•  31
    On Nudging and Informed Consent
    American Journal of Bioethics 15 (10): 41-42. 2015.
  •  94
    A defense of subsequent consent
    Journal of Social Philosophy 40 (1): 117-131. 2009.
    Subsequent consent can be morally efficacious.  First, it licenses nostalgia and dismissiveness no more than its prior cousin does.  Second, it's coherent because linked to the mental state of not minding.  Third, it's just as vulnerable to bilking as prior consent is, as is clear once we distinguish between basing moral assessments on expectations versus on actual outcomes.  Fourth, mind control is illegitimate because it short circuits the subject's will, not because its consent is subsequent.…Read more
  •  25
    In this article I will argue first that if ignorance poses a problem for valid consent in medical contexts then framing effects do too, and second that the problem posed by framing effects can be solved by eliminating those effects. My position is thus a mean between two mistaken extremes. At one mistaken extreme, framing effects are so trivial that they never impinge on the moral force of consent. This is as mistaken as thinking that ignorance is so trivial that it never impinges on the moral f…Read more
  •  13
    Shared Vulnerabilities in Research
    American Journal of Bioethics 14 (12): 3-11. 2014.
    The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations governing federally funded research on human subjects assumes that harmful research is sometimes morally justifiable because the beneficiaries of that research share a particular vulnerability with its subjects. In this article, I argue against this assumption, which occurs in every subpart of the Code of Federal Regulations that deals with specific vulnerable populations . I argue that shared vulnerability is no exception to the general principle that harmin…Read more
  •  38
    Against Harmful Research on Non‐Agreeing Children
    Bioethics 29 (6): 431-439. 2015.
    The Code of Federal Regulations permits harmful research on children who have not agreed to participate, but I will argue that it should be no more permissive of harmful research on such children than of harmful research on adults who have not agreed to participate. Of course, the Code permits harmful research on adults. Such research is not morally problematic, however, because adults must agree to participate. And, of course, the Code also permits beneficial research on children without needin…Read more
  •  17
    Cluster randomization and political philosophy
    Bioethics 26 (9): 476-484. 2012.
    In this paper, I will argue that, while the ethical issues raised by cluster randomization can be challenging, they are not new. My thesis divides neatly into two parts. In the first, easier part I argue that many of the ethical challenges posed by cluster randomized human subjects research are clearly present in other types of human subjects research, and so are not novel. In the second, more difficult part I discuss the thorniest ethical challenge for cluster randomized research – cases where …Read more
  •  67
    Why Athletic Doping Should Be Banned
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (1): 33-49. 2012.
    So long as a ban is enforceable, large private athletic institutions—such as Major League Baseball and the National Collegiate Athletic Association—should not allow their athletes to take performance-enhancing drugs. The argument I present is game-theoretic: though each athlete prefers unilateral permission to dope over a universal ban, he also prefers a universal ban over universal permission to dope. That is because, while doping improves absolute measures of performance, it does not improve r…Read more
  •  48
    A Puzzle about Consent in Research and in Practice
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (3): 258-272. 2010.
    In this paper, I will examine a puzzling discrepancy between the way clinicians are allowed to treat their patients and the way researchers are allowed to treat their subjects: in certain cases, researchers are legally required to disclose quite a bit more information when obtaining consent from prospective subjects than clinicians are when obtaining consent from prospective patients. I will argue that the proper resolution of this puzzling discrepancy must appeal to a pragmatic criterion of dis…Read more
  •  71
    Futility Clarified
    Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 37 (3): 487-495. 2009.
    Futility is easily defined as uselessness. The mistaken appearance that it cannot be defined is explained by difficulties applying it to particular cases. This latter problem is a major goal of clinical training and cannot be solved in a pithy statement.
  •  21
    Views regarding the training of ethics consultants: a survey of physicians caring for patients in ICU
    with D. C. Landy and R. R. Sharp
    Journal of Medical Ethics 33 (6): 320-324. 2007.
    Background: Despite the expansion of ethics consultation services, questions remain about the aims of clinical ethics consultation, its methods and the expertise of those who provide such services.Objective: To describe physicians’ expectations regarding the training and skills necessary for ethics consultants to contribute effectively to the care of patients in intensive care unit .Design: Mailed survey.Participants: Physicians responsible for the care of at least 10 patients in ICU over a 6-mo…Read more
  •  23
    Against the inalienable right to withdraw from research
    Bioethics 22 (7): 370-378. 2008.
    In this paper I argue, against the current consensus, that the right to withdraw from research is sometimes alienable. In other words, research subjects are sometimes morally permitted to waive their right to withdraw. The argument proceeds in three major steps. In the first step, I argue that rights typically should be presumed alienable, both because that is not illegitimately coercive and because the general paternalistic motivation for keeping them inalienable is untenable. In the second ste…Read more