Phoebe Friesen, PhD

Phoebe Friesen is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Ethics and Policy and the Department of Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University. Her work engages with ethical and epistemic issues related to the production and implementation of knowledge in the health sciences, drawing on feminist philosophy of science, ethics scholarship, and methodologies from the social sciences. Among other topics, she has written about the placebo effect, participatory mental health research, health disparities in medicine, and processes of research ethics oversight. Before coming to McGill, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford and completed a PhD in Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center.

phoebe.friesen [at] mcgill.ca (Email)


Selected Publications

Shevlin, H., Friesen, P. (2020) Pain, Placebo, and Cognitive Penetration. Mind and Language.

Friesen, P. (2020) Towards an Account of the Placebo Effect: A Critical Evaluation Alongside Current Evidence, Biology & Philosophy.

Wusinich, C., Lindy, D., Russell, D., Pessin, N., Friesen, P. (2020) Experiences of Parachute NYC: An Integration of Open Dialogue and Intentional Peer Support, Community Mental Health Journal.

Friesen, P. (2020) Distancing Medically Assisted Dying from Suicide: Is It Justified? The Hastings Center Report.

Friesen, P., Lignou, S., Sheehan, M., Singh, I. (2019) Measuring the Impact of Participatory Research in Psychiatry: How the search for epistemic justifications obscures ethical considerations. Health Expectations. Special Issue: Showcasing Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement in Mental Health Research.

Friesen, P., & O’Leary, K. (2019). Machine learning and suicide prevention: considering context as a guide to ethical design, Mental Health as Public Health: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Ethics of Prevention, Elsevier, Eds. Cratsley, K., and Radden, J.

Friesen, P. (2019) Placebos as a Source of Agency: Evidence and Implications. Frontiers in Psychiatry (Psychosomatic Medicine). Special Issue: Placebo and Nocebo Effects in Psychiatry and Beyond, Eds. Enck, P., Weimer, K., Colloca, L., Dodd, S.

Friesen, P. (2019) Expanding Outcome Measures in Schizophrenia Research: Does RDoC Pose a Threat? Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology.

Friesen, P. (2019) Mesmer, the Placebo Effect, and the Efficacy Paradox: Lessons for Evidence Based Medicine and Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Critical Public Health. Special Issue: Pseudo Matters in Global and Public Health, Eds. Kingori, P. and Gerrets, R.

Friesen, P., & Blease, C. (2018) Placebo Effects and Health Disparities: An unjust and unexplored connection, Journal of Medical Ethics.

Friesen, P. (2018) Educational Pelvic Exams on Anesthetized Women: Why Consent Matters Bioethics. 32(5), 298-307.

Friesen, P., Kearns, L., Redman, B., & Caplan, A. L. (2017). Rethinking the Belmont Report? The American Journal of Bioethics, 17(7), 15-21.

Friesen, P. (2016). Personal responsibility within health policy: unethical and ineffective. Journal of Medical Ethics.

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