Dr. Maxwell Smith is a bioethicist, Assistant Professor, and Western Research Chair in Public Health Ethics in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. He also serves as an Associate Director of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy and has appointments in the Department of Philosophy, Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion, and Institute for Earth and Space Exploration. Professor Smith’s research is primarily in the area of public health ethics, with a focus on infectious disease ethics and the ethical demands that health equity and social justice place on governments and institutions to protect and promote the public’s health.
Dr. Smith’s research is primarily on infectious disease ethics and the demands that health equity and social justice place on governments and institutions to protect and promote the public’s health. His research bridges philosophical scholarship with social science research methods to investigate declared values in public health policy, practice, and research. Appreciating that the task of specifying and clarifying the values that form the basis for policy decisions and actions in public health is both a theoretical and practical endeavour, his research has used key informant interviews with policy-makers’ to explore their perspectives on core values in public health, like ‘social justice’ and ‘health equity’. His research also involves collaborations with social epidemiologists to model different philosophical conceptions of justice in order to examine their effects on population health interventions that aim to ‘reduce health inequities’.
Smith BT, Warren C, Rosella L, Smith MJ. (2023). Bridging Ethics and Epidemiology: Modelling Ethical Standards of Health Equity
. Social Science and Medicine – Population Health, 24: 101481.
Schaefer GO, Atuire CA, Kaur S, Parker M, Persad G, Smith MJ, Upshur REG, Emanuel E. (2023). The Importance of Getting the Ethics Right in a Pandemic Treaty
. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(23)00364-X.
Smith MJ. (2023). The Ethics of Firing Unvaccinated Employees
. Journal of Medical Ethics. doi: 10.1136/jme-2022-108866.
World Health Organization. (2022). COVID-19 and Mandatory Vaccination: Ethical Considerations (May 2022 revised version). Geneva: World Health Organization. WHO/2019-nCoV/Policy_brief/Mandatory_vaccination/2022.1. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/354585
Emanuel EJ, Persad G, Upshur R, Thomé B, Parker M, Glickman A, Zhang C, Boyle C, Smith MJ, Phillips JP. (2020). Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19
. New England Journal of Medicine, 382(21): 2049-2055.
Smith MJ, Thompson A, Upshur REG. (2019). Public Health as Social Justice? A Qualitative Study of Public Health Policy-Makers’ Perspectives. Social Justice Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11211-019-00327-7
Smith MJ. (2019). Ethical Issues Analysis. In Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders: Patient’s Experiences and Perspectives, Implementation, and Ethical Issues. Ottawa: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH). CADTH Optimal Use Report, 8(2b).
Smith MJ, Weinstock D. (2019). Reducing Health Inequities Through Intersectoral Action: Balancing Equity in Health with Equity for Other Social Goods. International Journal of Health Policy and Management. 8(1): 1–3.
Smith MJ, Thompson A, Upshur REG. (2018). Is ‘Health Equity’ Bad for Our Health? A Qualitative Empirical Ethics Study of Public Health Policy-Makers’ Perspectives. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 109(5): 633-642.
Smith MJ, Weinstock D. (2018). Political Legitimacy and Research Ethics. Bioethics. https://doi.org/10.1111/bioe.12489
Silva DS, Smith MJ, Norman C. (2018). Systems Thinking and Ethics in Public Health: A Necessary and Mutually Beneficial Partnership. Monash Bioethics Review. 36(1): 54-67.
Buse CG, Smith MJ, Silva DS. (2018). Attending to Scalar Ethical Issues in Emerging Approaches to Environmental Health Research and Practice. Monash Bioethics Review. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40592-018-0080-3
Smith MJ, Viens AM. (2016). Critical Care Triage in Pandemics. In Public Health Ethics: Cases Spanning the Globe (pgs. 90-94), ed. Barrett DH, Ortmann LW, Dawson A, Saenz C, Reis A, Bolan G. Springer International Publishing.
Viens AM, Smith MJ. (2016). Mass Evacuation. In Public Health Ethics: Cases Spanning the Globe (pgs. 132-136), ed. Barrett DH, Ortmann LW, Dawson A, Saenz C, Reis A, Bolan G. Springer International Publishing.
Bernard CB, Smith MJ, Wagner F. (2016). Unanticipated Vulnerability: Marginalizing the Least Visible in Pandemic Planning. In Public Health Ethics: Cases Spanning the Globe (pgs. 226-230), ed. Barrett DH, Ortmann LW, Dawson A, Saenz C, Reis A, Bolan G. Springer International Publishing.
Bean S, Smith MJ. (2016). Victimless Vapour? Healthcare Organizations Should Restrict the Use of E-cigarettes. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 106(8): e467-e469.
Komparic A, Smith MJ, Thompson A. (2016). An Ethical Justification for Expanding the Notion of Effectiveness in Vaccine Post-Market Monitoring: Insights from the HPV Vaccine in Canada. Public Health Ethics, 9(1): 78-91.
Smith MJ, Upshur REG. (2015). Ebola and Learning Lessons from Moral Failures: Who Cares About Ethics? Public Health Ethics, 8(3): 305-318.
Smith MJ, Silva DS. (2015). Ethics for Pandemics Beyond Influenza: Ebola, Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis, and Anticipating Future Ethical Challenges in Pandemic Preparedness and Response. Monash Bioethics Review, 33(2): 130-147.
Smith MJ. (2015). Health Equity in Public Health: Clarifying our Commitment. Public Health Ethics, 8(2): 173-184.
Smith MJ. (2015). Ethical Considerations for the Reduction of Multifetal Pregnancies. Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Online Bioethics Curriculum (Section IV: Reproductive Health). Ottawa: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Smith MJ. (2015). What’s on the Menu for an Equitable Approach to Nutrition Labelling in Restaurants? Public Health Ethics, 8(1): 98-102.
Smith MJ. (2015). “Publication Bias” and How it Might Affect the Response to Public Health Emergencies. In Ethics in Epidemics, Emergencies and Disasters: Research, Surveillance and Patient Care (pgs. 147-154). Geneva: World Health Organization.
Smith MJ. (2015). Ethical Obligations of Researchers, Public Health Practitioners and Publishers Regarding Ownership of Scientific Data. In Ethics in Epidemics, Emergencies and Disasters: Research, Surveillance and Patient Care (pgs. 155-162). Geneva: World Health Organization.
Bean S, Smith MJ. (2015). A Vaping Matter: E-cigarette Use in Healthcare Organizations. The Hastings Center Report, 45(6): 11-12.
Livingstone S, Smith MJ, Silva DS, Upshur REG. (2015). Much Ado about Omics: Welcome to ‘The Permutome’. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 21(6): 1018-1021.
Silva DS, Smith MJ. (2015). Limiting Rights and Freedoms in the Context of Ebola and other Public Health Emergencies: How the Principle of Reciprocity Can Enrich the Application of the Siracusa Principles. Health and Human Rights, 17(1): 52-57.
Thompson A, Smith MJ, Bensimon CM, McDougall C, Perez DF. (2015). “With Human Health it’s a Global Thing”: Canadian Perspectives on Ethics in the Global Governance of an Influenza Pandemic. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 12(1): 115-127.
Thompson A, Komparic A, Smith MJ. (2014). Ethical Considerations in Post-Market-Approval Monitoring and Regulation of Vaccines. Vaccine, 32(52): 7171–7174.
Viens AM, Smith MJ, Bensimon C, Silva DS. (2014). Justifying the Initiation and Continued Provision of Public Health Interventions in Humanitarian Settings. Public Health Ethics, 7(3): 314-317.