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Module Reading List

Conscience, Codes and Professional Issues, 2021/22, Semester 2
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.

M4.1 Honesty, Lies and Deception

Required Reading

Clea F. Rees 'Better lie!', Analysis 74.1 (2014), 59-64.  

Jennifer Saul, ‘Just go ahead and lie’, Analysis. 72.1 (2012), 3-9.

Further Reading

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

Ronald M Epstein et al. 'Withholding information from patients - when less is more', New England journal of medicine., 362;5 (Feb 2010), 380-381.

Theda Rehbock. 'Don't Lie! Why not? ', Cambridge quarterly of healthcare ethics., 21.2 (2012), 177-187.

Jonathan Webber. 'Liar!', Analysis., 73.4 (2013), 651-659.

Bioethics : an anthology, Singer and Kuhse (eds.), (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999), Part IX, Section on Truth-telling .

Jennifer Jackson, “Telling the truth”, Journal of medical ethics. 17 (1991), 5-9.

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

R Higgs. 'On Telling Patients the Truth', in Bioethics., Singer and Kuhse (eds.), (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999) .

D Bakhurst. 'On Lying and Deceiving', Journal of medical ethics. 18, (1992).

Jennifer Jackson. 'On the Morality of Deception - Does Method Matter?  A reply to David Bakhurst', Journal of medical ethics., 19, (1993).

Bela Blasszauer. 'Petty Corruption in Health Care', Journal of medical ethics., 23, (1997).

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M4.2a Conscientious Objection

Required Reading

Piers Benn, “The role of conscience in medical ethics”, in N. Athanassoulis (ed.) Philosophical reflections on medical ethics, Palgrave, 2005.  

Further Reading

Jonathan Bennett. “The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn”, in Peter Singer (ed.) Ethics, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 294-305.

Anthony Kenny. “The Conscience of Sir Thomas More”, in Anthony Kenny, The heritage of wisdom : essays in the history of philosophy, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1987) .

Mark R. Wicclair. “Conscientious Objection in Medicine”, Bioethics., 14 (2000), 2005-27.

Jennifer Jackson. Ethics in medicine (Cambridge: Polity, 2005), Chapter 5.

J. W. Gerrard. 'Is it ethical for a general practitioner to claim a conscientious objection when asked to refer for abortion? ' Journal of medical ethics. 35 (2009), 599-602. 

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Required Reading

Rebecca Walker, ‘Medical Ethics Needs a New View of Autonomy’, Journal of medicine and philosophy., 33: 594-608, 2009.  

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

Further Reading

Robert Young. ”Informed Consent and Patient Autonomy”, in H. Kuhse and P. Singer (eds.), A companion to bioethics (Blackwell, 2001), pp. 441-51. Available as Online Course Reading.

A companion to bioethics, Singer and Kuhse (eds.) First Edition, Part IX, Section on Informed Consent and Patient Autonomy.

Tom Beauchamp & James Childress, The Principles of Biomedical Ethics (5th edition), (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), Chapter 3 ‘Respect for Autonomy’, pp. 57-98.

Julian Savulescu, ‘Autonomy, The Good Life and Controversial Choices’, in Rosamund Rhodes et al, The Blackwell guide to medical ethics (Malden: MA, Blackwell, 2007), pp. 17-37.

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

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

Jukka Varelius, ‘On Taylor’s Justification of Medical Informed Consent’, Bioethics. (October, 2010).

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

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

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

GR Dunstan and Mary J Seller (eds.) Consent in medicine : convergence and divergence in tradition, (London, 1983).

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

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

Julian Savulescu. ‘Rational Desires and the Limitation of Life-Sustaining Treatment’ in H. Kuhse and P. Singer (eds.) Bioethics: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), pp. 646-63 and Bioethics 8:3 (1994), pp. 191-222.

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

Iain Brassington. 'The Concept of Autonomy and Its Role in Kantian Ethics', Cambridge quarterly of healthcare ethics. 21.2 (2012), 166-176.

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

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M4.3a Confidentiality

Required Reading

Mark Siegler, 'Confidentiality in Medicine: a Decrepit Concept'. Bioethics : an anthology, Singer and Kuhse (eds.), (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006) Available online:  

Ian Kennedy. ‘Between ourselves’, Journal of medical ethics. 20 (1994), 69-70, 100.  

M H Kottow. 'Stringent and Predictable Medical Confidentiality' in Raanan Gillon (ed.) Principles of health care ethics (London: Wiley and Sons, 1994).

Further Reading

Bioethics : an anthology First Edition, Singer and Kuhse (eds.), (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999), Part X, items 71, 72 .

M H Kottow. 'Stringent and Predictable Medical Confidentiality, in Raanan Gillon (ed.) Principles of health care ethics, (London: Wiley & Sons, 1994).

Sir Douglas Black.  'Absolute Confidentiality? ' in Raanan Gillon (ed.) Principles of health care ethics., (London: Wiley & Sons, 1994)

Raanan Gillon. Philosophical medical ethics, (Chichester: Wiley & Sons,1986), Chapter 17 .

S. Warwick. 'A Vote for No Confidence' Journal of medical ethics. 15.4 (1989).

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M4.3b Ethical Codes

Required Reading

Jennifer Jackson. ‘Common Codes and Divergent Practices’, in Ruth Chadwick (ed.), Ethics and the professions, (Aldershot: Avebury, 1994).

Angus James Dawson. “Professional Codes of Practice and Ethical Conduct”, Journal of applied philosophy. 11 (1994), 145-153.

Further Reading

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

'Patients’ Rights and Professional Responsibilities' – various  articles in Tom L. Beauchamp and Le Roy Walters (eds.), Contemporary Issues in Bioethics ( Belmont, California: Wadsworth, 1989).

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

Dale Beyerstein. 'The Functions and Limitations of Professional Codes of Ethics', Earl R. Winkler and Jerold R. Combs (eds.) Applied ethics : a reader (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.)

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

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M4.4 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.  

Chiara Lepora and Joseph Millum “The Tortured Patient”, Chapter 8 in Chiara Lepora and Robert E. Goodin, On complicity and compromise. Available as an eBook from the University Library.  

Further Reading


Engineering focused, but good for overview of ethical issues: Schinzinger and Martin, Introduction to Engineering Ethics, (McGrah-Hill 2000), the section on whistleblowing in chapter 5 (pages 167-184.) Available as an Online Course Reading.

At a more institutional level/about preventing the need for whistleblowing: Tim Harford, Adapt : why success always starts with failure, chapter 6 (particularly pages 210-220, and 229 - or maybe check whistleblowing in the index, in case it is a different edition.) Available as an Online Course Reading.

Michael Davis “Avoiding the tragedy of whistleblowing” Available online:

G James. ‘In Defense of Whistleblowing’ G James, in Joan Callahan (ed.) Ethical issues in professional life (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) .

Jane Cassidy. ‘Whistleblowing: Name and Shame’ British medical journal. 339 (July 2009) :b2693.

Philip Pettit, ‘Consequentialism’, in Peter Singer (ed.) A companion to ethics, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993). 

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

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

S. D. Edwards, ‘What are the limits to the obligations of the nurse? ’, Journal of medical ethics. 22 (1996).


Brian D Earp, “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., doi:10.1136/medethics-2013-101662, available online:

Chiara Lepora and Robert E. Goodin, On complicity and compromise ISBN: 9780191757273 (ebook) : No price. Available as an eBook from the University Library.

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, 1976). (sections on truth-telling and confidentiality).

This list was last updated on 06/12/2021