“Bioethics: How are 2000-year-old philosophies still relevant in today’s decision making?”

USC Talk by Professor Marion Gray Friday 31 May 2019 1:30 pm

This talk will outline how the work of the ancient philosophers such as Aristotle (died 322 BC), is still relevant in today’s modern society for helping us determine the right thing to do.

Professor Marion Gray is an occupational therapist and a researcher in public health.  Her formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Occupational therapy (BoccTher), Masters in Health Science (Bioethics), PhD (Public Health) and a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching.  She currently is the Associate Dean of Research and Discipline Lead for Occupational Therapy & Prosthetics and Orthotics with the School of Health and Sport Sciences.  Professor Gray has been an academic and researcher for 20 years and her research interests include allied health education and practice, Indigenous health and chronic disease management.

Additional Information:

Bioethics is the study of the ethical issues emerging from advances in biology and medicine. It is also moral discernment as it relates to medical policy and practice. Bioethics are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the relationships among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, and philosophy. It includes the study of values (“the ethics of the ordinary”) relating to primary care and other branches of medicine. Ethics also relates to many other sciences outside the realm of biological sciences.

The field of bioethics has addressed a broad swathe of human inquiry; ranging from debates over the boundaries of life (e.g. abortion, euthanasia), surrogacy, the allocation of scarce health care resources (e.g. organ donation, health care rationing), to the right to refuse medical care for religious or cultural reasons. Bioethicists often disagree among themselves over the precise limits of their discipline, debating whether the field should concern itself with the ethical evaluation of all questions involving biology and medicine, or only a subset of these questions.[5] Some bioethicists would narrow ethical evaluation only to the morality of medical treatments or technological innovations, and the timing of medical treatment of humans. Others would broaden the scope of ethical evaluation to include the morality of all actions that might help or harm organisms capable of feeling fear.


The scope of bioethics can expand with biotechnology, including cloning, gene therapy, life extension, human genetic engineering, astroethics and life in space,[6] and manipulation of basic biology through altered DNA, XNA and proteins. These developments will affect future evolution, and may require new principles that address life at its core, such as biotic ethics that values life itself at its basic biological processes and structures, and seeks their propagation.

Posted in Friday Talks.