealand, among others. Further research can be grouped according to the following themes. Neuroethics: The overlap between neuroscience and ethics creates problems involving neuroimaging and information use, moral aspects of personhood and brain changes that explain behaviour or affect a persons identity, and the ethical importance of consciousness. Reproductive ethics: Ethical considerations in the use of reproductive technologies, and ethical issues arising from social policy in the area of reproduction: IVF, surrogacy, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, one-child policy in China. Human enhancement: Human performance, behaviour and appearance can be increased beyond that which is normally expected. Enhancement like this is contrasted with therapy or conventional treatment. Examples are cognitive enhancement, enhancement in sport, and cosmetic surgery. Transhumanism represents extreme vistas, with its possibilities of vast life extension. Philosophy and mental health: Is there any such thing as mental disorder, if so, what kind of thing is it, is coercion in psychiatry ever justified, if so, what justifies it, what is the conceptual status of psychotic hallucinations and delusions, should psychiatry be replaced by cognitive neuroscience? Philosophy of medicine: What is the relation between biomedical science and clinical practice, what is the status

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    of complementary and alternative medicine, should diseases be regarded realistically, pragmatically or as social constructs, what role should evidence based medicine have in medical decision making? Sports medicine ethics: Ethical considerations that arise from the practice of medicine within sport: threats to medical professionalism from commercial interests in sport, enhancement of sporting achievement, athlete confidentiality within sporting employment structure, responding to athlete risk taking. Cross-cultural ethics: Maori perspectives on genetic biotechnologies and health care, the nature of indigenous knowledge, medical ethics in China, Confucian and Daoist perspectives on bioethics, Chinese voices on abortion, the ideology and ethics of Chinas birth control program, the ethics of population engineering in the east and west, Japans wartime medical atrocities and international aftermath, the search for a transcultural bioethics. End of life: When should a human life be allowed to end, can a patient request aid in dying, is euthanasia permissible, are there states of living that are worse than death? Should it always be a patients choice as to how and when his or her death occurs?

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    Dr Lynley C. Anderson Senior Lecturer PhD (Otago) MHealSc NZRP Brief Description of Research Ethics in sports medicine, reproductive ethics, clinical bioethics, professional development, codes of ethics Research interests One of Lynleys main areas of research interest is in sports medicine ethics: in particular exploring the structure of medicine in sport and the ways in which the contemporary cultural and economic context of elite sport can encourage a deviation from obligations traditionally associated with medicine. In 2007 she was invited to write a new code of ethics for the Australasian College of Sports Physicians which was adopted in 2008. Reproductive ethics is another area of research interest, particularly the development of policy surrounding reproductive procedures and getting the balance right between protection and freedom. Lynley currently serves on the Ethics Committee for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ECART). Professional issues for health professionals are a further area of interest. This includes ways of assisting health

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    professionals to maintain professional boundaries, and professional development. Selected Recent Publications Anderson, L., & Pelvin, B. (2010). Ethical frameworks for practice. In S. Pairman, S. Tracy, C. Thorogood, & J.

    Pincombe (Eds.), Midwifery: Preparation for practice (2nd ed.). (pp. 283-297). Chatswood, Australia: Elsevier.

    Anderson, L. & Pickering, N. (2010) The student code: Ethical and professional expectations of medical students at the University of Otago. New Zealand Medical Journal, 123(1318), 43-49.

    Anderson, L. & Ellis, E. (2009) Ethics, practice regulation and physiotherapy. In Contexts of Physiotherapy Practice. J. Higgs, M. Smith, G. Webb, M. Skinner & A. Croker, (eds.), Sydney: Elsevier, pp 177-189.

    Anderson, L.C. (2009) Writing a new code of ethics for sports physicians principles and challenges. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43, 1079-1082.

    Anderson, L. (2008) Australasian College of Sports Physicians: Code of ethics and professional behaviour. (adopted April 2008)

    Anderson, L. & Pickering, N. (2008) Ethical review of physiotherapy research. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 36(3), 138-143.

    Anderson, LC. (2008) Contractual obligations and the sharing of confidential health information in sport. Journal of Medical Ethics, 34, e6.

    Anderson, L. (2007) Doctoring risk: responding to risk taking in athletes. Ethics, Philosophy and Sport, 1(2), 119-134.

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    Sandy Elkin Professional Practice Fellow MBHL (Otago) BA (Hons) Open University (UK) MCSP (Dist) Royal London Hospital NZRP Brief Description of Research Bioethics and clinical teaching. Research interests Ethics in clinical practice for non-medical health professionals. The interface between law and ethics and the relevance of medical law to clinicians. Ethics in pharmacy practice. Selected Recent Publications Elkin, S.A. (2004). New developments: Bioethics and health law in New Zealand [Bioethics commentary]. New Zealand Bioethics Journal, 5(1), 4-8.

    Elkin, S.A. (2004). The integration of ethics teaching in the therapy professions. Focus on Health Professional Education, 5(3), 1-6.

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    Professor Donald Evans PhD (Wales) BA Honours Member of the Russian Academy of Humanitarian Research. Brief Description of Research

    ethical and philosophical dimensions of clinical practice

    ethics and resource allocation

    ethical issues in assisted reproduction

    ethical review of human participant research

    ethics of biotechnologies Research interests Professor Evans has spent 25 years on the development of Health Care Ethics curricula and teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has designed and provided training to members of ethical review committees throughout that period. He has conducted various commissioned research projects for public bodies, government and international organisations and provided ethics consultations with practitioners in a variety of New Zealand and international

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    Health Care settings. He is currently President of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee and is a member of the World Commission on Ethics in Science and technology and the UNESCO Commission on the Teaching of Medical Ethics. He has recently served six years as the