Mackenzie Graham 2017-09-07T14:56:20+00:00

Project Description


  • Bioethics

  • Research Ethics



Postdoctoral Fellow;
Department of Philosophy, Western University

Mackenzie Graham is a PhD graduate in Philosophy, from Western University. His academic interests are primarily in moral philosophy and bioethics, with a particular emphasis on philosophical conceptions of welfare, and their applications to patient care.

My current research focuses on how traditional notions of moral status and welfare can inform our moral obligations to a unique patient population; patients diagnosed as vegetative, with covert awareness. In my dissertation, I explore how the discovery of awareness in these patients ought to impact our understanding of their welfare interests. I argue that we have good reason to believe that these patients are sentient, and thus, that they are capable of at least some of the sorts of interests (e.g., an interest in not suffering, in experiencing enjoyment) which contribute to their welfare, and which others have an obligation to respect. Moreover, I argue that it is critical to generating an accurate picture of patient welfare —a picture which might be used to help inform decision-making on the patient’s behalf— that the patient’s subjective experience form a significant part of such a picture, and propose two strategies for generating a preliminary account of the welfare of these patients.

Graham M, Weijer C, Cruse D, Fernandez-Espejo D, Gofton , Gonzalez-Lara L, Lazosky A, Naci L, Norton, L, Peterson A, Speechley KN, Young B, Owen AM. 2015. ‘An ethics of welfare for patients diagnosed as vegetative with covert awareness.’American Journal of Bioethics- Neuroscience. 6:2, 31-41.

Graham M, Weijer C, Peterson A, Naci L, Cruse D, Fernandez-Espejo D, Gonzalez-Lara L, Owen AM. 2015. ‘Acknowledging awareness: Informing families of individual research results for patients in the vegetative state.’ Journal of Medical Ethics. 41:7, 534-538.

Weijer C, Peterson A, Webster F, Graham M, Cruse D, Fernandez-Espejo D, Gofton T, Gonzalez-Lara LE, Lazosky A, Naci L, Norton, L, Speechley K, Young B, Owen, AM. 2014. ‘Ethics of Neuroimaging after serious brain injury’. BMC Medical Ethics. 15(1): 41-54.

Peterson A, Naci, L, Weijer C, Cruse D, Fernandez-Espejo D, Graham M, Owen AM. 2013. ‘Assessing decision-making capacity in the behaviorally non-responsive patient with residual covert awareness.’ American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience. 4:4, 3-14.  

Weijer C, Miller PB, Graham M. 2015. ‘The Duty of Care and Equipoise in Randomized Controlled Trials’. The Routledge Companion to Bioethics. Arras JD, E Fenton, R Kukla, (eds.) New York: Routledge.

Course Instructor. Philosophy 2073G. ‘Philosophy of Death.’ Western University: Jan-May, 2013.

Teaching Assistant. ‘Introduction to Philosophy.’ Western University: Sept-May, 2014.

Teaching Assistant. ‘Critical Thinking.’ University of Western Ontario: Sept-May, 2012.

Teaching Assistant. ‘Introduction to Philosophy.’ University of Western Ontario: Sept-May, 2011.

Teaching Assistant. ‘Introduction to Philosophy.’ Dalhousie University: Sept-May, 2010.