Dr Mark Sheehan, MA (Melbourne), PhD (New York)

Dr Mark Sheehan, MA (Melbourne), PhD (New York)

Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy (2009 - ), Oxford BRC Ethics Fellow, Ethox Centre and Research Fellow, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, in the Faculty of Philosophy

Dr Mark Sheehan

Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy


Academic Profile

My current position is the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Ethics Fellow at the Ethox Centre in the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford. I am also a Research Fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics in the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford.  I received a PhD in Philosophy from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where my thesis was on the nature of moral judgements. Prior to coming to Oxford I was a lecturer in the Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University, Ethics Fellow at the Mt. Sinai Medical School, New York and Adjunct Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at The City College of New York. I have a BA(Hons.)/BSc from the University of Melbourne.

In terms of professional roles, I am a National Research Ethics Advisor for the National Research Ethics Service, a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Group on research in children and a member of the NICE Highly Specialised Technology Evaluation Committee. I also sit on the University’s Social Sciences and Humanities Inter-Divisional Research Ethics Committee, the Ethics Committee of the Royal College of General Practitioners and I am ethics adviser on the a member of the Thames Valley Priorities Committee in the NHS. I am an Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics.

I was born in Oxford, to Australian parents, shortly after my father completed a DPhil in Philosophy at Corpus Christi College but was raised in Melbourne.

Research Interests

My background is primarily in Philosophy with an emphasis on Ethics but since being in the UK my research has become focussed on the more applied end of the spectrum. More recently, I have been working increasingly at the intersection of philosophy and social science. My work is mostly in research ethics and the ethics of healthcare resource allocation but I have a continuing interest in the ethics of commercialisation in healthcare and the ethics of new biotechnologies. At some point I would like to get back to meta-ethics and the history of ethics but for the moment the applied issues take up all of my research time.

Recent Publications

M. Sheehan, C. Timlin, K. Peach, A. Binik et.al. Position Statement on Ethics, Equipoise and Research on Charged Particle Radiation Therapy. Journal of Medical Ethics. Published online: September 2013. doi:10.1136/medethics-2012-101290.

M. Sheehan and C. Newdick. CCG Commissioning: The more things change, the more they stay the same. British Journal of General Practice, September 2013: 496-7.

M. Sheehan, V. Marti and T. Roberts. Ethical Review of Research on Human Subjects at Unilever: Reflections on Governance. Bioethics. Article first published online: 10 JUL 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/bioe.120402013.

M. Sheehan and M. Dunn. On the Nature and Sociology of Bioethics. Health Care Analysis. 2013; 21:54–69.

G.W.J. Harston, M. Sheehan and J. Kennedy. Emergency medicine research: rites, rituals and consent. Emergency Medicine Journal. (Published Online First: 16/02/13) doi:10.1136/emermed-2013-202441.

M. Sheehan and T. Hope. Allocating healthcare resources: putting principles into practice. In Rhodes R, Battin M. P, Silvers A (eds). Medicine and Social Justice: Essays on the Distribution of Health Care (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press 2012: 219-230.

M. Sheehan. Religious Red Herrings. Journal of Medical Ethics. Online First: 13 August 2012.

M. Dunn, M. Sheehan, T. Hope and M. Parker. Towards methodological innovation in empirical ethics research. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 2012; 21: 466-480.


  • Dr Mark Sheehan, MA (Melbourne), PhD (New York)
  • Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy (2009 - ), Oxford BRC Ethics Fellow, Ethox Centre and Research Fellow, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, in the Faculty of Philosophy