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Dr Michael Dunn

Dr Michael Dunn

New Book - Empirical Bioethics: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives

New Book - Empirical Bioethics: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives
Bioethics has long been accepted as an interdisciplinary field. The recent 'empirical turn' in bioethics is, however, creating challenges that move beyond those of simple interdisciplinary collaboration, as researchers grapple with the methodological, empirical and meta-ethical challenges of combining the normative and the empirical, as well as navigating the difficulties that can arise from attempts to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. Empirical Bioethics: Practical and Theoretical Perspectives brings together contributions from leading experts in the field which speak to these challenges, providing insight into how they can be understood and suggestions for how they might be overcome. Combining discussions of meta-ethical challenges, examples of different methodologies for integrating empirical and normative research, and reflection on the challenges of conducting and publishing such work, this book will both introduce the novice to the field and challenge the expert.

NEW BOOK - Medical Ethics, Law and Communication At a Glance

NEW BOOK - Medical Ethics, Law and Communication At a Glance
Medical Ethics, Law and Communication at a Glance presents a succinct overview of these key areas of the medical curriculum. This new title aims to provide a concise summary of the three core, interlinked topics essential to resolving ethical dilemmas in medicine and avoiding medico-legal action. Divided into two sections; the first examines the ethical and legal principles underpinning each medical topic; while the second focuses on communication skills and the importance of good communication. Medical Ethics, Law and Communication at a Glance offers an accessible introduction to the fundamentals of good medical practice, and will provide indispensable support for undergraduate medical students and nurses, as well as newly qualified healthcare professionals.

Michael Dunn

BA, MA (Cantab.), PhD, PGDipLaTHE, SFHEA

Departmental Lecturer in Health and Social Care Ethics

  • Director of Undergraduate Medical Ethics and Law Education, Clinical School
  • Director of the Ethox Centre Graduate Training Programme, NDPH
  • Research Fellow, Wellcome Centre for Ethics and the Humanities, University of Oxford


Mikey works on ethics in health care, social care and research. His current research interests focus predominantly on various ethical aspects of community-based and long-term care practice, policy and law - in the UK and internationally. He is currently collaborating with academic colleagues in the UK, USA, Singapore and Hong Kong to pursue a broad range of research projects in this topic area.

In his research, Mikey draws upon - and seeks to integrate - philosophical, social scientific and legal methods of analysis. Connected to this approach, Mikey also has a strong interest in examining questions about the nature of bioethics, the value of empirical ethics research, and novel methodological strategies for answering bioethical research questions.

He is the author of more than 50 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters and he is currently working with Tony Hope on a 2nd Edition of the popular book, 'Medical Ethics: A very short introduction', due to be published by Oxford University Press in Autumn 2018. Two co-edited books have been recently published:

His research and practice development activities have been funded through grants awarded by The Ethox Foundation, The Lien Foundation, The Brocher Foundation, The Wellcome Trust, The Burdett Trust, The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), The Nuffield Oxford Hospitals Fund, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), The Japanese Global Centres of Excellence Programme and The National University of Singapore.


Mikey plays a major role in Ethox's teaching activities. As Director of Undergraduate Medical Ethics and Law Education, he is responsible for leading and managing the delivery of the medical ethics and law curriculum to the clinical students within the University of Oxford’s Medical School. As Director of the Ethox Centre Graduate Research Training Programme, he is working to foster the development of bioethics teaching and research skills amongst Ethox's cohort of DPhil students and junior post-doctoral researchers.

Mikey has recently completed, with Distinction, the University of Oxford's Postgraduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. He now mentors junior colleagues undertaking this professional qualification and  was appointed as a Senior Fellow of the UK's Higher Education Academy in 2015.

Mikey has supervised the following DPhil students:

  • Dr Kyle Edwards, 2012-15. Now JD candidate at Yale Law School
  • Dr Leah Rand, 2013-16. Now Policy Officer at the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • Mr Gulamabbas Lakha, 2016-
  • Ms Marisha Wickremsinhe, 2018-
  • Mr Lovro Savic, 2018-

In 2018, Mikey was one of 15 academics shortlisted in the "Outstanding Graduate Supervisor" category in Oxford University's Annual Teaching Awards.

Other Academic Activities

Mikey sits on a number of advisory committees for research studies and practice development activities, and has acted as a consultant for ethics projects established by the Health Foundation, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, and the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS.

He also currently holds the following appointments:

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Medical Ethics
  • Editorial Board member and Book Reviews Editor, Ethics and Social Welfare
  • Member, National Social Care Research Ethics Committee, NRES
  • Member and Training Officer, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust Clinical Ethics Advisory Group
  • Member, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Clinical Ethics Advisory Group
  • Member, Institute of Medical Ethics Research Committee
  • Chair, Exam Board, Part I Preliminary Exam in Medicine (Graduate Entry), University of Oxford
  • External Examiner, MBChB Ethics and Law Theme, University of Bristol
  • Specialist Advisor on Ethics and Values, Executive Advisory Board, Careport


Mikey has worked at the Ethox Centre since 2009. He was awarded an MA in geography in 2004 from the University of Cambridge and he received his PhD in 2009. His doctoral research was undertaken in the Department of Psychiatry, also at Cambridge, and focused on the law, ethics and practice of residential care work for adults with intellectual disabilities. He has previously held visiting positions at the National University of Singapore, the University of Tokyo, the Hastings Center in New York, the VU University Amsterdam, the University of Oslo, the University of Bradford, and at Green Templeton College, Oxford.

Recent publications

More publications


Research Ethics Regulation. The MI Interview, The Mason Institute, Faculty of Law, University of Edinburgh, 21st January 2016.


Ethical Challenges of Managing Chronic Diseases. CUHK Centre for Bioethics Launch Conference, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 9th January 2015.


Teaching and Learning Using Difficult Clinical Cases: An ethics 'toolbox' for clinicians and educators. CUHK Centre for Bioethics First Annual Summer Workshop, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 16th July 2014.