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Prof David Jones

Professor Bioethics

Prof David Jones

About Research



Professor David Albert Jones is Research Fellow in Bioethics at St Mary’s. 

David read Natural Sciences and Philosophy at Cambridge (1984-1987), and Theology at Oxford (1992-2000). He came to St Mary’s in 2002 and established the MA in Bioethics.  In 2007 he was awarded the title of Professor, and together with Professor Geoff Hunt, he co-founded the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies in 2008.


Research profile

David’s doctorate was published in 2007 as Approaching the End (Oxford University Press). His previous book The Soul of the Embryo (Continuum, 2004) was shortlisted for the Michael Ramsey Prize 2007.  Other books include Angels: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Chimera’s Children (Continuum, 2012, co-edited with Calum MacKellar).

David has frequently given evidence to Parliamentary committees and to various professional and regulatory bodies such as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human Tissue Authority.  He was on a working party of the General Medical Council which helped draft it's 2010 guidance on Treatment and Care towards the End of Life. He has also contributed to a number of documents of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, such as The Mental Capacity Act: A practical guide(CTS, 2008) and A Practical Guide to The Spiritual Care of the Dying Person (CTS, 2010).

In 2010 David left St Mary’s for the post of Director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford, the national research centre in bioethics for the Catholic Church.  In 2013, while continuing as Director of Anscombe Centre, David returned to St Mary’s as a research fellow in bioethics.

David is also Vice-chair of the Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee, is an examiner for Society of Apothecaries’ Diploma in the Philosophy of Medicine, and is a Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University.

Selected presentations

  • 8 July 2014, ‘Ethical Issues of End of Life Care in a Care Home Setting’ at a conference of the Orders of St John Care Trust, Merton College, Oxford.
  • 28 March 2014, ‘Theological Aspects of Disorders of Consciousness’ at a conference organised by The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in conjunction with the Brain Injury Group.
  • 25 June 2013, Presentation on tube feeding of a patient in a minimally conscious state at the British Medical Association (BMA) Annual Representatives Meeting, Edinburgh.
  • 12 April 2013, ‘Respecting the Religious Beliefs of Patients and Doctors’ at the David Price Memorial Seminar Series: The Influence of Faith and Belief on the Formulation, Content and Operation of Health Law in the United Kingdom, Leicester De Montfort Law School.

Selected publications (not already listed above)

  • On the Ethics of Organ Transplantation: A Catholic Perspective, The report of a working party. Oxford: Anscombe Bioethics Centre, 2014. (contributor and co- editor)
  •  ‘Magisterial Teaching on Vital Conflicts: A Reply to Rev Kevin Flannery SJ’, National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 14.1 (Spring 2014): 81–104.
  • ‘Aquinas as an advocate of abortion?: The appeal to “delayed animation” in contemporary Christian ethical debates on the human embryo’, Studies in Christian Ethics February 2013, 26(1):97-124.
  • ‘Death by Equivocation: A manifold definition of terminal sedation’ in S. Sterckx et al Continuous sedation at the end of life: Ethical Perspectives Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • ‘Is dignity language useful in bioethical discussion of assisted suicide and abortion?’ in C. McCrudden (ed.) Understanding Human Dignity Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • ‘Christian ethics, Roman Catholic’ in R. Chadwick (ed.) Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics 2nd edition. Elsevier Press, 2012.
  • ‘Thomas Aquinas, Augustine and Aristotle on “delayed animation”’, The Thomist (2012) 76: 1-36.
  • ‘Loss of faith in brain death: Catholic controversy over the determination of death by neurological criteria’, Clinical Ethics (2012) 7: 133–141.
  • ‘Is there a logical slippery slope from voluntary to non-voluntary euthanasia?’ Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal Volume 21, Number 4, December 2011: 379-404.

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