Welcome

I am a Research Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. I serve on the UNC Hospital Ethics Committee and am a Lead Consultant on Clinical Ethics Consultation Service. I co-chair the Department of Psychiatry’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Workgroup on Ethics and Legislation, and am the Editor of our Bulletin, DEI Developments in Mental Health Ethics, Law and Policy. I co-founded and co-organize, with Gary Gala, the UNC Philosophy and Psychiatry Research Group, which sponsors the “Carolina Seminar on Philosophy, Ethics and Mental Health” and the Annual UNC Philosophy and Psychiatry Conference.

My areas of specialization are Bioethics, Practical Ethics, Moral Psychology, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Law, and Political Philosophy, especially where those areas intersect with mental health care and services. Some current research projects include: identifying and reducing varieties of coercion and racial injustices in psychiatric services, philosophical and ethical issues emerging from the development of biomarkers in psychiatry, examining whether there are terminal psychiatric conditions, developing an “internal reasons” framework for decision-making capacity evaluations, developing a critique of “pay-to-stay” laws, epistemological and ethical issues in psychotherapy, and ethical issues involved in using biomedical technologies (especially, gene editing and psychiatric interventions) to enhance human capacities beyond what is necessary to restore or sustain health.

I earned my Ph.D. in Philosophy from The University of Virginia. I have also completed a postdoctoral fellowship on “Evaluating Health Care Quality and Outcomes”, supervised by Eric Juengst, and funded by the UNC School of Nursing. I then completed postdoctoral training in a joint UNC/Duke program on “Mental Health Services Research”, supervised by Jeffrey Swanson, and funded by the National Institutes of Health.