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Contact Details

Phone
64 3 471 6124
Email
simon.walker@otago.ac.nz
Position
Lecturer
Department
Bioethics Centre
Qualifications
BA MA PhD PGDipArts(Otago)
Research summary
Moral philosophy, the nature of value, meaning, suffering, end of life care.
Teaching

Ethics to students of medicine, physiotherapy, pharmacy, and dentistry and oral health. BITC 301, BITC 401.

Research

Simon is familiar with a wide range of philosophical authors, and has a particular interest in the works of Kant, Wittgenstein, and Spinoza. While working as a palliative care researcher he became interested in the links between moral philosophy and our understanding of health, and began reading healthcare literature exploring this connection. He discovered a broad acceptance of the idea that a person's values will shape their experience of and response to suffering, and yet that this relationship is scarcely mentioned in contemporary ethical discourse.

He is currently developing a conception of ethics that shows the fundamental link between values and suffering, and which indicates how and to what extent life may retain value in the midst of suffering. This research draws on many different sources, including clinical experience, ancient and modern philosophy, and literature

Publications

Walker, S., Reid, P., Anderson, L., Bull, S., Jonas, M., Manning, J., … Pitama, S., Rennie, S., Snelling, J., Wilkinson, T., & Bagg, W. (2023). Informed consent for medical student involvement in patient care: An updated consensus statement. New Zealand Medical Journal/Te ara tika o te hauora hapori, 136(1579), 86-95. Retrieved from https://journal.nzma.org.nz/ Journal - Research Article

Newton-Howes, G., Walker, S., & Pickering, N. J. (2023). Epistemic problems with mental health legislation in the doctor–patient relationship. Journal of Medical Ethics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1136/jme-2022-108610 Journal - Research Article

Rennie, S. C., Anderson, L., Merry, A. F., Pitama, S., Reid, P., Snelling, J., Walker, S., Wilkinson, T., & Bagg, W. (2022). Medical students and informed consent: Response to "Consent for teaching". New Zealand Medical Journal, 135(1566), 100-102. Retrieved from https://journal.nzma.org.nz/ Journal - Research Other

Walker, S. (2022, September). "Everyone does it!": Individual conscience, group-think and the many facets of teaching professionalism medical students. Whistleblowers: Honoured, vilified or forgotten? University of the Third Age, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Research Presentation]. Other Research Output

Walker, S. (2022, August). Self-respect and professional exile: The moral landscape of whistleblowing. Whistleblowers: Honoured, vilified or forgotten? University of the Third Age, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Research Presentation]. Other Research Output

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