Ruth Horn

Invited Researcher of DEA Programme
Stay in France from September 1st to October 31th, 2020

Ruth Horn is an Assisted Professor at the Ethox Centre, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, where she works on ethical questions raised by medical practices and new technologies at the beginning and end of life. The main themes of her work include: ethical and social issues of assisted dying, continuous deep sedation, advance directives, prenatal genomics and genomic medicine. She is currently leading a comparative study on the use of non-invasive prenatal testing in France, Germany and England, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. Ruth has developed a comparative empirical bioethics approach to understand how ethical problems arise in different European countries (namely France, Germany and England), and how they are addressed in clinical settings where ethically sensitive decisions are made. Her approach combines qualitative social sciences research, concept analysis, and ethical analysis.

Title: Shifting boundaries and changing assumptions? The social contract and genomic technologies in 21st century European medicine

Keywords:  End-of-life ethics; ethics of genomic medicine; ethics of prenatal genetics and genomics; empirical bioethics

Selected publications

  • R. Horn, Law, public debates and professionals’ attitudes. A comparative study on the use of ADs in England, France and Germany, in N. Emmerich et al. (eds.), Contemporary European Perspectives on the Ethics of End of Life Care, Springer, 2020.
  • R. Horn, The right to a self-determined death as expression of the right to freedom of personal development: The German Constitutional Court takes a clear stand on assisted suicide, Journal of Medical Ethics, 2020.
  • U. Pfeiffer, R. Horn, Can there be Wrongful Life at the End of Life? German Courts Revisit an Old Problem in a New Context, Journal of Medical Ethics, 2020.
  • R. Horn, France and Great-Britain at the age of genomic medicine: new ethical challenges in reproductive medicine (in French), Special Issue: Loi de bioéthique et Etats généraux 2018-2019, Médecine/Sciences, 2019.
  • R. Horn, M. Parker, Health professionals' and researchers' perspectives on prenatal whole genome and exome sequencing: 'We can't shut the door now, the genie's out, we need to refine it'. PLoS ONE, 2018;13(9): e0204158.
  • A. Kerasidou, R. Horn, Empathy in healthcare: the limits and scope of empathy in public and private systems, in T. Feiler et al. (eds.), Marketisation, Ethics and Healthcare. Policy, Practice and Moral Formation, Routledge, 2018.
  • R. Horn, The ‘French exception’: The right to continuous deep sedation at the end of life. Journal of Medical Ethics, 2018; 44:204–205.
  • R. Horn, M. Parker, Opening Pandora's box?: ethical issues in prenatal whole genome and exome sequencing. Prenatal Diagnosis, 2018;38(1):20-25
  • R. Horn, “Why Should I Question a Patient’s Wish?” A Comparative Study on Physicians’ Perspectives on Their Duties to Respect Advance Directives, European Journal of Health Law, 2016;24.
  • M. Gaille, R. Horn, The role of ‘accompagnement’ in the end-of-life debate in France: From solidarity to autonomy, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 2016;37(6).
  • M. Gaille, R. Horn, Solidarity and Autonomy - Two conflicting values in English and French health care and bioethics debates?, Editorial Special Issue, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 2016;37(6).
  • A. Kerasidou, R. Horn, Making space for empathy: supporting doctors in the emotional labour of clinical care, BMC Medical Ethics, 2016;17(8).
  • R. Horn, A. Kerasidou, The concept of “dignity” and its use in end-of-life debates in England and France, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 2016;25(3).
  • R. Horn, Physicians’ Perspectives on Patient Preferences and Advance Directives in England and France: Other Countries, Other Requirements?, in R. Huxtable and R. ter Meulen (Eds.), The Voices and Rooms of European Bioethics, Routledge, 2015.
  • R. Horn, “I don’t need my patients’ opinion to withdraw treatment”:  Patient preferences at the end-of-life and physician attitudes towards advance directives in England and France, Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy, 2014;17(3):425-35.
  • R. Horn, Le droit de mourir: Choisir sa fin de vie en France et en Allemagne, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, coll. Essais de Sociologie, 2013.