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Helen Watt
University of Edinburgh (PhD)
  1.  13
    Gender Transition: The Moral Meaning of Bodily and Social Presentation.Helen Watt - forthcoming - New Blackfriars.
    Medical and/or social gender transition need not involve denial of one's biological sex, but raises other taxing ethical issues. These range from sexual ethics issues narrowly understood to consideration of the claims of any spouse or children and indeed, of gender‐discordant younger people who may follow one's example. As with intersex conditions, not all crossdressing or use of cross‐sex hormones is excluded absolutely. Detransition, for example, could be rightly deferred for various reasons. However, as illustrated by the analogy of an (...)
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  2.  41
    Double Effect Reasoning: Why We Need It.Helen Watt - 2017 - Ethics and Medicine 33 (1):13-19.
    The “principle of double effect” is a vital tool for moral decision making and is applicable to all areas of medical practice, including (for example) end-of-life care, transplant medicine, and cases of conscientious objection. Both our ultimate and our more immediate intentions are relevant in making and evaluating choices— though side effects must be kept proportionate and can be morally conclusive when linked with some intentions. Intentions help to form the character of doctors, and of human beings generally. While hypocrisy (...)
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  3.  22
    Abortion for Life-Limiting Foetal Anomaly: Beneficial When and for Whom?Helen Watt - 2017 - Clinical Ethics 12 (1):1 - 10.
    Abortion for life-limiting foetal anomaly is often an intensely painful choice for the parents; though widely offered and supported, it is surprisingly difficult to defend in ethical terms. Abortion on this ground is sometimes defended as foetal euthanasia but has features which sharply differentiate it from standard non-voluntary euthanasia, not least the fact that any suffering otherwise anticipated for the child may be neither severe nor prolonged. Such abortions may be said to reduce suffering for the family including siblings – (...)
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  4.  23
    Life and Health: A Value in Itself for Human Beings?Helen Watt - 2015 - HEC Forum 27 (3):207-228.
    The presence of a human being/organism—a living human ‘whole’, with the defining tendency to promote its own welfare—has value in itself, as do the functions which compose it. Life is inseparable from health, since without some degree of healthy functionality the living whole would not exist. The value of life differs both within a single life and between lives. As with any other form of human flourishing, the value of life-and-health must be distinguished from the moral importance of human beings: (...)
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  5.  6
    Origin of Persons: Tracing Back to the Moral Subject.Helen Watt - unknown
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  6.  66
    Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: Choosing the “Good Enough” Child. [REVIEW]Helen Watt - 2004 - Health Care Analysis 12 (1):51-60.
    Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) raises serious moral questions concerning the parent-child relationship. Good parents accept their children unconditionally: they do not reject/attack them because they do not have the features they want. There is nothing wrong with treating a child as someone who can help promote some other worthwhile end, providing the child is also respected as an end in him or herself. However, if the child's presence is not valued in itself, regardless of any further benefits it brings, the (...)
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  7.  62
    Life and Death in Health Care Ethics: A Short Introduction.Helen Watt - 2000 - Routledge.
    In a world of rapid technological advances, the moral issues raised by life and death choices in healthcare remain obscure. _Life and Death in Healthcare Ethics_ provides a concise, thoughtful and extremely accessible guide to these moral issues. Helen Watt examines, using real-life cases, the range of choices taken by healthcare professionals, patients and clients which lead to the shortening of life. The topics looked at include: * euthanasia and withdrawal of treatment * the persistent vegetative state * abortion * (...)
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  8.  14
    Decisions Relating to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: Commentary 3: Degrading Lives?Helen Watt - 2001 - Journal of Medical Ethics 27 (5):321-323.
    The guidelines on Decisions Relating to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation begin with a reassuringly objective view of medicine: its “primary goal” is to benefit patients by “restoring or maintaining their health as far as possible, thereby maximising benefit and minimising harm”. Some might want to add that medicine has several goals, not all of which relate to promoting health; however, those who see the aim of the profession as more than consumer satisfaction will welcome the suggestion here that not just any choice (...)
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  9.  4
    Vital Conflicts, Bodily Respect, and Conjoined Twins: Are We Asking the Right Questions?Helen Watt - 2017 - In Jason Eberl (ed.), Contemporary Controversies in Catholic Bioethics. Springer. pp. 135-145.
    What does it mean to respect life and health in an innocent fellow-human being? Separating conjoined twins where one twin will die as a result need not involve the intention to kill or harm. Arguably, however, not all side-effects are “mere” side-effects which could, in principle, be outweighed by sufficiently good intended effects. Rather, foreseen serious harm for an innocent person we non-therapeutically affect can be morally conclusive when linked to the intention to affect the person’s body or invade the (...)
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  10.  24
    Bodily Invasions.Helen Watt - 2011 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11 (1):49-51.
    What kind of interventions on the body of an innocent human being may be licitly intended? This question arises in relation to maternal–fetal conflicts such as ectopic pregnancy and obstructed labor, and to other cases such as organ harvesting and separation of conjoined twins. Many assume that harm must be intended for absolute moral prohibitions to apply; however, it is not always the case that foreseen harm is merely a factor to weigh against benefits we intend. On the contrary, foreseen (...)
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  11. Ethical Aspects of IVF.Helen Watt - 2004 - Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society:170-178.
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  12.  3
    Addressing Unjust Laws Without Complicity: Selective Bans Versus Regulation.Helen Watt - 2017 - In Jason Eberl (ed.), Contemporary Controversies in Catholic Bioethics. Springer. pp. 567-582.
    A difficult task for politicians who want to fight injustice without doing wrong themselves is identifying where it is permissible to vote for and/or promote so-called “imperfect laws” which somewhat improve existing unjust legal situations but leave closely related injustices intact. One approach is to seek a “selective ban” on some injustices which are politically preventable. This approach is acceptable at least in principle, unlike the approach of “regulation”—i.e., permitting or instructing others to do, or prepare to do, the unjust (...)
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  13.  23
    A Brief Defense of Frozen Embryo Adoption.Helen Watt - 2001 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 1 (2):151-154.
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  14.  34
    Response to “Germ Line Therapy to Cure Mitochondrial Disease: Protocol and Ethics of In Vitro Ovum Nuclear Transplantation” by Donald S. Rubenstein, David C. Thomasma, Eric A. Schon, and Michael J. Zinaman. [REVIEW]Helen Watt - 1999 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 8 (1):88-96.
    Germ-line therapy has long been regarded with great caution both by scientists and by ethicists. Even those who do not reject germ-line therapy in principle have tended to reject it in practice as carrying unacceptable risks in our current state of knowledge. For this reason, a recent paper by Rubenstein, Thomasma, Shon, and Zinaman is unusual in putting forward a serious proposal for the use of germ-line therapy in the foreseeable future.
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  15.  13
    Intending Reproduction as One’s Primary Aim: Alexander Pruss on ‘Trying for a Baby’.Helen Watt - 2015 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 63 (3):143-154.
    May a couple have the aim of conceiving as their primary purpose in having marital relations? In this paper, I argue against the view of Alexander Pruss that it is wrong to do this since it treats human beings as fungible in their creation when their unique features are not known to their parents. I argue that Pruss cannot separate seeking reproduction as part of a marital vocation from seeking the unknown, unspecified child who is part of what makes for (...)
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  16.  17
    Cooperation and Immoral Laws.Helen Watt - 2012 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12 (2):241-248.
    In responding to an unjust legal situation involving human rights abuses, one approach is to seek a selective ban on some abuses if a more comprehensive ban is not feasible politically. While such an approach to embryo research or abortion, for example, can reasonably be applied, much harder to defend is regulation—that is, giving permission or instructions for others to do or prepare to do what we believe is morally wrong. Regulation necessarily involves us in wrongly intending that others choose (...)
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  17.  34
    Singer on Abortion: A Utilitarian Critique.Helen Watt - 1989 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 67 (2):227 – 229.
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  18.  13
    Book Review: Fritz Oehlschlaeger, Procreative Ethics: Philosophical and Christian Approaches to Questions at the Beginning of Life. [REVIEW]Helen Watt - 2014 - Studies in Christian Ethics 27 (1):111-114.
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  19.  10
    Germ-Line Therapy for Mitochondrial Disease: Some Ethical Objections.Helen Watt - 1999 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 8 (1):88.
  20.  14
    Ethics in Reproductive and Perinatal Medicine.Helen Watt - 1998 - International Philosophical Quarterly 38 (1):88-89.
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  21.  16
    Cooperation, Complicity & Conscience: Problems in Healthcare, Science, Law and Public Policy.Helen Watt (ed.) - 2006 - Linacre Centre.
    Cooperation in evil or wrongdoing is one of the most perplexing areas in bioethics, both for those working in the field and those seeking their advice. The papers collected in this book are written by philosophers, theologians and lawyers who have studied these problems and / or by those who have faced these problems in their own work in law, healthcare and research, and political campaigning. The volume includes both general treatments of the subject of cooperation and conscientious objection, and (...)
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  22.  23
    Fertility and Gender: Issues in Reproductive and Sexual Ethics.Helen Watt (ed.) - 2011 - Anscombe Bioethics Centre.
    What is sex and why is it important? Does marriage have a basic rationale? How should couples manage their fertility, and when and how should pregnancy be achieved? How should we respond to 'embryo adoption', teenage pregnancy, population growth, HIV/AIDS and other STIs, same-sex attraction? This collection of original essays looks at these and other pivotal issues in reproductive and sexual ethics, from the perspectives of philosophy, theology, psychology and economic science.
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  23.  25
    Incapacity and Care: Controversies in Healthcare and Research.Helen Watt (ed.) - 2009 - Linacre Centre.
    What are the duties of carers and health professionals to people with mental incapacity? How ought we to think about the ethical and legal issues? What can any of us do to improve and safeguard the lives of those cared for? This book seeks to examine in detail and find ethically robust answers to such questions. Among the topics discussed are withholding treatment, tube-feeding patients with dementia, the 'persistent vegetative state', medical research, and sterilisation of intellectually disabled adults. Contributors come (...)
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  24.  36
    The Ethics of Pregnancy, Abortion and Childbirth: Exploring Moral Choices in Childbearing.Helen Watt - 2016 - Routledge.
    _The Ethics of Pregnancy, Abortion and Childbirth_ addresses the unique moral questions raised by pregnancy and its intimate bodily nature. From assisted reproduction to abortion and ‘vital conflict’ resolution to more everyday concerns of the pregnant woman, this book argues for pregnancy as a close human relationship with the woman as guardian or custodian. Four approaches to pregnancy are explored: ‘uni-personal’, ‘neighborly’, ‘maternal’ and ‘spousal’. The author challenges not only the view that there is only one moral subject to consider (...)
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