At the University of Western Ontario, I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, an affiliate member of the Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research, and a member of Rotman Institute of Philosophy. My research and teaching falls within the areas of health care ethics, ethical theory, and feminist theory.
My academic life in philosophy began at Queen's University, where I received both a BA and an MA in philosophy. After Queen's, I went to Dalhousie University to get a PhD and to work with Susan Sherwin. The PhD ended in 1999 and a postdoctoral fellowship started abruptly in the same year. My postdoctoral work was funded mainly by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and took place at the Bioethics Center, University of Minnesota and at the Department of Philosophy at Western. My first job as a professor was at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2001-2). I began my appointment at Western in 2002 and have been there ever since, except for two brief stints at the University of Toronto: one as a Lupina New Faculty Fellow in the Comparative Program on Health and Society at the Munk Centre for International Studies (now the Munk School of Global Affairs) and another as a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Ethics.
Most of my research deals with moral dilemmas that occur in reproductive health care and with the moral concepts needed to resolve these dilemmas. I've written about the nature of autonomy, trust, self-trust, integrity, objectification, commodification, and conscience. I've tackled moral dilemmas having to do with miscarriage, infertility, embryo and oocyte donation or selling, contract pregnancy, fertility preservation in girls or women with cancer, and conscientious refusals by health care professionals to provide standard services such as abortion services. Most of my current research deals with this last topic and with how to understand conscience and conscientious refusals. This work is funded by CIHR ("Let Conscience Be Their Guide? Conscientious Refusals in Reproductive Health Care," Operating Grant, 2010-13, P.I. McLeod), and a description of it can be found here.
I am past Co-coordinator of fab, the International Network on feminist approaches to bioethics. We recently created a new journal devoted to feminist approaches to bioethics: the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, or IJFAB.