Jonathan Lewis


  • Lecturer in Medical Law and Bioethics, Law

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Students interested in pursuing doctoral research projects in philosophical bioethics, experimental bioethics, or medical law are more than welcome to contact me to discuss their ideas.

Personal profile


Jonathan is Lecturer in Medical Law and Bioethics.

For his contributions to and achievements in research, Jonathan was awarded the Research Staff of the Year Award in the University of Manchester’s Research Staff Excellence Awards 2023.

In May 2023, Jonathan was recognised by the University of Manchester for his contributions to the University’s social responsibility agenda through his co-authored article (with Brian D. Earp, University of Oxford, and Carl L. Hart, Columbia University), “Racial Justice Requires Ending the War on Drugs” - one of the top 10 most cited articles in The American Journal of Bioethics.

His research is situated at the intersections of bioethics, law, philosophy, cognitive science, moral psychology, and health policy.

In law, Jonathan has published on experimental jurisprudence, human rights law, mental health law, racial (in)justice and international drug law, the regulation of biomedical research and new and emerging biotechnologies, international abortion legislation, physician assisted dying and euthanasia, and the roles of the Court of Protection and the High Court in cases involving vulnerable individuals and children. 

In the field of philosophical bioethics, Jonathan has published on the ethics of new and emerging biotechnologies, the ethics of biomedical research, the application of moral psychology, its theories, and concepts to clinical practice and health policy, and the moral rights of vulnerable individuals, children, and minority groups. He has also been heavily involved in establishing experimental bioethics (“bioxphi”)—a subdiscipline of experimental philosophy and bioethics—as a specific field of research, having published on the nature, methods, scope, and implications of this burgeoning discipline and conducted studies on ordinary people's judgments concerning autonomy, advance directives, and substitute (medical) decision-making.

Jonathan is Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Ethics, member of the Editorial Board for BMC Medical Ethics, and co-editor of the “Experimental Philosophy: Bioethics” section of PhilPapers.

Jonathan is also a Research Collaborator in the Oxford BioXphi Lab (Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford), where he is part of a multidisciplinary team of scholars employing the methods of moral psychology, cognitive science, and experimental philosophy to contribute to substantive normative and philosophical debates in bioethics and law.


Prior to joining the University of Manchester, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Dublin City University, where he was Co-Principal Investigator for the EnTIRE project (‘Mapping Normative Frameworks for Ethics and Integrity of Research’; Horizon 2020) as well as Investigator for the INBOTs project (‘Inclusive Robotics for a Better Society’; Horizon 2020).

Jonathan conducted doctoral research in philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he was the recipient of a Crossland Scholarship and a College Research Scholarship, and he has worked as a researcher on a number of collaborative policy-oriented projects involving health care providers, public health organisations, legal institutions, professional bodies and academics at the intersections of ethics, law, public health and health policy.

Research interests

AOS: Bioethics; Medical Law; Experimental Bioethics; Experimental Jurisprudence; Human Rights Law; Philosophy of Law; Philosophy of Medicine; Moral and Legal Psychology, Feminist Legal Studies/Philosophy; Jurisprudence; Cognitive Science 

AOC: Public Health Ethics, Neuroethics, Health Policy 


Jonathan has successfully supervised doctoral research projects and Master’s dissertations to completion across a broad range of areas in bioethics, medical law, applied and normative ethics.

Media contributions and coverage

‘Racial Justice Requires Ending the War on Drugs’ (The American Journal of Bioethics with Brian D. Earp (University of Oxford) and Carl L. Hart (Columbia University), January 2021)

  • Featured in press articles for The Irish TimesThe Independent, The Canary, The Daily Express, Daily Star, Morning Star, Taylor and Francis News, Sify, EurekAlert! and regional news outlets in the UK and the US;
  • With responses from the UK Home Office and the Metropolitan Police;
  • Interviewed on RTÉ Radio 1 and BBC Radio 4.

Published Report (with A.C. Grayling): ‘A Case for the Humanities’ (January 2012).

  • Featured in The Guardian, The Independent and Times Higher Education.
  • Interviewed by the BBC and Channel 4.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Reification and Problems of Modern Philosophy, Royal Holloway, University of London


Award Date: 1 Dec 2014

External positions

Research Collaborator, Oxford BioXphi Lab (Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics)

Oct 2022 → …

Areas of expertise

  • BJ Ethics
  • Applied Ethics
  • Bioethics
  • Neuroethics
  • Biotechnology Ethics
  • Public Health Ethics
  • Clinical Ethics
  • Medical ethics
  • Research Ethics
  • K Law (General)
  • Medical Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Biotechnology Law
  • Biomedical regulation
  • Abortion law
  • Philosophy of Law
  • RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
  • Medical Jurisprudence
  • Legal Medicine
  • B Philosophy (General)
  • Experimental Philosophy
  • Feminist Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Technology
  • Philosophy of Medicine
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Law
  • BF Psychology
  • Moral Psychology
  • Cognitive Science


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