•  32
    Passive euthanasia
    with E. Garrard
    Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (2): 64-68. 2005.
    The idea of passive euthanasia has recently been attacked in a particularly clear and explicit way by an “Ethics Task Force” established by the European Association of Palliative Care in February 2001. It claims that the expression “passive euthanasia” is a contradiction in terms and hence that there can be no such thing. This paper critically assesses the main arguments for the Task Force’s view. Three arguments are considered. Firstly, an argument based on the wrongness of euthanasia and the p…Read more
  •  16
    Separating conjoined twins: the case of Laden and Laleh Bijani
    In Jennifer Gunning & Søren Holm (eds.), Ethics, Law, and Society, Ashgate. pp. 1--257. 2005.
  •  16
    Germline Genetic Modification and Identity: the Mitochondrial and Nuclear Genomes
    with Rosamund Scott
    Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 37 (4): 886-915. 2017.
  •  69
    Bodily integrity and the sale of human organs
    with E. Garrard
    Journal of Medical Ethics 22 (6): 334-339. 1996.
    Existing arguments against paid organ donation are examined and found to be unconvincing. It is argued that the real reason why organ sale is generally thought to be wrong is that (a) bodily integrity is highly valued and (b) the removal of healthy organs constitutes a violation of this integrity. Both sale and (free) donation involve a violation of bodily integrity. In the case of the latter, though, the disvalue of the violation is typically outweighed by the presence of other goods: chiefly, …Read more
  •  23
    The Ethics of Mitochondrial Replacement
    with John B. Appleby and Rosamund Scott
    Bioethics 31 (1): 2-6. 2017.
  •  256
    It is argued that there are good reasons for believing that commercial surrogacy is often exploitative. However, even if we accept this, the exploitation argument for prohibiting (or otherwise legislatively discouraging) commercial surrogacy remains quite weak. One reason for this is that prohibition may well 'backfire' and lead to potential surrogates having to do other things that are more exploitative and/or more harmful than paid surrogacy. It is concluded, therefore, that those who oppose e…Read more
  •  139
    To what extent should parents be allowed to use reproductive technologies to determine the characteristics of their future children? Is there something morally wrong with choosing what their sex will be, or with trying to 'screen out' as much disease and disability as possible before birth? Stephen Wilkinson offers answers to such questions.
  •  47
    Eugenics, embryo selection, and the Equal Value Principle
    Clinical Ethics 1 (1): 46-51. 2006.
    Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and some prenatal screening programmes have been criticized for being 'eugenic'. This paper aims to analyse this criticism and to evaluate one of the main ethical arguments lying behind it. It starts with a discussion of the meaning of the term 'eugenics' and of some relevant distinctions: for example, that between objections to eugenic ends and objections to certain means of achieving them. Next, a particular argument against using preimplantation genetic diagn…Read more
  •  49
    Exploitation in International Paid Surrogacy Arrangements
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (2): 125-145. 2016.
    Many critics have suggested that international paid surrogacy is exploitative. Taking such concerns as its starting point, this article asks: how defensible is the claim that international paid surrogacy is exploitative and what could be done to make it less exploitative? In the light of the answer to, how strong is the case for prohibiting it? Exploitation could in principle be dealt with by improving surrogates' pay and conditions. However, doing so may exacerbate problems with consent. Foremo…Read more
  •  12
    Biomedical Research and the Commercial Exploitation of Human Tissue
    Genomics, Society and Policy 1 (1): 27-40. 2005.
    There is widespread anxiety about the commercialisation and commodification of human tissue. The aims of this paper are: to analyse some of these concerns, and to see whether some of the main ethical arguments that lie behind them are sound. Part 1 looks at 'inducement arguments' against paying individuals for their tissue and concludes that these are generally quite weak. Part 2 examines some ethical objections to third parties commercially exploiting human tissue. Firstly, it is argued that pr…Read more
  •  30
    Guest Editorial
    with Sheelagh Mcguinness and Tom Walker
    Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 22 (1): 4-7. 2013.
  •  25
    One widely held view of prenatal screening is that its foremost aim is, or should be, to enable reproductive choice; this is the Pure Choice view. The article critiques this position by comparing it with an alternative: Public Health Pluralism. It is argued that there are good reasons to prefer the latter, including the following. Public Health Pluralism does not, as is often supposed, render PNS more vulnerable to eugenics-objections. The Pure Choice view, if followed through to its logical con…Read more
  •  114
    "Eugenics talk" and the language of bioethics
    Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (6): 467-471. 2008.
    In bioethical discussions of preimplantation genetic diagnosis and prenatal screening, accusations of eugenics are commonplace, as are counter-claims that talk of eugenics is misleading and unhelpful. This paper asks whether “eugenics talk”, in this context, is legitimate and useful or something to be avoided. It also looks at the extent to which this linguistic question can be answered without first answering relevant substantive moral questions. Its main conclusion is that the best and most no…Read more
  •  29
    Is 'Normal Grief' a Mental Disorder?
    Philosophical Quarterly 50 (200): 290-304. 2000.
  •  6
    Guest Editorial - A Complex Web of Questions
    with Sheelagh Mcguinness and Tom Walker
    Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 22 (1): 4-7. 2013.
  •  24
    Why lying is worse than merely misleading
    Philosophy Today 13 (34): 6-7. 2000.
  •  23
    Review: Eugenics and the Criticism of Bioethics (review)
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (4). 2007.
    This article provides a critical assessment of some aspects of Ann Kerr and Tom Shakespeare's Genetic Politics: from eugenics to genome. In particular, I evaluate their claims: (a) that bioethics is too ‘top down’, involving normative prescriptions, whereas it should instead be ‘bottom up’ and grounded in social science; and (b) that contemporary bioethics has not dealt particularly well with people's moral concerns about eugenics. I conclude that several of Kerr and Shakespeare's criticisms are…Read more
  •  39
  •  136
    _Bodies for Sale: Ethics and Exploitation in the Human Body Trade _explores the philosophical and practical issues raised by activities such as surrogacy and organ trafficking. Stephen Wilkinson asks what is it that makes some commercial uses of the body controversial, whether the arguments against commercial exploitation stand up, and whether legislation outlawing such practices is really justified. In Part One Wilkinson explains and analyses some of the notoriously slippery concepts used in th…Read more
  •  12
    Is ‘Normal Grief’ a Mental Disorder&quest
    Philosophical Quarterly 50 (200): 290-304. 2000.