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G. Owen Schaefer
National University of Singapore
  1. Direct Vs. Indirect Moral Enhancement.G. Owen Schaefer - 2015 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 25 (3):261-289.
    Moral enhancement is an ostensibly laudable project. Who wouldn’t want people to become more moral? Still, the project’s approach is crucial. We can distinguish between two approaches for moral enhancement: direct and indirect. Direct moral enhancements aim at bringing about particular ideas, motives or behaviors. Indirect moral enhancements, by contrast, aim at making people more reliably produce the morally correct ideas, motives or behaviors without committing to the content of those ideas, motives and/or actions. I will argue, on Millian grounds, (...)
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  2. Autonomy and Enhancement.G. Owen Schaefer, Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (2):123-136.
    Some have objected to human enhancement on the grounds that it violates the autonomy of the enhanced. These objections, however, overlook the interesting possibility that autonomy itself could be enhanced. How, exactly, to enhance autonomy is a difficult problem due to the numerous and diverse accounts of autonomy in the literature. Existing accounts of autonomy enhancement rely on narrow and controversial conceptions of autonomy. However, we identify one feature of autonomy common to many mainstream accounts: reasoning ability. Autonomy can then (...)
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  3.  41
    The Obligation to Participate in Biomedical Research.G. Owen Schaefer, Ezekiel J. Emanuel & Alan Wertheimer - 2009 - Journal of the American Medical Association 302 (1):67-72.
    The current prevailing view is that participation in biomedical research is above and beyond the call of duty. While some commentators have offered reasons against this, we propose a novel public goods argument for an obligation to participate in biomedical research. Biomedical knowledge is a public good, available to any individual even if that individual does not contribute to it. Participation in research is a critical way to support an important public good. Consequently, all have a duty to participate. The (...)
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  4. Consent and the Ethical Duty to Participate in Health Data Research.Angela Ballantyne & G. Owen Schaefer - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (6):392-396.
    The predominant view is that a study using health data is observational research and should require individual consent unless it can be shown that gaining consent is impractical. But recent arguments have been made that citizens have an ethical obligation to share their health information for research purposes. In our view, this obligation is sufficient ground to expand the circumstances where secondary use research with identifiable health information is permitted without explicit subject consent. As such, for some studies the Institutional (...)
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  5.  36
    The Need for Donor Consent in Mitochondrial Replacement.G. Owen Schaefer - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (12):825-829.
    Mitochondrial replacement therapy requires oocytes of women whose mitochondrial DNA will be transmitted to resultant children. These techniques are scientifically, ethically and socially controversial; it is likely that some women who donate their oocytes for general in vitro fertilisation usage would nevertheless oppose their genetic material being used in MRT. The possibility of oocytes being used in MRT is therefore relevant to oocyte donation and should be included in the consent process when applicable. In present circumstances, specific consent should be (...)
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  6. The Right to Withdraw From Research.G. Owen Schaefer & Alan Wertheimer - 2010 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 20 (4):329-352.
    The right to withdraw from participation in research is recognized in virtually all national and international guidelines for research on human subjects. It is therefore surprising that there has been little justification for that right in the literature. We argue that the right to withdraw should protect research participants from information imbalance, inability to hedge, inherent uncertainty, and untoward bodily invasion, and it serves to bolster public trust in the research enterprise. Although this argument is not radical, it provides a (...)
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  7.  45
    Procedural Moral Enhancement.G. Owen Schaefer & Julian Savulescu - 2019 - Neuroethics 12 (1):73-84.
    While philosophers are often concerned with the conditions for moral knowledge or justification, in practice something arguably less demanding is just as, if not more, important – reliably making correct moral judgments. Judges and juries should hand down fair sentences, government officials should decide on just laws, members of ethics committees should make sound recommendations, and so on. We want such agents, more often than not and as often as possible, to make the right decisions. The purpose of this paper (...)
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  8.  38
    Code-Consistent Ethics Review: Defence of a Hybrid Account.G. Owen Schaefer - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (7):494-495.
    It is generally unquestioned that human subjects research review boards should assess the ethical acceptability of protocols. It says so right on the tin, after all: they are explicitly called research ethics committees in the UK. But it is precisely those sorts of unchallenged assumptions that should, from time to time, be assessed and critiqued, in case they are in fact unfounded. John Stuart Mill's objection to suppressers of dissent is instructive here: “If the opinion is right, they are deprived (...)
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  9.  70
    The Ethics of Producing In Vitro Meat.G. Owen Schaefer & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (2):188-202.
    The prospect of consumable meat produced in a laboratory setting without the need to raise and slaughter animals is both realistic and exciting. Not only could such in vitro meat become popular due to potential cost savings, but it also avoids many of the ethical and environmental problems with traditional meat productions. However, as with any new technology, in vitro meat is likely to face some detractors. We examine in detail three potential objections: 1) in vitro meat is disrespectful, either (...)
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  10.  55
    Genetic Affinity and the Right to ‘Three-Parent IVF’.G. Owen Schaefer & Markus Labude - 2017 - Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 34 (12):1577-1580.
    With the recent report of a live birth after use of Mitochondrial replacement therapy, sometimes called ‘Three-parent IVF’, the clinical application of the technique is fast becoming a reality. While the United Kingdom allows the procedure under regulatory scrutiny, it remains effectively outlawed in many other countries. We argue that such prohibitions may violate individuals’ procreative rights, grounded in individuals’ interest in genetic affinity. The interest in genetic affinity was recently endorsed by Singapore’s highest court, reflecting an emphasis on the (...)
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  11.  19
    Presenters or Patients? A Crucial Distinction in Individual Health Assessments.G. Owen Schaefer - 2018 - Asian Bioethics Review 10 (1):67-73.
    Individual health assessments (IHAs) for asymptomatic individuals provide a challenge to traditional distinctions between patient care and non-medical practice. They may involve undue radiation exposure, lead to false positives, and involve high out-of-pocket costs for recipients. A recent paper (Journal of the American College of Radiology 13(12): 1447–1457.e1, 2016) has criticised the use of IHAs and argued that recipients should be classified as ‘presenters’, not ‘patients’, to distinguish it from regular medical care. I critique this classificatory move, on two grounds: (...)
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  12. Double Trouble: Should Double Embryo Transfer Be Banned?Dominic Wilkinson, G. Owen Schaefer, Kelton Tremellen & Julian Savulescu - 2015 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 36 (2):121-139.
    What role should legislation or policy play in avoiding the complications of in-vitro fertilization? In this article, we focus on single versus double embryo transfer, and assess three arguments in favour of mandatory single embryo transfer: risks to the mother, risks to resultant children, and costs to society. We highlight significant ethical concerns about each of these. Reproductive autonomy and non-paternalism are strong enough to outweigh the health concerns for the woman. Complications due to non-identity cast doubt on the extent (...)
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  13.  26
    The Importance of Rationality.G. Owen Schaefer - 2013 - Hastings Center Report 43 (1):3.
    Michael Hauskeller (“Reflections from a Troubled Stream: Giubliani and Minerva on ‘After-Birth Abortion’) has recently suggested that we should resist rationalist tendencies in moral discourse: “[I]s not all morality ultimately irrational? Even the most strongly held moral convictions can be shown to lack a rational basis.” (Hauskeller 2012, p. 18) Hauskeller was responding to Alberto Giubliani and Francesca Minverva’s (2012) recent defense of the permissibility of killing infants, but his anti-rationality arguments have wide-reaching implications. Yet pace Hauskeller, rationality is indeed (...)
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