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Bruce P. Blackshaw [14]Bruce Philip Blackshaw [5]
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Bruce P. Blackshaw
University of Birmingham
  1. Questionable Benefits and Unavoidable Personal Beliefs: Defending Conscientious Objection for Abortion.Bruce Philip Blackshaw & Daniel Rodger - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 3 (46):178-182.
    Conscientious objection in healthcare has come under heavy criticism on two grounds recently, particularly regarding abortion provision. First, critics claim conscientious objection involves a refusal to provide a legal and beneficial procedure requested by a patient, denying them access to healthcare. Second, they argue the exercise of conscientious objection is based on unverifiable personal beliefs. These characteristics, it is claimed, disqualify conscientious objection in healthcare. Here, we defend conscientious objection in the context of abortion provision. We show that abortion has (...)
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  2. The Problem of Spontaneous Abortion: Is the Pro-Life Position Morally Monstrous?Bruce P. Blackshaw & Daniel Rodger - 2019 - The New Bioethics 25 (2):103-120.
    A substantial proportion of human embryos spontaneously abort soon after conception, and ethicists have argued this is problematic for the pro-life view that a human embryo has the same moral status as an adult from conception. Firstly, if human embryos are our moral equals, this entails spontaneous abortion is one of humanity’s most important problems, and it is claimed this is absurd, and a reductio of the moral status claim. Secondly, it is claimed that pro-life advocates do not act as (...)
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  3. Fine-Tuning the Impairment Argument.Bruce P. Blackshaw & Perry Hendricks - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 1:medethics-2020-106904.
    Perry Hendricks’ original impairment argument for the immorality of abortion is based on the impairment principle (TIP): if impairing an organism to some degree is immoral, then ceteris paribus, impairing it to a higher degree is also immoral. Since abortion impairs a fetus to a higher degree than fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and giving a fetus FAS is immoral, it follows that abortion is immoral. Critics have argued that the ceteris paribus is not met for FAS and abortion, and so (...)
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  4. Gestaticide: Killing the Subject of the Artificial Womb.Daniel Rodger, Nicholas Colgrove & Bruce P. Blackshaw - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics.
    The rapid development of artificial womb technologies means that we must consider if and when it is permissible to kill the human subject of ectogestation—recently termed a ‘gestateling’ by Elizabeth Chloe Romanis—prior to ‘birth’. We describe the act of deliberately killing the gestateling as gestaticide, and argue that there are good reasons to maintain that gestaticide is morally equivalent to infanticide, which we consider to be morally impermissible. First, we argue that gestaticide is harder to justify than abortion, primarily because (...)
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  5. Frozen Embryos and The Obligation to Adopt.Bruce P. Blackshaw & Nicholas Colgrove - 2020 - Bioethics (8):1-5.
    Rob Lovering has developed an interesting new critique of views that regard embryos as equally valuable as other human beings: the moral argument for frozen human embryo adoption. The argument is aimed at those who believe that the death of a frozen embryo is a very bad thing, and Lovering concludes that some who hold this view ought to prevent one of these deaths by adopting and gestating a frozen embryo. Contra Lovering, we show that there are far more effective (...)
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  6. Prolife Hypocrisy: Why Inconsistency Arguments Do Not Matter.Nicholas Colgrove, Bruce Philip Blackshaw & Daniel Rodger - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics (Online First):1-6.
    Opponents of abortion are often described as ‘inconsistent’ (hypocrites) in terms of their beliefs, actions and/or priorities. They are alleged to do too little to combat spontaneous abortion, they should be adopting cryopreserved embryos with greater frequency and so on. These types of arguments—which we call ‘inconsistency arguments’—conform to a common pattern. Each specifies what consistent opponents of abortion would do (or believe), asserts that they fail to act (or believe) accordingly and concludes that they are inconsistent. Here, we show (...)
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  7. Strengthening the Impairment Argument Against Abortion.Bruce Philip Blackshaw & Perry Hendricks - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 1 (Online):medethics-2020-106153.
    Perry Hendricks’ impairment argument for the immorality of abortion is based on two premises: first, impairing a fetus with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is immoral, and second, if impairing an organism to some degree is immoral, then ceteris paribus, impairing it to a higher degree is also immoral. He calls this the impairment principle (TIP). Since abortion impairs a fetus to a higher degree than FAS, it follows from these two premises that abortion is immoral. Critics have focussed on the (...)
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  8. Hormone Replacement Therapy: Informed Consent Without Assessment?Toni C. Saad, Bruce Philip Blackshaw & Daniel Rodger - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (12):1-2.
    Florence Ashley has argued that requiring patients with gender dysphoria to undergo an assessment and referral from a mental health professional before undergoing hormone replacement therapy is unethical and may represent an unconscious hostility towards transgender people. We respond, first, by showing that Ashley has conflated the self-reporting of symptoms with self-diagnosis, and that this is not consistent with the standard model of informed consent to medical treatment. Second, we note that the model of informed consent involved in cosmetic surgery (...)
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  9.  70
    Meeting the Epicurean Challenge: A Reply to Christensen.Bruce P. Blackshaw & Daniel Rodger - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (7):478-479.
    In ’Abortion and deprivation: a reply to Marquis’, Anna Christensen contends that Don Marquis’ influential ’future like ours’ argument for the immorality of abortion faces a significant challenge from the Epicurean claim that human beings cannot be harmed by their death. If deprivation requires a subject, then abortion cannot deprive a fetus of a future of value, as no individual exists to be deprived once death has occurred. However, the Epicurean account also implies that the wrongness of murder is also (...)
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  10. Beyond Infanticide: How Psychological Accounts of Persons Can Justify Harming Infants.Daniel Rodger, Bruce P. Blackshaw & Calum Miller - 2018 - The New Bioethics 24 (2):106-121.
    It is commonly argued that a serious right to life is grounded only in actual, relatively advanced psychological capacities a being has acquired. The moral permissibility of abortion is frequently argued for on these grounds. Increasingly it is being argued that such accounts also entail the permissibility of infanticide, with several proponents of these theories accepting this consequence. We show, however, that these accounts imply the permissibility of even more unpalatable acts than infanticide performed on infants: organ harvesting, live experimentation, (...)
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  11. Genetic Selective Abortion: Still a Matter of Choice.Bruce P. Blackshaw - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (2):445-455.
    Jeremy Williams has argued that if we are committed to a liberal pro-choice stance with regard to selective abortion for disability, we will be unable to justify the prohibition of sex selective abortion. Here, I apply his reasoning to selective abortion based on other traits pregnant women may decide are undesirable. These include susceptibility to disease, level of intelligence, physical appearance, sexual orientation, religious belief and criminality—in fact any traits attributable to some degree to a genetic component. Firstly, I review (...)
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  12. Schrödinger’s Fetus Examined.Bruce P. Blackshaw - 2019 - Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy:1-3.
    Joona Räsänen has proposed a concept he calls Schrödinger’s Fetus as a solution to reconciling what he believes are two widely held but contradictory intuitions. I show that Elizabeth Harman’s Actual Future Principle, upon which Schrödinger’s Fetus is based, uses a more convincing account of personhood. I also argue that both Räsänen and Harman, by embracing animalism, weaken their arguments by allowing Don Marquis’ ‘future like ours’ argument for the immorality of abortion into the frame.
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  13.  62
    Why a Right to Life Rules Out Infanticide: A Final Reply to Räsänen.Bruce P. Blackshaw & Daniel Rodger - 2019 - Bioethics 33 (8):965-967.
    Joona Räsänen has argued that pro‐life arguments against the permissibility of infanticide are not persuasive, and fail to show it to be immoral. We responded to Räsänen’s arguments, concluding that his critique of pro‐life arguments was misplaced. Räsänen has recently replied in ‘Why pro‐life arguments still are not convincing: A reply to my critics’, providing some additional arguments as to why he does not find pro‐life arguments against infanticide convincing. Here, we respond briefly to Räsänen’s critique of the substance view, (...)
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  14.  14
    Why We Should Not Extend the 14-Day Rule.Bruce P. Blackshaw & Daniel Rodger - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics.
    The 14-day rule restricts the culturing of human embryos in vitro for the purposes of scientific research for no longer than 14 days. Since researchers recently developed the capability to exceed the 14-day limit, pressure to modify the rule has started to build. Sophia McCully argues that the limit should be extended to 28 days, listing numerous potential benefits of doing so. We contend that McCully has not engaged with the main reasons why the Warnock Committee set such a limit, (...)
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  15. An Introduction to Ethical Theory for Healthcare Assistants.Daniel Rodger & Bruce P. Blackshaw - 2017 - British Journal of Healthcare Assistants 11 (11):556-561.
    This article will explore and summarise the four main ethical theories that have relevance for healthcare assistants. These are utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, and principlism. Understanding different ethical theories can have a number of significant benefits, which have the potential to shape and inform the care of patients, challenge bad practice and lead staff to become better informed about areas of moral disagreement.
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  16.  30
    Detached From Humanity: Artificial Gestation and the Christian Dilemma.Daniel Rodger & Bruce P. Blackshaw - forthcoming - Christian Bioethics.
    The development of artificial womb technology is proceeding rapidly and will present important ethical and theological challenges for Christians. While there has been extensive secular discourse on artificial wombs in recent years, there has been little Christian engagement with this topic. There are broadly two primary uses of artificial womb technology—ectogestation as a form of enhanced neonatal care, where some of the gestation period takes place in an artificial womb, and ectogenesis, where the entire gestation period is within an artificial (...)
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  17. Quotas: Enabling Conscientious Objection to Coexist with Abortion Access.Daniel Rodger & Bruce P. Blackshaw - 2020 - Health Care Analysis 29 (2):154-169.
    The debate regarding the role of conscientious objection in healthcare has been protracted, with increasing demands for curbs on conscientious objection. There is a growing body of evidence that indicates that in some cases, high rates of conscientious objection can affect access to legal medical services such as abortion—a major concern of critics of conscientious objection. Moreover, few solutions have been put forward that aim to satisfy both this concern and that of defenders of conscientious objection—being expected to participate in (...)
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  18. Using Animal-Derived Constituents in Anaesthesia and Surgery: The Case for Disclosing to Patients.Daniel Rodger & Bruce P. Blackshaw - 2019 - BMC Medical Ethics 20 (1):1-9.
    Animal-derived constituents are frequently used in anaesthesia and surgery, and patients are seldom informed of this. This is problematic for a growing minority of patients who may have religious or secular concerns about their use in their care. It is not currently common practice to inform patients about the use of animal-derived constituents, yet what little empirical data does exist indicates that many patients want the opportunity to give their informed consent. First, we review the nature and scale of the (...)
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  19. Responding to Objections to Gatekeeping for Hormone Replacement Therapy.Toni C. Saad, Daniel Rodger & Bruce Philip Blackshaw - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (12):828-829.
    Florence Ashley has responded to our response to ‘Gatekeeping hormone replacement therapy for transgender patients is dehumanising.’ Ashley criticises some of our objections to their view that patients seeking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for gender dysphoria should not have to undergo a prior psychological assessment. Here we clarify our objections, most importantly that concerning the parity between cosmetic surgery and the sort of intervention Ashley has in mind. Firstly, we show Ashley’s criticism of our comparison is insubstantial. We then examine (...)
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