Centre for Health and Social Research

Dr David Kirchhoffer
School of Theology and Centre for Moral Philosophy and Applied Ethics in the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

Theology and Philosophy


Relevant professional roles

  • Advisor to Brisbane Catholic Education (2014-2016)
  • Delegate to World Council of Churches’ Faith and Order Commission project on Moral Decision Making in the Churches (2013 and 2016)

Brief summary of expertise
David is a member of the Centre for Moral Philosophy and Applied Ethics in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy’s Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry. He is also a lecturer in the School of Theology. David’s research focusses on fundamental and applied ethical questions regarding the meaning and relevance of the concept of human dignity in contemporary ethical discourse. In applied ethics, his current focus is on the ethics of biomedical research involving human subjects whose autonomy is diminished or compromised and the search for alternatives to the dominant ‘autonomy paradigm’ in adult biomedical ethics.

Example completed research projects

  • Dignity, Minors, and New Medical Technology
  • Dignity and Biobanking
  • Anthropos in the Antipodes: Theological Anthropology for the Twenty-first century
  • Autonomy and Beneficence

Example of current research projects
Personhood, Autonomy and Vulnerability

Example research publications

  1. Kirchhoffer, D.G. 2015. Human Dignity and Personhood. In Health Care Ethics: Theory to Practice, ed. J. Grainger and J. Ozolins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Kirchhoffer D.G. 2013. Human Dignity and Contemporary Ethics. Amherst, NY: Teneo Press.
  3. Dierickx, K., and D.G. Kirchhoffer. 2012. Human Dignity and Biobanks. In Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik/ Annual Review of Law and Ethics, 20, 247-258.
  4. Kirchhoffer, D.G. 2011. Bioethics and the Demise of the Concept of Dignity: Has Medicine Killed Ethics? Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics 17, 2, 141-154.
  5. Kirchhoffer, D.G., and K. Dierickx. 2011. Human Dignity and Human Tissue: A Meaningful Ethical Relationship? Journal of Medical Ethics 37, 9, 552-556.
  6. Dierickx, K., and D.G. Kirchhoffer. 2011. New medical technologies and the ethical challenges for minors from the perspective of human dignity. In Menschenwürde und moderne Medizintechnik, Interdisziplinäre Studien zu Recht und Staat, vol. 50, ed. Jan C. Joerden, Eric Hilgendorf, Natalia Petrillo, Felix Thiele, 375-392. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2011.

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