Job: Biomedical Ethics Teaching Fellow

11 July 2016

The Durham University Department of Philosophy seeks to appoint a fixed-term, full-time teaching fellow, from 1st October 2016 to 30th June 2017.

Reference Number: 002222
Post: Teaching Fellow
Department: Department of Philosophy
Location: Durham City
Contract Type: Fixed Term 9 Months, Full Time
Grade: Grade 7 £31,656 – £37,768
Closing Date: 03 August 2016 (Deadline for applications is 23:30 on the day of closing) 

 The successful applicant will have a PhD in a subject relevant to the field of biomedical ethics, be able to provide high quality teaching at undergraduate level and be able to teach in the following areas: biomedical ethics and the history of medicine. The successful applicant will also contribute to the supervision of undergraduate dissertations within their field of expertise, and to the taught MA in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine. The successful applicant will also serve as Director of the MA programme in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine .

We are a pluralistic and friendly department, which accommodates work in ‘analytic’, ‘Continental’ and non-Western philosophical traditions. Current research by our staff and postgraduate students spans a notably diverse range of philosophical, historical and interdisciplinary topics. It is structured around five research groups/clusters: · Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics · Applied Phenomenology · History of Philosophy · Mind, Language and Metaphysics . Science, Medicine and Society The department is keen to appoint a candidate who will complement and enhance our research-led teaching in the Science, Medicine and Society research cluster. The successful candidates must be in a position to take up the appointment on 1st October 2016.

Key Responsibilities The successful candidate will:

* Deliver teaching and examining of undergraduates in biomedical ethics and the history of medicine.
* Supervise undergraduate dissertations.
* Deliver teaching and examining of MA modules.
* Direct the MA programme in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine.
* Be responsible for the quality assurance of the modules on which they teach.
* Lead at least two modules and contribute to the design of modules as agreed with the Head of Department.
* Co-ordinate the input of others contributing to the module(s) they lead.
* Engage in collaborative decisions that have an impact on students, and the development and delivery of programmes.
* Write teaching material as necessary.
* Be a member of the Department’s Board of Studies, its Education Committee and some of its Examination Boards.
* Perform administrative duties appropriate to the level of appointment, as agreed with the Head of Department.

Person Specification Essential: 1. A PhD in a field relevant to biomedical ethics. 2. Prior experience of teaching and examining at undergraduate level, which should include lecturing and exam-marking. 3. Ability to make a high-quality contribution to teaching and examining in biomedical ethics and the history of medicine. 4. Ability to provide high quality one-to-one supervision of undergraduate dissertations and taught postgraduate assignments. 5. Ability and willingness to perform administrative roles appropriate to the level of appointment. Desirable: 1. Teaching and examining experience at taught postgraduate level.

The Application Process
Please ensure that you have read the full job description and that you have clearly evidenced the skills, knowledge, experience, qualifications and any additional attributes as required in the person specification before submitting your application.

Applications should be submitted on-line. Please attach a full academic CV and a covering letter of no more than one page. The CV should include the name and contact details (preferably e-mail) of three referees, who have agreed to write in support of your application if approached by us. The letter should explain how you match the person specification. Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.

If you have any queries relating to your application, please do not hesitate to contact either Dr Sophie Gibb (

Seminar: Communication pathologies in do-not-resuscitate discussions at the end of life

5 July 2016

Tuesday the 12th of July, 2016, 3:30pm.

Room 3.1.1, East Wing King’s Building, King’s College London.

Communication Pathologies in Do-Not-Resuscitate Discussions at the End of Life: The Unintended Consequences of an Ideology of Patient Choice

Speaker: Dr Elizabeth Dzeng

The focus on patient autonomy in American medicine today highlights the importance of freedom and choice for patients make their own decisions. However, to truly honor patient autonomy, patients must adequately understand their situation and choices. Fifty-eight semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with internal medicine physicians at three hospitals in the US and one in the UK. I observed that two hospitals had policies that prioritized patient autonomy whereas the other two hospitals had policies that prioritized making decisions in the patient’s best interest. Particularly at hospitals where autonomy was prioritized, trainee physicians equated autonomy with giving a menu of choices. They were uncomfortable giving a recommendation based on clinical knowledge as they worried that that would infringe patient autonomy.

Bio: Liz is Assistant Professor at UCSF in the Division of Hospital Medicine and Social and Behavioral Sciences, Sociology program. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the King’s College London Cicely Saunders Institute. She completed her PhD in Medical Sociology at the University of Cambridge at King’s College as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and a General Internal Medicine Post-Doctoral Clinical Research Fellow and Palliative Care Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.


Call for papers: Migration, Health & Ethics

5 July 2016

Special Issue in the journal Bioethics.

Online Publication June 2017, Print Publication 2018.

Guest Editors: Katja Kuehlmeyer, Corinna Klingler, Dennis Odukoya

 Submissions close: 24th October 2016

An increase in international migration over the last decade has contributed to the emergence of various challenges for the provision of public healthcare. At the country level for example, challenges include determining how to conduct migration-sensitive research and public health surveillance, how to manage access to healthcare in contexts of scarce resources, and the justifiability of the inclusion or exclusion of specific migrant groups. At the level of health systems within countries, questions arise regarding the appropriate distribution of responsibility for developing and implementing support structures to overcome barriers for both migrant patients and physicians. Finally, at the individual level, communication and shared decision-making between providers and patients can be complicated by language barriers and value differences. Migrant patients and physicians might additionally struggle with discrimination and limited system knowledge. These challenges have an ethical dimension because they concern the well-being and self-determination of patients and providers and pose questions of equitable access to, and fair distribution of, healthcare resources. Additionally, they warrant further reflection on medical decision-making in cases of value conflict.

Therefore, we are pleased to announce a thematic issues of Bioethics on the ethical and policy challenges in healthcare associated with international migration. Papers presenting empirical research are encouraged, but they should also include theoretical and/or normative reflections. Papers can address, but are not limited to the following questions:

  • Should data on migrant health be collected and reported, and if yes what is an ethically appropriate way to do so? What terms, classifications and categories should be used to capture and describe migration and migrant health?
  • To what extent should migrants be granted access to public healthcare services? Is it justifiable to limit access to (certain) migrant groups and if yes, for what reasons?
  • How should responsibility for overcoming access barriers or implementing support structures for migrated patients and providers be distributed?
  • What is an ethically appropriate way to address language barriers in healthcare? Can migrant patients or physicians be legitimately considered personally responsible for organizing an adequate translation service?
  • How should healthcare institutions deal with diversity in patients and personnel? How should divergent values be dealt with in complex treatment decisions (e.g. at the end of life)?

The guest editors welcome early communication of brief proposals and/or abstracts by email to:;;

Manuscripts should be submitted to Bioethics online at Please ensure that you select manuscript type ‘Special Issue’ and state that it is for the “Migration, Health & Ethics”, Special Issue when prompted. Full contact details should be uploaded in a separate electronic file. We discourage papers of more than 7500 words. For further submission requirements, format and referencing style, refer to the Author Guidelines on the Bioethics website:

Conference: Animals and Death

28 June 2016

27th September, 2016, University of Leeds.

Deadline for abstracts: 5th August 2016.

Animals and Death is a one day philosophy conference organised by the APE Collective at the University of Leeds, focusing on the moral problems surrounding animals and death.

Questions that might be addressed include:

* How does death harm animals and how is this different from how it harms humans?

* Should we intervene in predator, prey relations to minimize/eliminate death?

* Do we owe posthumous treatment to animals and their corpses?

* When, if ever, is it right to ‘euthanise’ a companion animal?

* Is death worse than non-existence for animals?

We invite presentations from anybody who does not hold a doctoral degree or who has received their doctorate within 3 years of the conference date. We welcome papers of both an applied and theoretical nature from any tradition of philosophy and also interdisciplinary work that considers the moral problems relating to animals and death.

Speakers will be given a 30 minute presentation slot followed by a 15 minute Q and A session. We particularly encourage submissions from under-represented groups in philosophy.

Confirmed keynote: Alasdair Cochrane (University of Sheffield).

Thanks to the generous support from the Society of Applied Philosophy, the Analysis Trust, the Centre for Ethics and Metaethics, and the school of PHRS at the University of Leeds, all speakers will receive a £30 travel bursary and have one night’s accommodation and their conference meal covered. Lunch will also be provided for all conference attendees.

Submissions: Please send an abstract of up to 500 words to: by 5th August 2016.  Abstracts should be prepared for blind review and include no information that identifies the author or their institution. Please send abstracts in .doc or .pdf format, accompanied by a separate document including the author’s name, paper title, institutional affiliation and contact details.

For further details please see:

Conference: Bioethics in Theory – Bioethics in Practice

21 June 2016

Wednesday 31st August – Thursday 1st September 2016, University of Bristol.

This year’s Postgraduate Bioethics Conference is on the theme “Bioethics in Theory: Bioethics in Practice”.  We will be celebrating the 10th iteration of this annual conference and the 20th anniversary of the host organisation, The University of Bristol’s Centre for Ethics in Medicine.

If you wish to attend this years conference then please complete the PGBC 2016 Registration Form and email it to Please send in your registration forms by the 8th July as spaces are limited.

We are pleased to announce that we can offer free accommodation for all for the night of Wednesday 31st August at Wills Hall, University of Bristol, our venue for day one of the conference. Lunch and refreshment will also be provided.

To celebrate the 10th iteration of the PBGC and the 20th anniversary of the University of Bristol’s Centre for Ethics in Medicine, there will be a complementary networking dinner on the evening of Wednesday 31st August, please let us know on the registration form if you wish to attend, have any dietary requirements or allergies.

Call for Abstracts

Please complete the Abstract Submission Form if you would like to be considered to present. Presentations will be limited 10 minutes with 10 minutes for questions. The deadline for submission is the 8th July, please email completed forms to – and we will endeavour to tell you if you have been successful by the 29th July.

Three Minute Thesis Competition

If you would like to participate in the Three Minute Thesis Competition please complete the form, available here: PGBC 2016 3MT Submission Form. The competition will be accompanied by drinks and the top three winners will receive a cash prize! The deadline for submission is the 8th July, please email completed forms to – and we will endeavour to tell you if you have been successful by the 29th July.

National and International Bursaries

If you would like the chance to be awarded a bursary for assistance to attend the conference then please complete the PGBC 2016 Bursary Application Form. For national applicants £100 will be available and £200 for international applicants. The deadline for submission is the 8th July, please email completed forms to – and we will endeavour to tell you if you have been successful by the 29th July.

Funding: MRes on bio-threats and veterinarian research

20 June 2016

Deadline for applications is Sunday 17th July 2016.  

Royal Veterinary College, University of London.

A fully-funded (stipend and fees with allocated research costs) MRes position is available to investigate the professional role of a veterinarian in education and detection of Dual-Use Research Concerns.

The Dual-Use Research Concern (DURC) arises when scientific research that is intended to be utilized for a beneficial purpose either is, or has the potential to be, repurposed for malevolent uses, such as the development of bio-weapons.  Many approaches have been implemented, or proposed, to limit potential harm from the DURC or from other bio-threats by imposing national policies, editorial journal review policies and ethical training for bio-scientists. The UK, under the A(SP)A, prohibits testing offensive biological weapons, but such legislation is not internationally adopted, consequently it may become the role of regional ethics committees to detect the potential threats associated with DURC.  Concern is raised over the capacity of these committees to accurately detect DURC or other bio-security concerns.  Consequently a concern relating to DURC, or other bio-threat developments, is that such research may not be detected by ethics committees but instead may be inadvertently be detected in wild or farmed animals through secondary/accidental exposure.

Detection of unexpected or unusual disease in these animals this may serve as an early indicator of bio-weapon development, biological threats or unanticipated DURC.  The detection of these indicators may rely on appropriate education and awareness of veterinary professionals of the DURC and bio-threats and thus knowledge of the DURC may be in an important component of veterinary education.  Importantly, notions of professionalism, responsibility and accountability have been identified as key criteria for physicians which may equally apply to veterinarians when faced with bioweapon detection or potential DURC.  As yet the role of the veterinarian in bio-threat reduction remains undetermined.

This project aims to determine the role of the veterinary professional in detection and education of the DURC in both the UK and in Jordan as key case examples.

The specific objectives of this project are:

  • To describe the literature regarding the role of the veterinarian in DURC and bio-threat discovery.
  • To thematically analyse the regulatory frameworks for veterinarians internationally, to determine objectives that promote professional obligations in the DURC detection.
  • To develop an educational framework to promote the knowledge-base of veterinarians in the UK and Jordan, inline with the FVE, of the DURC and of bio-threat detection.

As part of the RVC JUST Twinning programme, the student will be expected to interact with professionals in Jordan to facilitate this study.

Eligibility – you need to meet our MRes eligibility requirementsHOWEVER, FOR THIS PROJECT YOU DO NOT NEED A VETERINARY, SCIENCE OR MEDICAL DEGREE.  A SOCIAL SCIENCE, LAW OR PHILOSOPHY DEGREE WILL ALSO BE ELIGIBLE.  A knowledge of professional codes of conduct, professional education, biological research environments or ability to communicate with diverse stakeholders is desired.

The studentships are full-time for 12 months commencing on 3rd October 2016

Travel – As part of the programme students may be expected to travel to Jordan.

Who Can Apply – these studentships  are open to Home/EU students only

How to Apply – information on how to apply can be found here

Supervisors: Dr Martin Whiting and Dr Siobhan Abeyesinghe


About the project – 

About the application process –


Update: Nuffield Council on Bioethics

6 June 2016

Non-invasive prenatal testing – genome editing policy and regulation – artificial gametes – dual use in biology and biomedicine – longevity – children and clinical research.

Extracts from the Council’s June 2016 newsletter:

The Council is seeking input from a wide range of people and organisations to inform its current project exploring the ethical issues raised by recent and potential future developments in non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). The closing date for responses is 25 July 2016.

The Council and Sciencewise have co-hosted a workshop to discuss the possibilities and limitations of public dialogue for genome editing policy and regulation.The workshop, held in March, focussed on identifying policy issues relating to genome editing that are likely to raise public interest and concern, and ways in which hearing from the public might contribute to understanding the societal implications of the technologies. A report has now been published that summarises the discussion and suggested next steps – download the report Public dialogue on genome editing: Why? When? Who?

A summary of the 2016 Forward Look meeting has now been published on the Council’s website. The meeting took place over two days, with three possible future work topics discussed on the first day. Background papers on each of these topics had been commissioned in advance of the meeting to inform the discussions.

On 22 April the Council hosted a meeting to explore collaboration between life-sciences industry and young people to improve research. The Council recommended in its report Children and clinical research: ethical issues that industry partners should contribute financially to the running costs of initiatives that facilitate involvement, such as the network of Young Persons’ Advisory Groups. This meeting aimed to explore the benefits of young people’s involvement in the wider research agenda, the challenges to achieving such involvement, and possible ways to tackle those challenges. A number of suggestions for future action were put forward, including the development of a ‘statement of aspiration’, to which individuals or organisations could sign up, which could then inform the development of a position paper setting out guidance on good practice and showcasing what young people can contribute. Download a note of the meeting.

Sign up for the Council’s newsletters in full here.




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