•  129
    We often find ourselves in situations where it is up to us to make decisions on behalf of others. How can we determine whether such decisions are morally justified, especially if those decisions may change who it is these others end up becoming? In this paper, I will evaluate one plausible kind of justification that may tempt us: we may want to justify our decision by appealing to the likelihood that the other person will be glad we made that specific choice down the line. Although it is temptin…Read more
  •  93
    E-cigarettes and the Multiple Responsibilities of the FDA
    with Larisa Svirsky and Micah L. Berman
    American Journal of Bioethics 1-10. forthcoming.
    This paper considers the responsibilities of the FDA with regard to disseminating information about the benefits and harms of e-cigarettes. Tobacco harm reduction advocates claim that the FDA has been overcautious and has violated ethical obligations by failing to clearly communicate to the public that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than cigarettes. We argue, by contrast, that the FDA’s obligations in this arena are more complex than they may appear at first blush. Though the FDA is accountab…Read more
  •  91
    Transformative Choices and the Specter of Regret.
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association. forthcoming.
    When people are making certain medical decisions – especially potentially transformative ones – the specter of regret may color their choices. In this paper, I ask: can predicting that we will regret a decision in the future serve any justificatory role in our present decision-making? And if so, what role? While there are many pitfalls to such reasoning, I ultimately conclude that considering future retrospective emotions like regret in our decisionmaking can be both rational and authentic. Rath…Read more
  •  82
    On valuing impairment
    with Sean Aas
    Philosophical Studies 175 (5): 1113-1133. 2018.
    In The Minority Body, Elizabeth Barnes rejects prevailing social constructionist accounts of disability for two reasons. First, because they understand disability in terms of oppressive social responses to bodily impairment, they cannot make sense of disability pride. Second, they maintain a problematic distinction between impairment and disability. In response to these challenges, this paper defends a version of the social model of disability, which we call the Social Exclusion Model. On our ac…Read more
  •  62
    The increasing use of opioid treatment agreements (OTAs) has prompted debate within the medical community about ethical challenges with respect to their implementation. The focus of debate is usually on the efficacy of OTAs at reducing opioid misuse, how OTAs may undermine trust between physicians and patients, and the potential coercive nature of requiring patients to sign such agreements as a condition for receiving pain care. An important consideration missing from these conversations is the …Read more
  •  53
    Supported Decision-Making: Non-Domination Rather Than Mental Prosthesis
    American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience. forthcoming.
    Recently, bioethicists and the UNCRPD have advocated for supported medical decision-making on behalf of patients with intellectual disabilities. But what does supported decision-making really entail? One compelling framework is Anita Silvers and Leslie Francis’ mental prosthesis account, which envisions supported decision-making as a process in which trustees act as mere appendages for the patient’s will; the trustee provides the cognitive tools the patient requires to realize her conception of …Read more
  •  19
    The Scoundrel and the Visionary: On Reasonable Hope and the Possibility of a Just Future
    Journal of Political Philosophy 27 (3): 294-317. 2019.
    John Rawls, among others, has argued that one of aims political philosophy is that it provides reasonable hope in the possibility of justice in the future. But what makes hope reasonable? What sorts of theories of justice are best suited to foster reasonable hope in us? To answer these questions, this paper investigates Rawls’s conception of reasonable hope and the kinds of unreasonableness Rawls sought to guard against with his account of a realistic utopia. Rawls's idea of reasonable hope goes…Read more
  •  17
    The Medical Surrogate as Fiduciary Agent
    Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 45 (3): 402-420. 2017.
    Within bioethics, two prevailing approaches structure how we think about the role of medical surrogates and the decisions that they must make on behalf of incompetent patients. One approach views the surrogate primarily as the patient's agent, obediently enacting the patient's predetermined will. The second approach views the surrogate as the patient's custodian, judging for herself how to best safeguard the patient's interests. This paper argues that both of these approaches idealize away some …Read more
  •  12
    Those arguing that conscientious objection in medicine should be declared unethical by professional societies face the following challenge: conscientious objection can function as an important reforming mechanism when it involves health care workers refusing to participate in certain medical interventions deemed standard of care and legally sanctioned but which undermine patients’ rights. In such cases, the argument goes, far from being unethical, conscientious objection may actually be a profes…Read more
  •  11
    ‘Hey everybody, don't get pregnant’: Zika, WHO and an ethical framework for advising
    with Katie Byron
    Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (5): 334-338. 2017.
    The WHO recently made news by apparently advising couples in Zika affected areas to delay pregnancy. On closer inspection, however, it is not so clear what advice was actually being offered in their interim guidance regarding the prevention of the sexual transmission of Zika. In this paper, we lay out a framework for considering the ethical issues that arise in the context of advising and use it to evaluate the WHO guidance. We argue that advising is not merely an informative act. The choices th…Read more