Dr Drew Carter

Dr Drew Carter
 Position Research Fellow - Ethics
 Org Unit Adelaide Health Technology Assessment
 Email drew.carter@adelaide.edu.au
 Telephone +61 8 8313 0620
 Location Floor/Room WS9086.41 ,  Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    I undertake research and teaching in ethics, particularly in relation to health care.  I have a particular interest in understanding and improving the ethical reasoning that underpins resource allocation in health.  The value of care, and of technologies used in caring, extends beyond measurable improvements in health, and I am keen to examine what resource allocation decisions and processes ought to look like if we take this seriously, namely if our valuations draw on more than a simple consequentialism.  So far I have examined these matters in relation to assisted reproductive technologies (like in vitro fertilisation), and I am extending my research into other areas, including intensive care triage and national funding decision making for pharmaceuticals and medical services.


    Born in Ipswich, Queensland, I studied mainly sciences at Ipswich Grammar School.  Afterwards I moved to Melbourne seeking cultural and academic enrichment, enrolling in a BA/BSc at The University of Melbourne and taking up what would be a three-year residence at the Jesuit-run Newman College.  Quickly I developed passions for philosophy (aesthetics and ethics especially) and history (modern Europe especially).  Just as quickly I dropped the BSc component of my degree to focus exclusively on these disciplines and I soon completed a combined, first-class Honours year in them.  Supervised by philosopher Christopher Cordner, my Honours thesis explored Iris Murdoch's thought concerning the significance of tragic drama and of Shakespeare's King Lear in particular.  I then took a year off, beginning the work in educational publishing that I would continue sporadically throughout my postgraduate years and supplement with tutoring in undergraduate philosophy (covering material on religion, free-will, epistemology, the philosophy of science, existentialism, and phenomenology).  Soon I undertook an APA-funded PhD in philosophy under Professor Raimond Gaita and Peter Coghlan at Australian Catholic University.

  • Qualifications

    2003-2009 PhD in Philosophy 'Elaboration on a Permissible Theme'
    Principal Supervisor – Professor Raimond Gaita
    Associate Supervisor – Mr Peter Coghlan
    Australian Catholic University
    This work began as an attempt to understand and critically engage with the moral philosophies of Iris Murdoch, Raimond Gaita and Christopher Cordner, who all invite love back to the centre of moral philosophy in place of reductive alternatives like rational agency.  My dissertation then expanded on this invitation, exploring connected themes of wonder, remorse and tragedy.  The dissertation concluded with an original and expansive reading of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic novel, The Brothers Karamazov, whose central message I took as follows.  Great suffering in this world can prompt despair, but paradoxically deliverance can follow from a sense of personal responsibility and a gratitude for the beauty of all creation.  In such paradoxes the novel’s Christianity offers opportunities to transcend reason in view of a higher truth.  In its focus, sensibility and manner of proceeding, the dissertation contrasted with much contemporary moral philosophy, which by Karamazov’s lights too often resembles, to take a phrase from the novel, an ‘eccentric question on an impermissible theme’.  The thesis included much reflection foundational to health ethics, broadly defending a strain of deontology against consequentialism and virtue ethics.
    The University of Melbourne
    Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
    Honours in History and Philosophy
    Philosophy Honours thesis ‘Iris Murdoch on Tragedy and King Lear
  • Teaching Interests

    Moral philosophy and applied ethics, particularly public health ethics, medical ethics and bioethics.  Since 2015 I have led the teaching of medical ethics to the University's medical students.

  • Research Interests

    Please view my Researcher Profile for information on my research interests, research grants, publications, professional associations, and awards.

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Entry last updated: Thursday, 9 Aug 2018

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