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Health Sciences profile

Professor John McMillan

DepartmentBioethics Centre
QualificationsBA(Hons) PhD(Otago)
Research summaryPrioritisation, reproductive ethics, the philosophy and ethics of mental health, research ethics, and the methods of bioethics.

John is available to supervise graduate students on a broad range of topics within bioethics.

  • Member, Advisory Committee for Assisted Reproductive Technology
  • Member, National Screening Advisory Committee
  • Series Editor, Research Ethics Forum (Springer)
  • Reviews Editor, Journal of Applied Philosophy


John has published broadly within bioethics.

His book projects include Principles of Healthcare Ethics (with Ashcroft, Dawson, and Draper) 2007, Empirical Ethics in Psychiatry (with Widdershoven, Hope, and Van der Scheer) OUP 2008, The Limits of Consent (with Corrigan, Liddell, Richards, and Weijer) OUP 2009, and Responsibility and Psychopathy: Interfacing Law, Psychiatry, and Philosophy (with Malatesti) OUP 2010.

He is currently working on The Methods of Bioethics: An Essay in Metabioethics for OUP.


McMillan, J. (2018). Acquired brain injury, mental illness, and the subtleties of competence assessment. Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, 25(1), 25-27. [Commentary].

Snelling, J., & McMillan, J. (2017). Equality: Old debates, new technologies. In R. Brownsword, E. Scotford & K. Yeung (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of law, regulation, and technology. (pp. 69-89). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199680832.013.3

McMillan, J. (2017). Empirical bioethics and the fact/value distinction. In J. Ives, M. Dunn & A. Cribb (Eds.), Empirical bioethics: Theoretical and practical perspectives. (pp. 17-32). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/9781139939829

McMillan, J., & King, M. (2017). Why be moral in a virtual world? Journal of Practical Ethics, 5(2), 30-48. Retrieved from

Kerruish, N. J., McMillan, J., & Wheeler, B. J. (2017). The ethics of parental refusal of newborn vitamin K prophylaxis. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 53(1), 8-11. doi: 10.1111/jpc.13364