I have a DPhil in Law from Oxford, and my research is in the field of medical law and ethics, with a particular focus on disability issues in law, ethics, and political theory.
I am also a qualified barrister and solicitor in Ontario, Canada, and prior to starting my academic work I practised law for some years. I first studied law at McGill University in Canada.
I am interested in a broad range of issues in medical law and ethics, and in relation to disability. I am particularly interested in the philosophical foundations and theoretical issues that inform the law in these areas.
Much of my recent research has examined the law on certain techniques that can prevent the birth of disabled children, and associated ethical considerations. These include, among others, considerations relating to autonomy, well-being, ethical discourse, and the role of the state. I am also currently conducting research on negligence and informed consent, equality and liberalism, personhood, and human rights.
I recently organised a conference in Oxford on prenatal testing, disability, and ethics, and which followed on from a significant case. The conference featured about twenty speakers, including claimants from this case, people with Down Syndrome, and a number of leading academics from several different fields.
Some projects I am currently working on include a co-edited collection on philosophy and disability law, and a special issue of a journal on prenatal diagnosis and disability.
At Exeter I teach several different subjects to BA in Jurisprudence (or BA in Law with Law Studies in Europe) students, as well as subjects to students in the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford.
Prior to joining Exeter, I worked at a number of other Oxford colleges, principally as a Stipendiary Lecturer in Law at Oriel College and Wadham College. I have taught many undergraduate law subjects: Tort, Jurisprudence, Contract Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Administrative Law. For several years I also gave undergraduate lectures in Medical Law and Ethics for the Oxford Faculty of Law, and co-taught graduate (BCL) seminars in this subject. I also designed and taught a course on Biomedical Ethics for the Stanford Programme in Oxford.
Selected Publications and Talks
The Disabled Contract: Severe Intellectual Disability, Justice and Morality (Jonas-Sébastien Beaudry, Cambridge University Press, 2021), Modern Law Review (book review), 2022
Good Ethics and Bad Choices: The Relevance of Behavioral Economics for Medical Ethics (Jennifer S. Blumenthal-Barby, The MIT Press, 2021), The New Bioethics (book review), 2022
Convenor of conference on ‘Prenatal Testing, Disability, and the Ethical Society: Reflections Following Crowter’, and talk on ‘Prenatal Testing, Disability Equality, and the Limits of the Law’, St Stephen’s House, University of Oxford, March 2022
‘Abortion on the Basis of a Risk of Disability: The Parents’ Interests and Shared Interests’ in AM Phillips, TC de Campos and J Herring, Philosophical Foundations of Medical Law (Oxford University Press 2019)
‘Rethinking Ethical Parental Choice: State Neutrality in the Use of Certain Technologies Which Can End or Prevent the Lives of Disabled Human Beings’, European Association of Centres of Medical Ethics Annual Conference, organised by the Ethox Centre and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, September 2019
‘State Neutrality, Parental Choice, and Disability’, Healthcare Disparities: Disruptive Healthcare Technologies and the Patient, University of Manchester, June 2019
‘The Ethics of Ending the Lives of Disabled Human Beings Before Birth: What Does a Just Society Require?’ Canadian Bioethics Society Annual Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) May 2018
‘A Neutral State? Medical Law and Ethics, Disability and Selecting Children’, Oxford Disability Law and Policy Conference, University of Oxford, February 2018