Anna Smajdor

Anna Smajdor
University of Oslo

Doctor of Philosophy

About

62
Publications
21,225
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864
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2008 - August 2016
University of East Anglia
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (62)
Book
The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethics and law provides a practical and accessible guide to the legal and ethical issues which a medical professional might face. It explains the major ethical theories - consequentialism, deontology, virtue ethics and principlism -and presents a method for moral decision-making, based on the application of theory and...
Article
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Can discussion with members of the public show philosophers where they have gone wrong? Leslie Cannold argues that it can in her 1995 paper ‘Women, Ectogenesis and Ethical Theory’, which investigates the ways in which women reason about abortion and ectogenesis (the gestation of foetuses in artificial wombs). In her study, Cannold interviewed femal...
Article
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In this paper, I aim to show that a certain form of immortality, without the need for any intervention from a supernatural being, is almost inevitable for human beings. I take a physicalist starting point: I am a certain configuration of physical particles. Thus, if these particles were reassembled in the same configuration, I would necessarily com...
Preprint
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Ellie Anderson had always known that she wanted to have children. Her mother, Louise, was aware of this wish. Ellie was designated male at birth, but according to news sources, identified as a girl from the age of three. She was hoping to undergo gender reassignment surgery at 18, but died unexpectedly at only 16, leaving Louise grappling not only...
Article
Full-text available
Quest editorial for the journal Bioethics.
Chapter
Who is a child’s father? Is it the man who raised her, or the one whose genes she carries—or both? We look at the view that men who have raised children they falsely believed to be ‘their own’ have been victims of a form of fraud or are ‘false fathers’. We consider the question of who has been harmed in such cases, and in what the harm consists. We...
Article
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Introduction: Artificial gametes (AGs) are cells that have been 'reprogrammed' to function as sperm or eggs. Such cells may in the future enable people who cannot produce gametes, to have genetically-related offspring. In this paper, I consider the prospect of AGs in the context of declining birthrates and postponed parenthood across the Western w...
Article
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Climate change is outpacing existing rates of evolution and adaptation for many marine organisms. Human societies are pushing hard to find new solutions to save and protect marine ecosystems, generating research on manipulating genetics of wild organisms for the goal of conservation. This – “assisted evolution” – raises challenging ethical question...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
We are editing a special issue on the Ethics of Ectogenesis (artificial wombs) for the journal Bioethics. The aim of the issue is to bring together best papers considering ethical issues regarding ectogenesis. Deadline for the papers is 1st of May 2019 and the publication will be at 2020.
Chapter
PMDs raise questions about the relationship between morality and medicine, threatening the conceptual discreteness of medicine itself. Everyday items such as phones or watches are increasingly used for quasi-medical purposes. Conversely, products designed for medical use are entering marketplaces and being used in ways that serve users’ values and...
Article
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This document is designed to give guidance on assessing researchers in bioethics/medical ethics. It is intended to assist members of selection, confirmation and promotion committees, who are required to assess those conducting bioethics research when they are not from a similar disciplinary background. It does not attempt to give guidance on the qu...
Article
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In debates on the ethics of artificial gametes, concepts of naturalness have been used in a number of different ways. Some have argued that the unnaturalness of artificial gametes means that it is unacceptable to use them in fertility treatments. Others have suggested that artificial gametes are no less natural than many other tissues or processes...
Chapter
Full-text available
In recent years, there has been growing concern over the perceived tendency of women to postpone childbearing. In this chapter, we show that some of the responses to the phenomenon of postponed reproduction are deeply problematic. The question of whether it is accurate to construe later motherhood as postponement at all is far from clear. Moreover,...
Article
A number of cases have arisen over recent decades in which sperm has been extracted from dead and dying men without their prior consent. These extractions are undertaken in order to allow the man's partner to become a mother, or his parents, to become grandparents. Currently, the techniques used to perform such extractions are highly invasive, requ...
Article
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In this paper, we will discuss the prospect of human reproduction achieved with gametes originating from only one person. According to statements by a minority of scientists working on the generation of gametes in vitro, it may become possible to create eggs from men’s non-reproductive cells and sperm from women’s. This would enable, at least in pr...
Article
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p>The family is commonly regarded as being an important social institution. In several policy areas, evidence can be found that the family is treated as an entity towards which others can have moral obligations; it has needs and interests that require protection; it can be ill and receive treatment. The interests attributed to the family are not re...
Article
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In this paper we look at the implications of an emerging technology for the case in favor of, or against, postmenopausal motherhood. Technologies such as in vitro derived gametes (sperm and eggs derived from nonreproductive cells) have the potential to influence the ways in which reproductive medicine is practiced, and are already bringing new dime...
Article
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In his book Reasons and Persons, Derek Parfit suggests that people are not harmed by being conceived with a disease or disability if they could not have existed without suffering that particular condition. He nevertheless contends that entities can be harmed if the suffering they experience is sufficiently severe. By implication, there is a thresho...
Article
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Perimortem gamete retrieval has been a possibility for several decades. It involves the surgical extraction of gametes which can then be cryo-preserved and stored for future use. Usually, the request for perimortem gamete retrieval is made by the patient's partner after the patient himself, or herself, has lost the capacity to consent for the proce...
Article
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In this paper, we explore the ethical and legal implications of a hypothetical use of artificial gametes (AGs): that of taking a person's cells, converting them to AGs and using them in reproduction-without that person's knowledge or consent. We note the common reliance on genetic understandings of parenthood in the law and suggest that injustices...
Article
A lack of compassion is often seen as the root of problems within the NHS. However, this assumption is open to question. It is not always clear what is meant by compassion, and it is not evident that compassion is the best way of motivating healthcare workers. Addressing organisational issues by attempting to enhance compassion may therefore mask t...
Article
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In this paper we will look at the various ways in which infertility can be understood and at how need for reproductive therapies can be construed. We will do this against the background of research with artificial gametes (AGs). Having explored these questions we will attempt to establish the degree to which technologies such as AGs could expand th...
Article
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In this paper, I will explore ideas advanced by Bradshaw, Pence and others who have written on compassion in healthcare. I will attempt to see how and whether their assumptions about compassion can be justified, and explore the role compassion should play in a modern healthcare system. I will justify scepticism at the idea of attempting to incentiv...
Article
This article explores the concept of resilience and its potential relevance to medicine. It also looks at the dimensions of resilience and its ethical importance for effective professional practice, and considers whether a focus on resilience might be useful in medical training. An applied literature search was conducted across the domains of educa...
Article
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In his article "Research Priorities and the Future of Pregnancy" in this issue of CQ, Timothy Murphy evaluates some of the arguments I advanced in an earlier publication, "The Moral Imperative for Ectogenesis".
Article
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Making treatment decisions for older people is difficult, because of the complex interplay of their multiple co-morbidities, but also because of the fine balance of risks vs. benefit in any chosen management plan. This becomes even more difficult when they lose the capacity to tell us what they want, and often in such situations we have to rely on...
Article
New reproductive techniques and paternity testing raise a plethora of ethical questions. Anna Smajdor enjoyed a film that presents the donor conceived children who meet their genetic father “It is a wise child that knows its own father.” When Telemachus, putative son of Odysseus, spoke these words, he meant that there was no way of establishing pat...
Article
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The average age of women having their first child has been rising in recent decades [1]. Since fertility declines with age, it is not surprising that larger numbers of women over 40 are seeking IVF. Any change in reproductive norms tends to generate concern. Women's apparent postponement of motherhood has met with criticism directed variously at wo...
Article
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Empathy is commonly regarded as an essential attribute for doctors and there is a conviction that empathy must be taught to medical students. Yet it is not clear exactly what empathy is, from a philosophical or sociological point of view, or whether it can be taught. The meaning, role and relevance of empathy in medical education have tended to be...
Article
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Fetal surgery has been practised for some decades now. However, it remains a highly complex area, both medically and ethically. This paper shows how the routine use of ultrasound has been a catalyst for fetal surgery, in creating new needs and new incentives for intervention. Some of the needs met by fetal surgery are those of parents and clinician...
Article
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This article offers practical advice on how to expedite the ethical review process.
Article
In this paper, I suggest that ethical constraints may have a role to play in the provision of some medical interventions. If there are sound ethical reasons for preventing the use of some treatments, these will be valid, whether treatment is provided in the state or private sector. If such restrictions prove unfounded or are unsuccessful in prevent...
Chapter
Full-text available
In 2005 a group of fertility experts published an editorial in the British Medical Journal warning of an ‘epidemic’ of older (post 35) mothers in the UK and other Western countries. The authors urged women to have their children at the biologically optimal age (between 20 and 35) and stressed the severe medical, social and economic costs of later r...
Article
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It has been conclusively demonstrated that postmenopausal women can gestate and give birth to children. However, to do so, they require donated oocytes, which are in short supply. In this paper, I explore a number of arguments for limiting access to donated oocytes to women of normal reproductive age. I consider the idea that older women have alrea...
Article
This is a book for anyone who has ever paused to wonder: Will cloning ever be legal? Why it is that 'saviour siblings' and sex selection provoke such strong reactions? Will there ever be such a thing as an artificial womb? Assisted reproductive technologies are unique in their capacity to challenge our assumptions and elicit passionate responses. L...
Article
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Recently, several claims have been made that free provision of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) will boost our economy. This is premised on the assumption that people provide more in terms of tax and insurance than they consume in resources, leaving an overall gain. Even where these 'replacement' people are created by means of IVF, it is argued that th...
Article
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edited by Tuija Takala and Matti Häyry, welcomes contributions on the conceptual and theoretical dimensions of bioethics.
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A number of disputes have arisen in recent years over the status of non-transferred embryos cryopreserved during in vitro fertilisation. One such case is that of Natallie Evans who in April 2007 lost her final attempt to prevent the destruction of embryos created with the sperm of her former partner. Ms Evans had been rendered infertile by cancer t...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
We study the ethical questions that are raised by the possibility to access one’s family members’ reproductive potential, especially when children are born as a result. Relevant such reproductive paths include uterus transplants from mother to daughter, surrogate motherhood for one’s adult children, egg sharing between sisters and conception with the gametes of a deceased family member (such as one’s offspring or spouse).