Norwegian version

Professional Ethics

This research group focuses on ethical issues in the professions and professional work. They include the accountability of professionals, the legitimacy of professional authority, confidentiality, privacy, conscientious objection, informed consent, and respect for autonomy.

PhD projects
Main topics

The group belongs to the Centre for the Study of Professions (SPS). 

Practical ethics is a branch of ethics devoted to the treatment of moral problems, practices, and policies in the areas of private and public life, the professions, health, technology, law, and the environment. It takes its point of departure in practical normative challenges, and involves the practical application of moral considerations in fields such as education, nursing, medicine, engineering, business, and social work.

Heads of research group

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  • Members

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  • More about the research

    Our research topics

    • Autonomy and Informed Consent
    • Digital Experts and Professional Accountability
    • Health Inequality and Professional Ethics
    • Nudging and Health-Care Decisions
    • Paternalism
    • The Ethics of Public Care
    • Research Integrity
    • Welfare Policy and Theories of Justice
    • Expert Authority and Politics

    Our current project

    A current research project of the group concerns informed consent and the conflict it can give rise to between professionals' duty to respect clients' autonomy and their duty to promote client' welfare. Based on empirical evidence suggesting that people's judgment and decision-making often is flawed and biased in predictable ways, some theorists have argued that using non-rational but welfare-promoting interventions to influence clients to make choices that are perceived as good for them in contexts where informed consent is sought can be reconciled with widely accepted standards for autonomous action. 

    But can we talk about informed consent if strategies are used to influence people in a certain way without them realising it? Do these strategies count as manipulations, and if so, do they threaten voluntariness and substantial autonomy? 

    This project aims to develop a theory of what constitutes undue influence on such decisions - in particular influence exerted through various forms of manipulation - that makes explicit its connections with non-autonomous decision-making. Second, it attempts to determine what role, if any, "nudges" and other non-rational interventions can legitimately play in enhancing decision-making in the health-care context.

  • Projects

    Autonomy and Manipulation: Enhancing Consent in the Health-Care Context, 2016-2020. Funding: The Norwegian Research Council.

  • PhD projects

    • Medical Paternalism and Competence, Anniken Fleisje.
    • Nudging and Informed Consent, Ainar Miyata-Sturm.
    • Navigating the Research System with Integrity: Legal, Social and Individual Perspectives, Knut Jørgen Vie.

    Finished projects:

    • Taking  Roles Seriously. On Professional Duty and Virtue, Andreas Eriksen (2016).
    • What We Owe Our Children. Relationships and Obligations in Public Care, Erik Christopher Gundersen (2018).
    • Which Patient’s Keeper? Partially and Justice in Nursing Care, Marita Nordhaug (2013).
    • Values and the Role of Scientists in Policymaking, Torbjørn Gundersen (2018).
  • Partners