Congratulations to Rose Mortimer Bioethics & Society alumna (class of 2016) for getting herself a PhD from Oxford, and for publishing a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry discussing the findings of her Master’s dissertation!
Dr Rose Mortimer recently completed a DPhil at Oxford University under the supervision of Professor Ilina Singh (Department of Psychiatry) and Professor Mike Parker (Ethox Centre).
Dr Mortimer’s DPhil research is an empirical ethics study of parenting support delivered within a UK prison mother and baby unit (MBU). Through a combination of interviews, focus groups, and participant observation Rose explores the ‘moral world’ of the MBU. The thesis examines how the dual values of justice and care shape the ways in which parenting support is understood, delivered, and experienced in the context of relationships between mums and staff members in a prison environment. You can read more about Rose’s DPhil research here, and read her AJOB article : Rose Mortimer, Alex McKeown & Ilina Singh (2018) Just Policy? An Ethical Analysis of Early Intervention Policy Guidance, The American Journal of Bioethics, 18:11, 43-53, DOI: 10.1080/15265161.2018.1523491
For her Master’s dissertation in Bioethics & Society Rose conducted a different piece of qualitative research that examined the accounts of five “mostly recovered” ex-patients who had experienced transition between two or more eating disorder diagnoses. Rose’s research study found that, in the minds of participants, the different diagnostic labels were associated with various good or bad character traits. This contributed to the belief in a diagnostic hierarchy, whereby individuals diagnosed with anorexia nervosa were viewed as morally better than those diagnosed with bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. Consequently, diagnostic crossover from a “better” to a “worse” eating disorder was often experienced as shameful moral failing, and a new diagnosis impacted the individual’s sense of self-identity. These findings are of significance for both ethicists and clinicians; the paper concludes by outlining the relevance and possible clinical implications of shame in diagnostic crossover and suggesting avenues for future research.
The study resulting from Rose’s Master’s dissertation has been published in the July 2019 issue of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry as a paper titled “Shame, Diagnostic Crossover and Eating Disorders” and can be accessed here: