May 2020

Greenwall Faculty Scholars Class of 2023

We are pleased to announce the Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program Class of 2023.

Nicholas Evans, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His project is “The Ethics of Warfighter Enhancement Research.”

Professor Evans’s project aims to develop a framework for assessing the ethics of testing performance enhancements, such as increased muscle mass or decreased fatigue, on members of the armed services (sometimes called “warfighters”). The central problem is that warfighters are vulnerable to being coerced during experiments, and enhancements don’t cure illness, but improve already healthy people. His project aims to determine how such experiments can be conducted ethically, to create policy to protect warfighters and advance science.

Brent Kious, MD, PhD  is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Utah. His project is, “Physician aid-in-dying, suffering, and psychiatry.”

Physician aid-in-dying (PAD) is legal for persons with terminal illnesses in some states; this is partly because those illnesses cause suffering. This poses a dilemma: mental illnesses can cause suffering, too. PAD for mental illnesses, though, seems contrary to many of psychiatry’s goals. Dr. Kious will study both the role of suffering in justifying PAD and also whether, if psychiatric PAD were allowed, patients’ requests should be honored even though they have refused potentially helpful treatments.

Emily Largent, JD, PhD, RN  is the Emanuel & Robert Hart Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Her project is “Autonomy on the Precipice of Cognitive Decline.”

Clinicians can now diagnose Alzheimer’s disease before the onset of dementia using biomarkers. As a result, millions of cognitively unimpaired people will experience a reshaping of their autonomy in their private and public lives. Professor Largent’s research aims to begin making sense of this reshaping from an ethical and legal perspective by (1) describing effects on autonomy at home and in the workplace and (2) providing a theoretical account of autonomy to inform future policy deliberations.