Project Description

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RESEARCH AREAS:

  • Medical Ethics

  • Research Ethics

  • Animal Ethics

CONTACT:

  • Rotman Institute of Philosophy
    Western University
    Western Interdisciplinary Research Building, 7175
    London, Ontario, Canada
    N6A 3K7

JESSICA DU TOIT

Doctoral Student;
Department of Philosophy, Western University

Jess du Toit is a doctoral student in Philosophy at Western University. She is originally from the beautiful city of Cape Town, in South Africa, where she received her B.A. (English and Philosophy), Honours (Philosophy) and Masters (Philosophy) degrees from the University of Cape Town. Her philosophical interests are broad, although she is especially drawn to applied ethics and, in particular to issues in animal ethics and medical ethics. She is currently working with Professor Weijer and the rest of his team on the ethics of pragmatic randomized controlled trials. Jess is a keen runner (although we’ll see how that works out for her in Canada!) and drinker of all kinds of tea. She also really loves dogs.

While my research interests are in animal ethics and bioethics, my doctoral research will be in bioethics and, in particular, in research ethics. I will focus on questions related to the ethics of pragmatic randomized controlled trials which, unlike ordinary randomized controlled trials, aim to evaluate health interventions in real-world settings (as opposed to highly controlled research settings). Pragmatic randomized controlled trials thereby aim to provide patients, health providers and health system managers with information on the safety, effectiveness and cost of treatments that is applicable in the real world (as opposed to in research environments only). My work will hopefully contribute to the field as although ethical guidelines exist to protect research subjects, these guidelines were not written with pragmatic randomized controlled trials in mind. Through my work, I shall therefore aim to address some of the challenges that plague (pragmatic) randomized controlled trials as a result of this ‘lack of fit’.

Articles

“Are Indirect Benefits Relevant to Health Care Allocation Decisions?”, a piece co-written with Joseph Millum, in Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Vol. 41(5), October 2016.

“Is Having Pets Morally Permissible?”, in Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 33(3), August 2016, pp. 327-343.

“The Ethics of Continued Life-Sustaining Treatment for Those Diagnosed as Brain Dead”, a piece co-written with Franklin Miller, in Bioethics, Vol. 30(3), March 2016, pp. 151-158.

“Pets and Dependency”, in The Forum, 16 November 2015, available online at http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/theforum/petsdependency-2/.

“A case for tobacco content regulation by the U.S Food and Drug Administration” in Current Oncology, Vol. 17(4), pp. 59-61. 2010.

Book Chapters

Under Review:

“The Case for Valuing Non-Health and Indirect Benefits”, a chapter co-written with Govind Persad, which is to appear in an anthology about Global Health Priority Setting, edited by Joseph Millum et al, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2018

“The Ethics of Domestication”, a chapter which is to appear in the Routledge Handbook of Animal Ethics, edited by Bob Fischer, to be published by Routledge in 2018.

Published:

“Reproducing Companion Animals”, a chapter co-written with David Benatar, in Pets and People: The Ethics of Our Relationships with Companion Animals, edited by Christine Overall, published by Oxford University Press, 2017.

MA Thesis

Can Human-Animal Relationships be Meaningful?

Invited Talks

“The Ethics of Reproducing Companion Animals”, a talk presented at an Animal Ethics Symposium hosted by the Philosophy Department at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. 2016.

“Are Indirect Benefits Relevant to Health Care Allocation Decisions?”, a talk presented in April 2015 at the Priorities in Global Health 2020 workshop in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

“The Ethics of Continued Life-Sustaining Treatment for those Diagnosed as Brain Dead”, a talk presented in October 2014 at a NIH Department of Bioethics “Works in Progress” seminar, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

“Is Having Pets Morally Permissible?”, a talk presented in May 2014 at a UCT Philosophy Department seminar, Cape Town, South Africa.

“Are Indirect Benefits Relevant to Healthcare Resource Allocation Decisions?”, a talk presented in April 2014 at a NIH Department of Bioethics “Works in Progress” seminar, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

“Can a Dog Really be a Human’s (Best) Friend?”, a talk presented in July 2013 at a UCT Philosophy Society meeting, Cape Town, South Africa.

“Confidentiality”, a talk presented in May 2013 to group of Medical Physicists as part of their Continuing Professional Development, Cape Town, South Africa.

“Professional Autonomy and Medical Self-Regulation”, a talk presented at the March 28th meeting of the Southern Suburbs ENT Journal Club, Cape Town, South Africa. 2012.

“Should Kidney Sales be Legal in South Africa?”, a talk presented at the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences Bioethics Day, as well as at a UCT Philosophy Society meeting, Cape Town, South Africa. 2011.

Conference Presentations

“Thinking about Ethics”, a talk presented in October 2015 at a Bioethics Conference for Allied Health Professionals at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.

“Autonomy and Informed Consent”, a talk presented in October 2015 at a Bioethics Conference for Allied Health Professionals at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.

“Confidentiality”, a talk presented in October 2015 at a Bioethics Conference for Allied Health Professionals at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.

“The Ethics of Continued Life-Sustaining Treatment for those Diagnosed as Brain Dead”, a talk presented in April 2015 at the Mid Atlantic Bioethics Fellows’ Conference in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

“Are Indirect Benefits Relevant to Healthcare Resource Allocation Decisions?”, a talk presented at the 2014 meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities in San Diego, California, USA.

“Autonomy and Informed Consent”, a talk presented in November 2012 at a Bioethics Conference for Allied Health Professionals at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.

July 2015 – Jan 2017, Bioethics, University of Cape Town (Tutor and Examiner at UCT’s Medical School)

June 2015 – Sept 2015, Ethics for Family Medicine, University of Cape Town (Lecturer and Course Developer at UCT’s Medical School)

July 2011-Dec. 2012, Philosophy Plus (Ethics), University of Cape Town (Course Convenor and Lecturer

Jan. 2007 – Aug. 2013, Bioethics, University of Cape Town (Tutor and Examiner at UCT’s Medical School)

Jan. 2007 – Dec. 2012, Philosophy Tutor at the University of Cape Town in Ethics, Applied Ethics and Philosophy of Education