LARS JOHAN MATERSTVEDT, Ph.D. (dr.art.)
Professor of Philosophy and in Medical Ethics

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RESEARCH
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1992–2020 & further

From 1992 to 1996 I was Doctoral Fellow, The Ethics Programme,
The Research Council of Norway. Subsequent to receiving a Ph.D. in political philosophy in 1997, on Robert Nozick (1938–2002) and Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) – see my homepage's entry on Nozick for further detail – my research was since 1999 within medical ethics (a subcategory of applied ethics); however, I left this field mid 2020.

Currently my research covers
normative ethics, metaethics and methods of ethical theory.


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As a Postdoctoral Fellow with The Norwegian Cancer Society, I carried out research on the relationship between palliative care and assisted dying, which included conducting interviews with terminally ill cancer patients who were inpatients at a palliative medicine unit about their attitudes towards, and wishes for, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Medical supervisor was oncologist and professor of palliative medicine Stein Kaasa, with whom I have several publications.

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Across the years, my research within medical ethics also dealt with ethical and clinical issues related to withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in the seriously ill (non-treatment decisions; NTDs); ethical, clinical and philosophical aspects of the last-resort treatment strategy terminal/palliative sedation in the imminently dying; the concept of futile treatment; the intersections between health law and medical ethics; and the ethics of organ donation.

September 2017 to July 2018 I was
Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow, Scotland, participating in the research project «Rejection, collaboration or integration? A comparative analysis of palliative care and assisted dying in three locations: Oregon, USA; Flanders, Belgium; and Québec, Canada». This project ended March 2020, and was carried out by members of the University of Glasgow End of Life Studies Group (read the group's blog; also on Twitter), located on Dumfries Campus in Southern Scotland.

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Palliative care
Assisted dying

The research project was part of a main research project called
Global Interventions at the End of Life – social, comparative and historical analysis to promote global improvement, led by the University of Glasgow, UK

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Supported by the
Wellcome Trust

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The main project was headed by Professor David Clark (follow him on Twitter) who held a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award in the Medical Humanities. Watch and hear him talk about his research on ITV: Fiona Armstrong interviews the man dubbed 'Professor Death' – one of the world's leading experts on care for the dying.


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