Professor Wendy Rogers

Professor Wendy RogersProfessor of Clinical Ethics

The Australian School of Advanced Medicine and Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University

Contact Details

Philosophy Department
Building W6A, room 740
Macquarie University NSW 2109, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8858
Fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8892

Professional Overview

Professor Rogers came to Macquarie in 2009 as a joint appointment between the Philosophy Department and the Australian School of Advanced Medicine. She initially trained as a general practitioner before undertaking philosophy honours and a PhD in medical ethics at Flinders University, followed by an NHMRC post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to coming to Macquarie she spent five years leading the ethics, law and professionalism teaching in the School of Medicine at Flinders. She has served on a number of national committees including the Australian Health Ethics Committee (2003-06) and was a member of the Medical Board of South Australia (2005-9).

Research Overview

Professor Roger's research focuses on ethical issues in healthcare, broadly understood. Prof. Roger's use's theoretical approaches from moral philosophy, feminist epistemology and feminist bioethics to investigate ethical issues in healthcare; her research involves conceptual analyses, in which she dissects and reformulates existing problems to develop new ways of thinking about them. Prof. Rogers also use's qualitative research methods such as individual interviews, in order to understand the ethical viewpoints of practitioners, patients and others involved in health care. The results of this research are relevant for policy and practice, as well as making contributions to bioethics scholarship.

Specific research interests include:

  • The ethics of surgical research and surgical innovation
  • Defining disease in a way that can address some of the harms of over diagnosis
  • The ethics of organ donation after cardiac death
  • Research ethics, including participation of vulnerable groups and the ethics of placebo-controlled surgical trials
    Public health ethics

Current Research Projects:

  1. On the cutting edge: Promoting best practice in surgical innovation
  2. How do we know what works: Ethics and evidence in surgical research
  3. A novel approach to research ethics: Using social epistemology to investigate social responsibilities for knowledge generation and use
  4. Defining disease: Addressing the problem of over diagnosis
  5. Vulnerability, autonomy and justice

Research Group: Clinical Ethics Research Group

Professor Roger's research is part of the Bioethics, Applied Ethics and Clinical Ethics cluster in the Macquarie Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE).

Current Research Grants:

  • 2013-17 Rogers W. Defining disease: addressing the problem of over diagnosis. ARC FT130100346 $820,156
  • 2012-14 Rogers W. How do we know what works? Ethics and evidence in surgical research. ARC DP120101092 $115,000
  • 2011-14 Mackenzie C, Rogers W and Dodds S. Vulnerability, autonomy and justice. ARC DP110102272 $250,000
  • 2011-14 Rogers W, Johnson J, Sheridan S, Ballantyne A, Lotz M,  Meyerson D, Tomossy F, Eyers T,  Maddern G, Thomson C. On the cutting edge: promoting best practice in surgical innovation. ARC LP110200217 $255,000

Five Select Research Publications:

  1. Walker M and Rogers WA. What can feminist epistemology do for surgery? Hypatia (Published early on-line ahead of print 7 October 2013: e1-e18. DOI: 10.1111/hypa.12052)
  2. Rogers WA, Lotz M, Hutchison K, Pourmoslemi A, Eyers A. Identifying surgical innovation: A qualitative study of surgeons' views. Annals of Surgery (Published early online ahead of print 19 June 2013. DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e31829ccc5f)
  3. Rogers WA and Lange MM. Rethinking the vulnerability of minority populations in research. American Journal of Public Health 2013; 103 (12): 2141-2146.  
  4. Mackenzie C, Rogers WA, Dodds S (eds) Vulnerability: New essays in ethics and feminist philosophy, New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  5. Rogers WA. Avoiding the trap of over treatment Medical Education (accepted 29 Aug 2013)


Jane Johnson, DipArts Hons, BScArch Hons, Grad Cert (HE T&L) PhD
Post-doctoral Research Fellow in clinical and public health ethics
Jane's research focuses on the ethics of innovative surgery. She is currently working on two related projects; the first is developing a multi-disciplinary ARC Linkage project on the Ethics and Regulation of Innovative Surgery. Her role in the project is developing an account of the ethical issues raised by innovative surgery and the implications of these for regulation and practice. Her second area of research is investigating the potential contribution of an "Animals as Patients" model in addressing some of the ethical issues raised by innovative surgery. 

Current Students

  • Ruby Catsanos
    Thesis title: Are uterus transplants ethically justified?
  • Teresa Hendlova
    Thesis title: Ethical aspects for gender selection for non-medical reasons.
  • Lanei Alexander
    Thesis title: The ethics of bariatric surgery as a publically funded response to increasing rates of obesity.
  • Rebecca Tock
    Thesis title: Overcoming the ethical challenges for autonomy in surgical innovation.
  • Leigh Dayton
    Thesis title: Australia's quest for the bionic eye and the politics of innovation.