Tom Douglas is a Senior Research Fellow based in the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, where he is Director of Research and Development. He is also a Hugh Price Fellow at Jesus College, Editor of the Journal of Practical Ethics, and Principal Investigator on the project 'Protecting Minds: The Right to Mental Integrity and the Ethics of Arational Influence', funded by a Consolidator Award from the European Research Council.
Tom initially qualified as a medical doctor at the University of Otago (New Zealand) before taking up a Rhodes Scholarship in Oxford, where he received his BA in Philosophy, Politics & Economics in 2005, and his DPhil in Philosophy in 2010. From 2010-13 he held a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship in the Uehiro Centre and a Junior Research Fellowship at Balliol College; from 2013-19 he led the project 'Neurointerventions in Crime Prevention: An Ethical Analysis’, funded by an Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust; and from 2015-19 he was Lead Researcher on the Oxford Martin Programme on Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease.
Tom’s research lies mainly in practical and normative ethics. His work currently focuses on the ethics of predicting and influencing behaviour, especially using medical means, and especially in the context of criminal justice. Previously, he has written on the the nature and moral status of moral improvement; tensions between special obligations and requirements of fairness; slippery slope arguments; reproductive ethics; and the dual-use dilemma.
Douglas T, ‘Punishing Wrongs from the Distant Past’, Law and Philosophy 2019; 38(4): 335-358.
Douglas T, ‘Parental Partiality and Future Children’, Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2019; 15(1): 1-18.
Douglas T, ‘Nonconsensual Neurocorrectives and Bodily Integrity: A Reply to Shaw and Barn’, Neuroethics 2019; 12(1): 107-118.
Douglas T, ‘Is Preventive Detention Morally Worse than Quarantine?’, in JW de Keijser, JV Roberts, and J Ryberg (eds) Predictive Sentencing: Normative and Empirical Perspectives (Hart Publishing, 2019).
Devolder K, Douglas T, ‘The Epistemic Costs of Compromise in Bioethics’, Bioethics 2018; 32(2): 111-118.
Birks D, Douglas T, Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice (Oxford University Press, 2018).
Compulsory medical intervention versus external constraint in pandemic control.
Douglas, T, Forsberg, L, Pugh, J
Journal of medical ethics
Would compulsory treatment or vaccination for COVID-19 be justified? In England, there would be significant legal barriers to it. However, we offer a conditional ethical argument in favour of allowing compulsory treatment and vaccination, drawing on an ethical comparison with external constraints-such as quarantine, isolation and 'lockdown'-that have already been authorised to control the pandemic in this jurisdiction. We argue that, if the permissive English approach to external constraints for COVID-19 has been justified, then there is a case for a similarly permissive approach to compulsory medical interventions.
The Ethics of Creating and Using Human-Animal Chimeras
DEVOLDER, K, YIP, L, DOUGLAS, T
Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) Journal
Rapid advances in gene-editing and stem-cell technology have expanded the range of possible future applications in human-animal chimera research. Most notably, recent developments may allow researchers to generate whole personalized human organs in pigs for the purpose of transplantation into human patients. Though human-animal chimera research in small animals, such as mice, is routine, human-animal chimeric techniques are now increasingly being applied to larger animals. Moreover, these chimeras include increasing amounts of human material, which is potentially present in more morally significant locations, such as the brain and the reproductive system. These developments raise important ethical questions about whether we should create such chimeras, and if so, how we should treat them. Answers to these ethical questions are needed to inform the development of policies regulating human-animal chimera research and its applications. Here, we provide a review of some of the most important or widespread ethical concerns.
What is criminal rehabilitation
FORSBERG, L, DOUGLAS, T
Criminal Law and Philosophy
Infection Control for Third-Party Benefit: Lessons from Criminal Justice
Monash Bioethics Review
This article considers what can be learned regarding the ethical acceptability of intrusive interventions intended to halt the spread of infectious disease (‘Infection Control’ measures) from existing ethical discussion of intrusive interventions used to prevent criminal conduct (‘Crime Control’ measures). Despite the ethical parallels between these two types of measures and the fact that Crime Control measures have been subjected to greater ethical scrutiny, there has, to my knowledge, been no attempt to draw out the implications of the ethical analysis of Crime Control for the ethical acceptability of Infection Control. The main body of the article identifies and briefly describes six objections that have been advanced against Crime Control, and considers how these might apply to Infection Control. The final section then draws out some more general lessons from the foregoing analysis for the ethical acceptability of different kinds of Infection Control.
NUDGING IMMUNITY: THE CASE FOR OPT OUT VACCINATION OF CHILDREN IN SCHOOL AND DAY CARE
GIUBILINI, A, Caviola, L, MASLEN, H, DOUGLAS, T, NUSSBERGER, A-M, FABER, N, VANDERSLOTT, S, LOVING, S, HARRISON, M, SAVULESCU, J
The Cambridge Handbook of New Human Rights: Recognition, Novelty, Rhetoric
The right to bodily integrity (RBI) may seem inapt for inclusion in this volume, which is supposed to address new human rights, for as A. M. Viens notes, the RBI is a long-standing fixture in the philosophical and legal discussion of rights. However, Viens does, I think, make a good case for the right’s inclusion here. Not only does he note the increasing recognition of a new right to genital integrity derived from the more general RBI, he also argues for a new conceptualisation of the RBI itself: he argues that we ought to decompose the RBI into several constituent rights, delineated according to the different values from which they derive – rights to bodily autonomy, bodily dignity, bodily ownership, well-being, and so on.
human rights, bodily rights, bodily integrity, personal rights
Neural and environmental modulation of motivation: What’s the moral difference?
DOUGLAS, T, BIRKS, D
Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice
Stem Cell-Derived Gametes, Iterated In Vitro Reproduction, and Genetic Parenthood
Douglas, TM, Devolder, K
The Uehiro Foundation's 30th Anniversary Publication
Robert Sparrow has recently raised the possibility that stem cell technology could in the future be used to create multiple generations of embryos in the laboratory before transferring one embryo to a woman’s womb to create a pregnancy. Sparrow argues that any children produced in this way would be genetic orphans—they would lack living genetic parents—and explores the possible moral implications of this. A number of other authors have raised objections to Sparrow’s moral claims, but his descriptive claim remains unchallenged. In this chapter, we challenge it, arguing that Sparrow’s imagined technology could be performed in such a way that the children produced would have living genetic parents.