Sam Griffin

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Role: P/T PhD student in Medical Ethics

MSc Healthcare Ethics and Law (Liverpool 2001)

My personal experiences as a Pagan patient and a history of working with medical students proved to be the initial inspiration for the thesis.  

I also have an interest in reproductive/genetic ethics, medical education and mental health.

Why give ethical weight to religious beliefs in the NHS ?  Identity conferring beliefs, moral obligations and the example of Modern Pagans

This thesis looks at the ways in which religious beliefs affect healthcare in the UK, and how health professionals can respond ethically to issues that arise. In particular I step away from a capacitous-autonomy based approach, using modern Paganism to illustrate that the identity-conferring and obligation-giving nature of religious (and non-religious) worldviews requires a more nuanced ethics.

Utilising earlier work on ‘ethical weighting systems’ and examples from modern Paganism, I critique reliance on familiar definitions of (organised) religion and instead propose a revised method of giving religiously motivated requests an ethical weight. This revised method reflects genuine ethical concerns about autonomy, identity, beneficence and fairness.  It specifically includes reference to patient wellbeing and the importance of a sensitive awareness in everyday interactions, not only the more familiar dramatic refusals.

My supervisor is Dr. Sorcha Uí Chonnachtaigh.

Sessional lecturer: MA in Medical Ethics and Law

Course author & lecturer: MPharm ‘Ethics beyond Pharmacy’ UG module

PBL facilitator: Nottingham University Graduate Entry Medicine Program