Associate Professor Brian Stoffell

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1987 …2021

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Personal profile

Research Biography

After initial training and then teaching in philosophy and the history of ideas at UWA in Perth, and as a PhD candidate, plus teaching at UBC Vancouver, I moved to the University of Adelaide's philosophy department, then to Melbourne University in the same discipline. Later, back in Adelaide I taught within Politics and Medicine at the University of Adelaide. My move to into health came with my appointment as Director of a Health Care Ethics Unit at Flinders Medical Centre. The Unit provided a state-wide service for all SA Health sites. In addition, the FMC Unit housed the NHMRC Medical Research Ethics Committee, a forerunner of the present Australian Health Ethics Committee. Involvement in the significant legal changes that resulted in new consent and palliative care legislation in 1995 moved me to completion of an honours law degree at Flinders University. From 1992 to the present I have provided undergraduate and post-graduate topics in philosophy, health law and professional ethics. For the past 25 years I have chaired research ethics committees at state and federal level, as well as within non-governmental settings.

Research Interests

All of the following areas and publications are indicative of my research interests.

Formative projects

  • Death in the Babylonian Talmud - following the work of David Daube on conceptions of death and suicide in antiquity
  • Conceptions of Evil: the inroads of literary creations into the moral imagination
  • Bushido as an ethical code
  • First responders in catastrophic civil events

Established projects:

Health Law and Professional Ethics: book chapters and articles (provided on request)

Euthanasia Law Reform: book chapters and articles (provided on request)

Hobbes Studies: the concept of character in Hobbes and the ethical ideals that were in contest
during the C17:
'Hobbes on Self-Preservation and Suicide' (1991) Hobbes Studies IV 26-33.
Commonwealth and Civility: Civilian and Martial Virtues in Hobbes (book manuscript)

Medical Ethics as a Disciple: the dubious place of moral theory in clinical education:
'Ethical Praxis' (1994) Health Care Analysis 2 135-140
'Playing God' (1994) Monash Bioethics Review 13 14-19
'An ethics core curriculum for Australasian medical schools' (2001) Medical Journal of Australia 175 205-210

Creating Clinical Ethics Committees:
'Clinical Ethics Committees - the Report from Adelaide' Proceedings of the First Australasian
Bioethics Association (1991) 291-296

Human Research Ethics Issues:
Goldney and Stoffell, 'Ethical issues in placebo controlled trials in Alzheimer's disease' (2001)
Medical Journal of Australia 173 147-148 and Medical Journal of Australia 174 105.
'Some Incoherent and Some Coherent Criticisms of IECs' (1996) Where to Now? SA Human Research Ethics Committee Conference

Conflict Resolution:
Kellehear, Ashby and Stoffell, 'Resolving Conflict in end-of-life care' (2005) Medical Journal of Australia
183 230-231
'Chief Justice Doyle on the Judicial Balancing Act' (2004) SA Law Society Bulletin 26(2) 20

Sport and Drugs:

Essendon FC 2011-2015 (papers and PPTs available on request)


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