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Module Reading List

Conscience, Codes and Professional Issues (Online), 2021/22, Semester I03
Dr Natasha McKeever
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

A book of relevance to several topics in this module is Truth, trust and medicine by Jennifer Jackson. Many of the articles can be found in the Bioethics Anthology and online. Some items have been made available as Online Course Readings by the University Library - students registered on the course can access these via the VLE.

Unit 4.1 - Honesty, Lies and Deception

Required Reading

Saul, J. (2012). Just go ahead and lie. Analysis. 72(1): 3-9.  

Rees, C. F. (2014). Better lie! Analysis 74(1): 59-64.  

Further Reading

Higgs, R. (1999). On Telling Patients the Truth. In Kuhse, H., Singer, P. (eds.) Bioethics. Oxford: Blackwell.

Jackson, J. (1991). Telling the truth. Journal of medical ethics 17: 5-9.

Jackson, J. (2001). Truth, trust and medicine. London: Routledge. Chapters 7, 6 and 9.

Kuhse, H., Singer, P. (eds.) (1999). Bioethics. Oxford: Blackwell. Part IX, Section on Truth-telling.

Bakhurst, D. (1992). On Lying and Deceiving. Journal of medical ethics 18: 63-66.

Jackson, J. (1993). On the Morality of Deception — Does Method Matter? A reply to David Bakhurst. Journal of medical ethics 19: 183-187.

Southall, D.P., Samuels, M.P. (1995). Debate: Some Ethical Issues Surrounding Covert Video Surveillance — a response. Journal of medical ethics 21: 104-105, 115.

Blasszauer, B. (1997). Petty Corruption in Health Care. Journal of medical ethics 23: 133-134.

Slowther, A. (2009). Truth-telling in health care. Clinical ethics 4(4), 173-175.

Rehbock, T. (2012). Don't Lie! Why not? Cambridge quarterly of healthcare ethics. 21(2): 177-187.


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Unit 4.3 - Conscientious Objection

Required Reading

Benn, P. (2005). The role of conscience in medical ethics. In Athanassoulis, N. (ed.) Philosophical reflections on medical ethics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva.  

Gerrard, J.W., ‘Is it ethical for a general practitioner to claim a conscientious objection when asked to refer for abortion? ’, Journal of Medical Ethics, 35/10 (2009): 599-602.  

Further Reading

Brownlee, K. (2012). Conscience and conviction: the case for civil disobedience. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Jackson, J. (2006). Ethics in Medicine, Chapter 5. Oxford: Polity
Available as an Online Course Reading.

Savulescu, J. (2006). Conscientious objection in medicine. British Medical Journal, 332: 294-297.

Wicclair, M.R. (2000). Conscientious Objection in Medicine. Bioethics, 14: 205-27.

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Required Reading

Walker, R. (2009). Medical Ethics Needs a New View of Autonomy. Journal of medicine and philosophy 33: 594-608.  

O’Neill, O. (2003). Some limits of informed consent. Journal of medical ethics 29: 4-7.  

Further Reading

Appelbaum, P.S. et al. (1987). Informed consent: legal theory and clinical practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Barber, B. (1980). Informed consent in medical therapy and research. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Barry, M.J., Edgman-Levitan, S. (2012). Shared Decision-Making - The Pinnacle of Patient-Centered Care. New England journal of medicine. 366: 780-781.

Beauchamp, T., Childress, J. (2001). The Principles of Biomedical Ethics (5th edition), Chapter 3. New York: Oxford University Press.
Available as an e-book.

Brassington, I. (2012). The Concept of Autonomy and Its Role in Kantian Ethics. Cambridge quarterly of healthcare ethics. 21(2): 166-176.

Casado da Rocha, A. (2009). Back to Basics in Bioethics: Reconciling Patient Autonomy with Physician Responsibility. Philosophy compass 4(1): 56-68.

Cohen, S. (2011). The Gettier Problem in informed consent. Journal of medical ethics 37: 642-645.

Dunstan, G.R., Seller, M.J. (eds.) (1983). Consent in medicine: convergence and divergence in tradition. London: King Edward's Hospital Fund for London.

McLean, S. (1989). A patient's right to know : information disclosure, the doctor and the law. Aldershot: Dartmouth.

O’Neill, O. (2002). Autonomy and trust in bioethics, esp. Chapters 2, 7. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Savulescu, J. (1994). Rational Desires and the Limitation of Life-Sustaining Treatment. Bioethics 8(3): 191-222.

Savulescu, J. (2007). Autonomy, The Good Life and Controversial Choices. In Rhodes, R. et al, The Blackwell guide to medical ethics. Malden: MA, Blackwell.
Available as an e-book.

Sheather, J. (2006). The Mental Capacity Act 2005. Clinical Ethics 1(1): 33-36.

Taylor, J.S. (2004). Autonomy and Informed Consent: A Much Mis-understood Relationship. The journal of value inquiry 38: 383-91.

Wilson, J. (2007). Is respect for autonomy defensible? Journal of medical ethics. 33: 353-356.

Young, R. (2001). Informed Consent and Patient Autonomy. In Kuhse, H. and Singer, P. (eds.) A companion to bioethics. London: Blackwell.
Available as Online Course Reading

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Unit 4.5 - Confidentiality and Moral Dilemmas

Required Reading

Siegler, M. (2006). Confidentiality in Medicine: a Decrepit Concept. In Singer, P. and Kuhse, H. (eds.) Bioethics: an anthology. Oxford: Blackwell.
Available Online 

Kottow, M.H. (1994). Stringent and Predictable Medical Confidentiality. In Lloyd, A., Principles of health care ethics. Chichester: Wiley. 471-478.
Available as Online Course Reading 

Kennedy, I. (1994). Between ourselves. Journal of medical ethics 20(2): 69-70, 100.  

Further Reading

Black, D. (1994). Absolute Confidentiality? In Gillon, R. (ed.) Principles of health care ethics. London: Wiley.

Gillon, R. (1986). Philosophical medical ethics, Chapter l7. Chichester: Wiley & Sons.
Available as Online Course Reading

Singer, P. and Kuhse, H. (eds.) Bioethics: an anthology, Part X, items 71, 72. Oxford: Blackwell.

Warwick, S. (1989). A Vote for No Confidence. Journal of medical ethics 15(4): 183-185.

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Unit 4.6 - Ethical Codes

Required Reading

Davis, M. (1991). Thinking Like an Engineer. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 20(2): 150-167.

Dawson, A.J. (1994). Professional Codes of Practice and Ethical Conduct. Journal of applied philosophy 11: 145-153.  

Further Reading

Patients’ Rights and Professional Responsibilities – various articles in Beauchamp, T. and Walters L.R. (eds.) (2008). Contemporary Issues in Bioethics Belmont: Wadsworth.

Beyerstein, D. (1993). The Functions and Limitations of Professional Codes of Ethics. In Winkler, E.R., Coombs, J.R. (eds.), Applied Ethics: A Reader. Oxford: Blackwell.

Bovens, M. (1998). The quest for responsibility: accountability and citizenship in complex organisations Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Davis, M. (1991). Thinking Like an Engineer. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 20(2): 150-167.

Jackson, J. (1994). Common Codes and Divergent Practices. In Chadwick, R. (ed.). Ethics and the professions. Aldershot: Avebury  

Keyserlink, E.W. (1993). Ethical Code and Guidelines for Health Care and Research: Can Respect for Autonomy be a Multi-cultural Principle? In Winkler, E.R. and Combs, J.R. (eds.) Applied ethics: a reader Oxford: Blackwell.

Rhodes, R. (2007). The Professional Responsibilities of Medicine. In Rhodes, R. et al. The Blackwell guide to medical ethics Malden: MA, Blackwell, pp. 71-87.

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Unit 4.8 - Whistleblowing and Complicity

Required Reading 

Elliston, Frederick, 1982, “Anonymity and Whistleblowing" Journal of Business Ethics   Vol 1, issue 3, pp. 167-177. pp. 39–58.  

Lepora, C., Millum, J. (2013). Individual Complicity: The Tortured Patient. In Lepora, C. and Goodin, R.E. On complicity and compromise , Chapter 8. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Available as an eBook from the University Library. 

Further Reading


Martin, M.W., Schinzinger, R. (2010). Introduction to Engineering Ethics, Chapter 5, section on whistleblowing. Boston: McGrah-Hill. pp. 167-184. Available as an Online Course Reading.

Engineering focused, but good for overview of ethical issues.

Harford, T. (2012). Adapt: why success always starts with failure, Chapter 6. London: Abacus.
Available as an Online Course Reading.
Focused on a more institutional level, about preventing the need for whistleblowing. See particularly pages 210-220, and 229 - or maybe check whistleblowing in the index, in case it is a different edition.

Davis, M. (1989). Avoiding the tragedy of whistleblowing. Business and Professional Ethics Journal 8(4):3-19.
Available online

James, G. (1988). In Defense of Whistleblowing. In Callahan, J. (ed.) Ethical issues in professional life. New York: Oxford University Press.
Available as an Online Course Reading 

Cassidy, J. (2009). Whistleblowing: Name and Shame. British medical journal 339:b2693.
Available online

Beauchamp, T., Childress, J.F. (2001). Principles of biomedical ethics, Chapter 2, sections on ‘Moral Ideals’ and ‘Moral Excellence’. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wolf, S. (1997). Moral Saints. In Crisp R. and Slote M. (eds.), Virtue ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Edwards, S. D. (1996). What are the limits to the obligations of the nurse? Journal of medical ethics 22(2): 90–94.


Earp, B.D. (2014). Hymen 'restoration' in cultures of oppression: how can physicians promote individual patient welfare without becoming complicit in the perpetuation of unjust social norms? Journal of medical ethics 40(6):431.

Goldacre, B. (2012). Bad pharma : how drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients, Chapter 1. London: Fourth Estate.

Lepora, C. and Goodin, R.E. On complicity and compromise . Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Christopher Kutz, Complicity : Ethics and law for a collective age (Cambridge, 2008).

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General Background Readings

Joan Callahan (ed.). Ethical issues in professional life (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988).

Raanan Gillon (ed.) Principles of health care ethics, (London: Wiley & Sons, London, 1994), (especially Part II).

Robert M. Veatch (ed.) Cross cultural perspectives in medical ethics : readings,(Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, l989).

Margaret Brazier.   Medicine, patients and the law Second Edition. (London: Penguin, 1992).

S. Gorovitz et al. (eds.) Moral Problems in Medicine, (London: Prentice Hall, l976). (sections on truth-telling and confidentiality).

This list was last updated on 06/12/2021