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Research students at the Bioethics Centre

Research topics are working descriptions ≤ 140 characters in length (i.e. a tweet-length description).


Claire Amos

  • Research topic: Understanding the work of clinician-patient interactions in psychiatry - exploring the philosophical & ethical thinking underlying therapeutic relationships.
  • Supervisors: Grant Gillett, Neil Pickering
  • Email:
  • Previous qualifications: BSc (Hons) (Psychology) Southampton University, PGDip (Mental Health Studies) Southampton University

Pete Burt

Rebecca Duncan

Steve Glassey

Taryn Knox

  • Research topic: Establishing a value-free definition of mental illness and considering what, if anything, this tells us about the treatment of mental illness.
  • Supervisors: Neil Pickering, John McMillan
  • Email:
  • Previous qualifications: LLB, BA (Hons), MA, MBHL.

Jingru Li

  • Research topic: Palliative Care and the role of family in the Chinese socio-cultural context: An ethical and sociological study.
  • Supervisors: Jing-Bao Nie, Simon Walker
  • Previous Qualifications: BA, Masters (Peking Union Medical College).

Kate Roberts

  • Research topic: The role of acupuncture as an adjunct to primary care for mild to moderate mood disorders.
  • Supervisors: Tony Dowell (Primary Health Care and General Practice), Jing-Bao Nie.
  • Previous Qualifications: PGCertHealSc(Otago), MHealSc (UTS, Sydney)

Zou Xiang

  • Research topic: Moral Plurality in a Transplanting World: A Comparative Study between China and New Zealand
  • Supervisors: Jing-Bao Nie, Ruth Fitzgerald (Department of Anthropology and Archaeology)
  • Email:
  • Previous qualifications: MA, Sun Yat-sen University, BA (Sociology) Heilongjiang University.

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Master of Health Science (MHealSc) thesis

Alison Hendry

  • Research topic: Just Enough: Selective and explicit access to health care - an emerging ‘just enough’ social contract?
  • Supervisors: Neil PickeringJohn McMillan
  • Previous qualifications: PGDipHealSc(Bitc) (Otago), Diploma in Management (Auckland)

Shelley Winters

  • Research topic: Student nurses perspectives on the use of gallows humour in the clinical setting.
  • Supervisors: Neil PickeringLynley Anderson
  • Previous qualifications: PGDipHealSc(Bitc) (Otago), Diploma in Nursing (Fanshawe, Canada).

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Master of Bioethics and Health Law (MBHL) dissertation

Isaac Atley

  • Research topic: The effects of telehealth medicine on the doctor-patient relationship
  • Supervisors: Angela Ballantyne, Paul Roth (Faculty of Law, Otago)

Rebecca Babcock

  • Research topic: The inadequacies of current concussion management and the need for innovative ethical and legal action.
  • Supervisors: Lynley Anderson, Maria Hook (Faculty of Law, Otago)

Emily Barrington

  • Research topic: Can women be subjected to compulsory treatment for the prevention of alcohol abuse during pregnancy?
  • Supervisors: Simon Walker, Nicola Peart (Faculty of Law, Otago)

Alex Cheung

  • Research Topic: Addressing Diversity in New Zealand’s Precision Driven Health Initiative: An Ethical and Legal Perspective.
  • Supervisors: Jing-Bao Nie, Colin Gavaghan (Faculty of Law, Otago).

Rebecca Gates

  • Research topic: How family violence dynamics impact health care decisions for children in New Zealand’s legislative context .
  • Supervisors: Mike King (for Nikki Kerruish), Mark Henaghan (Faculty of Law, Otago).

Olivia Godfrey

  • Research topic: Pregnant and not quite dead: ethical and legal considerations of maintaining a brain-dead pregnant woman on life support.
  • Supervisors: John McMillan, Nicola Peart (Faculty of Law, Otago).

Ginny Howden

  • Research topic: Child Protection: A case study of information sharing in New Zealand between Oranga Tamariki, Police and District Health Boards.
  • Supervisors: Mike King, Mark Henaghan (Faculty of Law, Otago)

Erwin Ricketts

  • Research topic: Keeping up with CRISPR: The ethical regularity of Gene Editing.
  • Supervisors: John McMillan, Colin Gavaghan (Faculty of Law, Otago).

Stephanie Wiseman

  • Research topic: Direct to consumer genetic testing results and disclosure to health insurers: favouritism, wellbeing and fairness.
  • Supervisors: Mike King, Jesse Wall (Faculty of Law, Otago).

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Master of Medical Sciences (MMedSc)

Sinéad Ni Dhonnghaile

  • Research Topic: The experiences of first and second year doctors of ethical issues at the end of life.
  • Supervisors: Lynley Anderson, Simon Walker

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Bachelor of Medical Sciences with Honours (BMedSc(Hons))

Finn Whittington (2018)

Andy MacLachlan (2017)

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