Marie Nicolini, MD PhD
I am a psychiatrist and ethicist who thinks about how philosophy and ethics can improve mental health care. I am a Senior Researcher at KU Leuven University, with a 3-year research grant from the Belgian Research Foundation Flanders [FWO]. Before that, I earned a Ph.D. in bioethics from KU Leuven, and was a visiting scholar at Georgetown University and a postdoctoral bioethics fellow at the National Institutes of Health.
While practicing psychiatry in Belgium, I experienced the particularly complex ethical challenge of facing patients who request psychiatric euthanasia. I decided to pursue rigorous philosophical and empirical research on this issue, not because I advocate for the practice, but because it poses foundational questions for contemporary medicine and, indeed, for our humanity.
My work has been published in leading journals like the British Journal of Psychiatry, Psychological Medicine, American Journal of Bioethics, and Journal of Medical Ethics. My research interests lie in questions about autonomy, mental capacity, and harm as they apply to mental health ethics, neuroethics, and research ethics. I also engage in public writing and have testified as an expert witness to the Canadian Parliament.