Carolyn McLeod University of Western Ontario
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  • Faculty, University of Western Ontario
  • PhD, Dalhousie University, 1999.

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About me
I am Professor of Philosophy and an affiliate member of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research at The University of Western Ontario, Canada. My philosophical interests lie in the areas of health care ethics, feminist philosophy, and moral philosophy. I have had a long-standing interest in reproductive ethics, beginning with my book, Self-Trust and Reproductive Autonomy (MIT Press, 2002). I have published on various topics in this area, including the commodification of women’s reproductive labour and conscientious refusals by health care professionals to provide reproductive health services such as abortions. Recently, my knowledge of the ethics of having children has broadened to include issues that concern adoption. Within moral theory, I have written--mainly from a feminist perspective--on the nature of trust, autonomy, integrity, objectification, and conscience.
My works
47 items found.
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  1. Andrew Botterell & Carolyn McLeod, Can a Right to Reproduce Justify the Status Quo on Parental Licensing?
    The status quo on parental licensing in most Western jurisdictions is that licensing is required in the case of adoption but not in the case of assisted or unassisted biological reproduction. To have a child via adoption, one must fulfill licensing requirements, which, beyond the usual home study, can include mandatory participation in parenting classes. One is exempt from these requirements, however, if one has a child via biological reproduction, including assisted reproduction involving donor gametes or a contract pregnancy. In (...)
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  2.  31
    Chloe Fitzgerald & Carolyn McLeod (forthcoming). Conscientious Refusal and Access to Abortion and Contraception. In John Arras, Elizabeth Fenton & Rebecca Kukla (eds.), Routledge Companion to Bioethics. Routledge
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  3. C. McLeod & F. Baylis (forthcoming). Feminists on the Commodification and (in) Alienability of Human Embryos in Research. Hypatia.
  4.  3
    Andrew Botterell & Carolyn McLeod (2015). Licensing Parents in International Contract Pregnancies. Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (4).
    The Hague Conference on Private International Law currently has a Parentage/Surrogacy Project, which evaluates the legal status of children in cross-border situations, including situations involving international contract pregnancy. Should a convention focusing on international contract pregnancy emerge from this project, it will need to be consistent with the Hague convention on Intercountry Adoption. The latter convention prohibits adoptions unless, among other things, ‘the competent authorities of the receiving State have determined that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to (...)
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  5. Carolyn McLeod & Francoise Baylis (eds.) (2014). Family Making: Contemporary Ethical Challenges. Oxford University Press.
    This book concerns the ethics of having children through adoption or technologically-assisted reproduction. Some people who choose between these methods struggle between them. Others do not agonize in this way, perhaps because they have a profound desire for a genetic link to the child(ren) they will parent and so prefer assisted reproduction, they view adoption as the only morally decent choice in an overcrowded world, or for some other reason. This book critically examines moral choices that involve each of these (...)
     
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  6.  98
    Carolyn McLeod & Andrew Botterell (2014). Not For the Faint of Heart: Assessing the Status Quo on Adoption and Parental Licensing. In Francoise Baylis & Carolyn McLeod (eds.), Family Making: Contemporary Ethical Challenges. Oxford University Press 151-167.
    The process of adopting a child is “not for the faint of heart.” This is what we were told the first time we, as a couple, began this process. Part of the challenge lies in fulfilling the licensing requirements for adoption, which, beyond the usual home study, can include mandatory participation in parenting classes. The question naturally arises for many people who are subjected to these requirements whether they are morally justified. We tackle this question in this paper. In our (...)
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  7.  7
    Carolyn McLeod & Andrew Botterell (2014). A Hague Convention on Contract Pregnancy : Avoiding Ethical Inconsistencies with the Convention on Adoption. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 7 (2):219-235.
    The Hague Conference on Private International Law is currently considering the development of a Hague Convention on international contract pregnancy. Recently, the Permanent Bureau of the conference published A Preliminary Report on the Issues Arising from International Surrogacy Arrangements . There, it acknowledges that overlap may exist in the proper regulation of international adoption and international contract pregnancy . The report states that “some of the techniques employed by the 1993 Convention [on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of (...)
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  8.  3
    Carolyn McLeod & Jocelyn Downie (2014). Let Conscience Be Their Guide? Conscientious Refusals in Health Care. Bioethics 28 (1):ii-iv.
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  9.  68
    Jocelyn Downie, Carolyn McLeod & Jacquelyn Shaw (2013). Moving Forward with a Clear Conscience: A Model Conscientious Objection Policy for Canadian Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons. Health Law Review 21 (3):28-32.
    A model policy for conscientious objection in medicine.
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  10. Lori Kantymir & Carolyn McLeod (2013). Justification for Conscience Exemptions in Health Care. Bioethics 27 (8):16-23.
    Some bioethicists argue that conscientious objectors in health care should have to justify themselves, just as objectors in the military do. They should have to provide reasons that explain why they should be exempt from offering the services that they find offensive. There are two versions of this view in the literature, each giving different standards of justification. We show these views are each either too permissive (i.e. would result in problematic exemptions based on conscience) or too restrictive (i.e. would (...)
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  11.  20
    Carolyn McLeod, Trust. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A summary of the philosophical literature on trust.
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  12. Carolyn McLeod (2011). Taking a Feminist Relational Perspective on Conscience. In Jocelyn Downie & Jennifer Lewellyn (eds.), Being Relational: Reflections on Relational Theory and Health Law and Policy. University of British Columbia Press
    One understanding of conscience dominates bioethical discussion about conscience. On this view, to have a conscience is to be compelled to act in accordance with one’s own moral values for the sake of one’s “integrity,” where integrity is understood as inner or psychological unity. Conscience is deemed valuable because it promotes this quality. In this paper, I describe the dominant view, attempt to show that it is flawed, and sketch a positive alternative to it. In my opinion, conscience often fails (...)
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  13.  43
    Carolyn McLeod (2010). An Institutional Solution to Conflicts of Conscience in Medicine. Hastings Center Report 40 (6):41-42.
    A review of Holly Fernandez Lynch's book Conflicts of Conscience in Medicine (MIT Press, 2008).
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  14.  52
    Carolyn McLeod (2010). Harm or Mere Inconvenience? Denying Women Emergency Contraception. Hypatia 25 (1):11-30.
    This paper addresses the likely impact on women of being denied emergency contraception (EC) by pharmacists who conscientiously refuse to provide it. A common view—defended by Elizabeth Fenton and Loren Lomasky, among others—is that these refusals inconvenience rather than harm women so long as the women can easily get EC somewhere else nearby. I argue from a feminist perspective that the refusals harm women even when they can easily get EC somewhere else nearby.
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  15. Carolyn Mcleod (2010). Harm or Mere Inconvenience? Denying Women Emergency Contraception. Hypatia 25 (1):11-30.
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  16.  3
    Carolyn McLeod (2010). Mere and Partial Means. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (Supplement):219-244.
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  17. Carolyn McLeod (2010). Morally Justifying Oncofertility Research. In Teresa Woodruff, Lori Zoloth, Lisa Campo-Engelstein & Susan Rodriguez (eds.), Oncofertility: Reflections from the Humanities and Social Sciences. Springer
  18.  10
    Jeff Nisker, Françoise Baylis, Isabel Karpin, Carolyn McLeod & Roxanne Mykitiuk (eds.) (2010). The 'Healthy' Embryo: Social, Biomedical, Legal and Philosophical Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.
    Public attention on embryo research has never been greater. Modern reproductive medicine technology and the use of embryos to generate stem cells ensure that this will continue to be a topic of debate and research across many disciplines. This multidisciplinary book explores the concept of a 'healthy' embryo, its implications on the health of children and adults, and how perceptions of what constitutes child and adult health influence the concept of embryo 'health'. The concept of human embryo health is considered (...)
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  19.  16
    Carolyn McLeod (2009). Rich Discussion About Reproductive Autonomy. Bioethics 23 (1):ii-iii.
    An introduction to a special issue of Bioethics edited by McLeod and called Understanding and Protecting Reproductive Autonomy.
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  20.  1
    Wendy Rogers & Carolyn McLeod (2009). Introduction. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 2 (2):1-4.
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  21.  74
    Carolyn McLeod (2008). Referral in the Wake of Conscientious Objection to Abortion. Hypatia 23 (4):pp. 30-47.
    Currently, the preferred accommodation for conscientious objection to abortion in medicine is to allow the objector to refuse to accede to the patient’s request so long as the objector refers the patient to a physician who performs abortions. The referral part of this arrangement is controversial, however. Pro-life advocates claim that referrals make objectors complicit in the performance of acts that they, the objectors, find morally offensive. McLeod argues that the referral requirement is justifiable, although not in the way that (...)
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  22. Carolyn Mcleod (2008). Referral in the Wake of Conscientious Objection to Abortion. Hypatia 23 (4):30-47.
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  23.  15
    Carolyn McLeod & Julie Ponesse (2008). Infertility and Moral Luck: The Politics of Women Blaming Themselves for Infertility. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 1 (1):126 - 144.
    Infertility can be an agonizing experience, especially for women. And, much of the agony has to do with luck: with how unlucky one is in being infertile, and in how much luck is involved in determining whether one can weather the storm of infertility and perhaps have a child in the end. We argue that bad luck associated with being infertile is often bad moral luck for women. The infertile woman often blames herself or is blamed by others for what (...)
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  24. Carolyn McLeod & Julie Ponesse (2008). Infertility and Moral Luck: The Politics of Women Blaming Themselves for Infertility. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 1 (1):126-144.
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  25.  32
    Françoise Baylis & Carolyn McLeod (2007). The Stem Cell Debate Continues: The Buying and Selling of Eggs for Research. Journal of Medical Ethics 33 (12):726-731.
    Now that stem cell scientists are clamouring for human eggs for cloning-based stem cell research, there is vigorous debate about the ethics of paying women for their eggs. Generally speaking, some claim that women should be paid a fair wage for their reproductive labour or tissues, while others argue against the further commodification of reproductive labour or tissues and worry about voluntariness among potential egg providers. Siding mainly with those who believe that women should be financially compensated for providing eggs (...)
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  26.  19
    Carolyn McLeod (2007). For Dignity or Money: Feminists on the Commodification of Women's Reproductive Labour. In Bonnie Steinbock (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Bioethics. Oxford University Press
  27.  37
    Carolyn Mcleod & Françoise Baylis (2007). Donating Fresh Versus Frozen Embryos to Stem Cell Research: In Whose Interests? Bioethics 21 (9):465–477.
    Some stem cell researchers believe that it is easier to derive human embryonic stem cells from fresh rather than frozen embryos and they have had in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinicians invite their infertility patients to donate their fresh embryos for research use. These embryos include those that are deemed 'suitable for transfer' (i.e. to the woman's uterus) and those deemed unsuitable in this regard. This paper focuses on fresh embryos deemed suitable for transfer - hereafter 'fresh embryos'- which IVF patients (...)
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  28. Carolyn Mcleod & Françloise Baylis (2006). Feminists on the Inalienability of Human Embryos. Hypatia 21 (1):1-14.
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  29. Carolyn McLeod & Françoise Baylis (2006). Feminists on the Inalienability of Human Embryos. Hypatia 21 (1):1-14.
    The feminist literature against the commodification of embryos in human embryo research includes an argument to the effect that embryos are "intimately connected" to persons, or morally inalienable from them. We explore why embryos might be inalienable to persons and why feminists might find this view appealing. But, ultimately, as feminists, we reject this view because it is inconsistent with full respect for women's reproductive autonomy and with a feminist conception of persons as relational, embodied beings. Overall, feminists should avoid (...)
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  30.  2
    Carolyn McLeod (2005). Conscientious Autonomy: What Patients Do Vs. What Is Done to Them. Hastings Center Report 35 (5):5.
    Letter to editor of the Hastings Center Report on R. Kukla’s “Conscientious Autonomy: Displacing Decisions in Health Care” (HCR 35(2), 2005: 34-44).
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  31.  8
    Carolyn McLeod (2005). Embryo Autonomy? What About the Autonomy of Infertility Patients. American Journal of Bioethics 5 (6):25 – 26.
    A review of S. M. Liao's "Rescuing human embryonic stem cell research: The blastocyst transfer method," American Journal of Bioethics 5(6), 2005: 8:16.
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  32.  67
    Carolyn McLeod (2005). How to Distinguish Autonomy From Integrity. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):107 - 133.
    The article aims to distinguish autonomy from integrity. I claim that integrity is different from a form of autonomy at least, but that integrity and autonomy overlap considerably. Integrity itself is a form of autonomy: what ethicists call ‘moral autonomy.’ (They tend to distinguish between personal and moral autonomy.) Autonomy is the genus, one might say, with integrity (i.e., moral autonomy) and personal autonomy being species of it.
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  33.  14
    Carolyn McLeod (2004). Integrity and Self-Protection. Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (2):216–232.
    Self-protection seems to be negatively correlated with integrity on the standard conception of that virtue. To be self-protective is to lose some of our integrity. In this paper, I pursue the somewhat unlikely claim that a certain amount of self-protection is consistent with integrity and is even required by it in many circumstances.
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  34.  6
    Carolyn McLeod (2004). Understanding Trust. In Francoise Baylis, Jocelyn Downie, Barry Hoffmaster & Susan Sherwin (eds.), Health Care Ethics in Canada. Harcourt Brace 186--92.
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  35.  16
    Carolyn McLeod (2003). A Review of Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics, by Onora O'Neill. American Journal of Medical Genetics 121 (1):85-87.
  36.  4
    Carolyn McLeod (2002). Authenticity and the Hijacked Brain. American Journal of Bioethics 2 (2):62-63.
    A review of Louis Charland's paper, "Cynthia's Dilemma: Consenting to Heroin Prescription," American Journal of Bioethics 2(2), 2002: 37-47.
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  37.  15
    Carolyn McLeod (2002). Mere and Partial Means: The Full Range of the Objectification of Women. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 28 (sup1):219-244.
    The main aims of the paper are to explain how objectification admits of degrees and why a significant portion of the objectification of women in contemporary Western society - objectification that contributes to their oppression - is what I call "partial objectification." To acknowledge the full range of objectification in women's lives, feminists need a theory of how objectification can be degreed. They need to be able to say that women can be both bosom and legitimate job candidate, both breeder (...)
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  38.  64
    Carolyn McLeod (2002). Self-Trust and Reproductive Autonomy. MIT Press.
    The power of new medical technologies, the cultural authority of physicians, and the gendered power dynamics of many patient-physician relationships can all inhibit women's reproductive freedom. Often these factors interfere with women's ability to trust themselves to choose and act in ways that are consistent with their own goals and values. In this book Carolyn McLeod introduces to the reproductive ethics literature the idea that in reproductive health care women's self-trust can be undermined in ways that threaten their autonomy. Understanding (...)
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  39.  4
    Carolyn McLeod (2001, 2002). A Review of A Feminist I: Reflections From Academia, by Christine Overall. Resources for Feminist Research 29 (1/2):141-144.
  40.  1
    Carolyn McLeod (2001). Does Gift Language Elevate Devalued Forms of Motherhood? Medical Humanities Review 15 (1):2001.
    A review of Transformative Motherhood: On Giving and Getting in a Consumer Culture, edited by L. Layne (NYU Press, 1999).
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  41.  1
    Carolyn McLeod (2001). A Review of Diagnosis Difference: The Moral Authority of Medicine, by Abby Wilkerson. Ethics 111 (3):670.
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  42.  2
    Carolyn McLeod (2000). A Review of Genes, Women, Equality, by Mary Briody Mahowald. [REVIEW] International Network on Feminist Approaches to Bioethics Newsletter 8 (1):13-14.
  43.  4
    Carolyn McLeod (2000). Dependency Relations as a Starting Point for Justice. Hastings Center Report 30 (5):44-45.
    A review of Eva Kittay's Love's Labor: Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency (Routledge, 1999).
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  44.  4
    Carolyn McLeod (2000). My Gender Made Me Do It: Gender Identities and the Genetics of Alcoholism. The Bioethics Examiner 4 (1):2, 3, 8.
  45.  15
    Carolyn McLeod (2000). Our Attitude Towards the Motivation of Those We Trust. Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (3):465-479.
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  46.  59
    Carolyn McLeod & Susan Sherwin (2000). Relational Autonomy, Self-Trust, and Health Care for Patients Who Are Oppressed. In Catriona Mackenzie & Natalie Stoljar (eds.), Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency, and the Social Self. Oxford University Press
  47.  6
    Carolyn McLeod & Stephen Burns (1999). A Review of Dilemmas of Trust, by Trudy Govier. The Dalhousie Review 79 (1):130-132.
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