Maggie Little, B.Phil., Ph.D.
Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics; Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University
Maggie Little, B.Phil., PhD, is Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, and a member of the Philosophy Department, at Georgetown. Her research interests include issues in reproduction, clinical research ethics, and the structure of moral theory. A fellow of the Hastings Center, she has twice served as Visiting Scholar in residence at the National Institutes of Health Department of Bioethics. She is a founding member of The Ob-Gyn Risk Research Group, which brings together experts from medical epidemiology, obstetrics and gynecology, philosophy, bioethics, gender theory, and the medical humanities, for research encompassing a wide variety of issues in reproductive health and clinical research ethics. Together with Ruth Faden and Anne Lyerly, she co-founded The Second Wave Initiative, which works to promote responsible research into the health needs of pregnant women.
Featured Publication: "Risk & the Pregnant Body"
Lyerly, A., L. Mitchell, E. Armstrong, L. Harris, R. Kukla, M. Kuppermann, M. Little (The Ob-Gyn Risk Research Group), "Risk and the Pregnant Body," Hastings Center Report, Vol. 39, no. 6, Nov-Dec 2009, pp. 34-42
If reasoning well about risk is difficult in general, it has proven remarkably challenging in the context of pregnancy and delivery. A series of risk distortions lead, we argue, to the under-treatment of severe illness in pregnancy, to excessive intervention in birth, and to a climate of advice that is insulated from based more on dread than evidence. to pregnant women that culture of anxiety that leads to everyday recommendations - about what to eat, how to sleep, what to avoid, on dread rather than evidence.
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