•  51
    On what basis should we judge whether a parent’s medical decision for their child is morally acceptable? In a recent article, Johan Bester attempts to answer this question by defending a version of the Best Interest Standard for parental decision making. The purpose of this paper is to identify a number of problems faced by Bester’s version of BIS and to suggest ways to redress these problems. Accordingly, we intend to advance the project of formulating a method for guiding parents’ medical deci…Read more
  •  4
    Surrogates and Artificial Intelligence: Why AI Trumps Family
    Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (6): 3217-3227. 2020.
    The increasing accuracy of algorithms to predict values and preferences raises the possibility that artificial intelligence technology will be able to serve as a surrogate decision-maker for incapacitated patients. Following Camillo Lamanna and Lauren Byrne, we call this technology the autonomy algorithm. Such an algorithm would mine medical research, health records, and social media data to predict patient treatment preferences. The possibility of developing the AA raises the ethical question o…Read more
  •  5
    In Defence of Forgetting Evil: A Reply to Pilkington on Conscientious Objection
    with T. J. Kasperbauer
    Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 18 (1): 189-191. 2021.
    In a recent article for this journal, Bryan Pilkington makes a number of critical observations about one of our arguments for non-traditional medical conscientious objectors’ duty to refer. Non-traditional conscientious objectors are those professionals who object to indirectly performing actions—like, say, referring to a physician who will perform an abortion. In our response here, we discuss his central objection and clarify our position on the role of value conflicts in non-traditional consci…Read more
  •  3
    On Surrogates’ Moral Authority: A Reply to Berger
    American Journal of Bioethics 20 (2): 64-66. 2020.
    Volume 20, Issue 2, February 2020, Page 64-66.
  •  6
    We recently argued that—contrary to what we call the dominant view— physicians ought to avoid engaging patients on religious grounds.1 The six responses to our article present an array of concerns and have provided us with the opportunity to consider further aspects of our view. While we cannot reply to all the relevant issues, our aim here is to reply to the most significant concerns. Against our Public Reason Argument, Nick Colgrove maintains that physicians are not relevantly akin to public o…Read more
  •  18
    A survey of the recent literature suggests that physicians should engage religious patients on religious grounds when the patient cites religious considerations for a medical decision. We offer two arguments that physicians ought to avoid engaging patients in this manner. The first is the Public Reason Argument. We explain why physicians are relevantly akin to public officials. This suggests that it is not the physician’s proper role to engage in religious deliberation. This is because the publi…Read more
  •  15
    Laura Odwazny and Benjamin Berkman have raised several challenges regarding the new reasonable person standard in the revised Common Rule, which states that in‐ formed consent requires potential research subjects be provided with information a reasonable person would want to know to make an informed decision on whether to participate in a study. Our aim is to offer a response to the challenges Odwazny and Berkman raise, which include the need for a reasonable person standard that can be ap…Read more
  •  13
    Aulisio and Arora argue that the moral significance of value imposition explains the moral distinction between traditional conscientious objection and non-traditional conscientious objection. The former objects to directly performing actions, whereas the latter objects to indirectly assisting actions on the grounds that indirectly assisting makes the actor morally complicit. Examples of non-traditional conscientious objection include objections to the duty to refer. Typically, we expect physicia…Read more
  •  11
    In a recent article for this journal, Morten Magelssen argues that the right to conscientious objection in healthcare is grounded in the moral integrity of healthcare professionals, a good for both professionals and society. In this paper, I argue that there is no right to conscientious objection in healthcare, at least as Magelssen conceives of it. Magelssen’s conception of the right to conscientious objection is too expansive in nature. Although I will assume that there is a right to conscient…Read more
  •  1361
    Distributive and retributive desert in Rawls
    Journal of Social Philosophy 41 (2): 169-184. 2010.
    In this paper I examine John Rawls’s understanding of desert. Against Samuel Scheffler, I maintain that the reasons underlying Rawls’s rejection of the traditional view of distributive desert in A Theory of Justice also commit him to rejecting the traditional view of retributive desert. Unlike Rawls’s critics, however, I view this commitment in a positive light. I also argue that Rawls’s later work commits him to rejecting retributivism as a public justification for punishment.