School of Medicine

Medical education and humanities


Academic and professional integrity among medical and pharmacy students

The purpose of the study is to investigate links between incidence, acceptability and awareness regarding academic and professional integrity. The study aims to build on existing literature and to further examine the interactions between identifying participation in academically and professionally dishonest behaviours, assessing the level of acceptability around honest behaviours, and considering the rationalisations behind engaging such behaviours. The study will also connect these findings with the notion of moral reasoning.  Principal researcher : Dr Marcus Henning.  Other researchers are:  Dr Sue Hawken, Sanya RamDr Fiona Kelly, Dr Dulcie-Jane Brake and Dr Phillipa Malpas.

Healthy elderly individuals' support for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide:  what are their reasons for supporting such practice?

There are very few matters in medicine that provoke as much controversy as the issues of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Despite growing support for these practices - both in New Zealand and internationally - we understand very little about why individuals support euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide and the ethical significance this has for medical practice. This lack of knowledge has important implications for understanding expectations around medical care at the end of life, how treatment decisions are reached in conjunction with health professionals, and in terms of policy regulation and legislation. 

This research project has the following goals:

  1. to ascertain what is understood by the terms ‘euthanasia’, ‘physician-assisted suicide’, and ‘palliative care’
  2. to describe the reasons healthy, elderly individuals give in support of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide
  3. to gain a clearer understanding of how their reasons may influence and shape their views and expectations of medical care at the end of life.

The specific objectives of this research are threefold:

  • to assist health professionals better understand the reasons why some healthy, elderly individuals support euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide
  • to assist health professionals understand and practically address the healthcare needs and concerns of patients near the end of life
  • to contribute to rational and informed debate on end of life care, both at the academic and societal level. 

Read more about this study

The principal researcher is Dr Phillipa Malpas.  Other researchers are  Dr Kay Mitchell and Mr Malcolm Johnson.

For more information on these studies please contact:

Recent research publications:

  • Malpas PJ. (2008). Predictive genetic testing of children for adult onset diseases and psychological harm. Journal of Medical Ethics, 34:4:275-278. View this study
  • Malpas PJ. (2008). Is genetic information relevantly different to other kinds of non-genetic information in the life insurance context? Journal of Medical Ethics, 34:7:548-551. View this study
  • Malpas PJ. (2009) Do those afflicted with dementia have a moral duty to die? A response to Baroness Warnock. New Zealand Medical Journal, 122(1296):53-60 View this study
  • Malpas PJ. (2009) 203 Days: Film Review. Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology 3(2) Article 1.

Medical Humanities programme details 

A variety of research projects are carried out in the department. A more detailed list of individual staff research interests can be found on Medical Humanities website.