CAPPE

  • CSU
  • University of Melbourne

This research centre ceased operation on 31 December 2016. This website is archived. There will be no further updates to this site.

CURRENT RESEARCH

Economics and Innovation

The program focuses on central ethical issues arising in the economic sphere. These include the justice of national and global economic arrangements, such as taxation, fiscal, labour and property law, and financial and trading regimes. Specific areas include markets in education and the economics of climate change. The program also examines corporate responsibilities in the spheres of finance, profitability, sustainability and human rights, and distributive justice. It aims to make a major contribution to the ethical understanding of innovation and technology. Program members realize that technical, scientific, legal and social science expertise is vital, and work with practitioners in the relevant professions.

Environment

Research in this program examines a range of issues that arise from the nature and value of the natural, and also the artificial environment, and our relationship with them. These include issues of justice and responsibility in relation to possession of, access to, and exploitation of land, water, and other (renewable and non-renewable) natural resources, ethical issues in climate change mitigation and adaptation, including those involving geo-engineering, and the human role in the anthropocene. 

Health

This program addresses issues in bioethics, healthcare ethics, and public health ethics. This includes conceptual work on the ethics of procreation, the ethics of providing medical treatment to vulnerable groups such as children, dual use issues in the biological sciences, and the distinction between medical treatment and human enhancement. It also includes work on practical ethical issues arising in healthcare, including moral and regulatory challenges of experimental therapies, difficulties facing medical research ethics committees, and the problem of determining when conscientious objections are legitimate in healthcare.

Security

This program addresses a variety of conceptual and practical ethical issues that are generated for the most part by the phenomena of war, humanitarian intervention, terrorism, crime and corruption. These include the nature and application of Just War Theory, morality and self-defense, principles of criminal liability, justification for police use of force, ethics of counter-terrorism tactics, anti-corruption systems and ethical issues in cyber-security.

WHAT'S NEW

2015 Annual Report [.pdf]

CAPPE Events

Seminar 28th September

Norvo Lo - La Trobe University

This paper discusses social attitudes towards feeding neighbourhood wild birds. It connects different and often opposing attitudes on the issue to three schools of philosophy regarding animals and nature. These include animal liberation ethics, wilderness preservation ethics,and anthropocentrism. 

Contact CAPPE for more information.


CAPPE Media


Professor Seumas Miller

Institutional Corruption and The Capital Markets  More

Fixing the Fix - Benchmark Reform and the Future of Financial Regulation  More

Designing-in-Ethics: A Compulsary Retirement Savings System  More

Dr Stephen Clarke

On Religious Violence, ABC Western Plains 'Mornings', radio interview  More

Past media events

Conscience and Conscientious Objection in Health Care

An ARC Discovery Project, running from 2015 to 2017

 

Summary of project

Conscientious objection is a central topic in bioethics and is becoming more ever important. This is hardly surprising if we consider the liberal trend in developments of policies about abortion and other bioethical issues worldwide. In recent decades the right to abortion has been granted by many countries, and increasingly many conservative and/or religious doctors are being asked to perform an activity that clashes with their deepest moral and/or religious values.

Debates about conscientious objection are set to become more intense given the increase in medical options which are becoming available or may well be available soon (e.g. embryonic stem cell therapies, genetic selection, human bio-enhancement, sex modification), and given the increasingly multicultural and multi-faith character of Australian society. Not only will doctors conscientiously object to abortion, and to practices commonly acknowledged as morally controversial, but some of them may also object to a wide range of new and even established practices that conflict with their personal values for example, Muslim doctors refusing to examine patients of the opposite sex.

 

Defining conscientious objection and identifying reliable markers for it, as well as setting the boundaries of legitimate conscientious objection through clear and justifiable principles, are difficult but pressing tasks.

This project advances bioethical debate by producing a philosophically and psychologically informed analysis of conscience, and by applying this to discussions about the legitimate limits to conscientious objection in health care.

 

Personnel

Chief Investigator Dr Steve Clarke, Charles Sturt University

Chief Investigator Prof. Jeanette Kennett, Macquarie University

Partner Investigator Prof. Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford


 

Project News

Julian Savulescu in the news: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/health/bioethicist-calls-for-a-ban-on-doctors-conscientious-objection-20160825-gr1afn.html

Julian Savulescu's work on conscientious objection cited in a July 2016 United Kingdom All-Party Parliamentary Group report on "Freedom of Conscience in Abortion Provision

Conference “Conscience and Conscientious Objection in Health Care”. Oxford, 23-24 November 2015, organized by Steve Clarke, Alberto Giubilini and Julian Savulescu.

 

Project relevant publications

  • The proceedings of the conference will be published in a special issue of the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, coedited by Alberto Giubilini and Julian Savulescu
  • Alberto Giubilini, Conscientious objection and medical tribunals, Journal of Medical Ethics, online first 9 June 2015

Julian Savulescu’s Conscientious Objection Talks and Media Visits

Public Lecture

30 August 2016. Public Lecture: Conscientious Objection and Value Pluralism in Medicine. QUT, Brisbane.

More information: https://www.qut.edu.au/law/about/news-events/news?news-id=107337

 

Radio

29 August 2016. Should Doctors Have the Right to Conscientiously Object? Health Report. ABC Radio National and podcast on ABC Online.

More information: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/doctors-have-no-right-to-conscientious-objection/7794080

 

Print Media

Bioethicist calls for a ban on doctors' conscientious objection appeared in over 100 print media sources throughout Australia.

Doctors working in the public system should be banned from refusing to perform certain procedures, such as abortions, because of their religious

...Savulescu will make the argument at a public lecture at the Queensland University of Technology's Australian Centre for Health Law Research next...

 

Blogs

29 August 2016. Consensus Statement on Conscientious Objection . Practical Ethics in the News.

More inforomation: http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2016/08/consensus-statement-on-conscientious-objection-in-healthcare/