Morten Magelssen

I’m Morten Magelssen, a medical doctor and associate professor at The Centre for Medical Ethics, University of Oslo. Welcome to my web page.

From 2020 I am also adjunct professor of bioethics at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society.

As a researcher I take a particular interest in:

  • Clinical ethics and clinical ethics support
  • Priority setting in healthcare
  • End-of-life ethics
  • Bioethical issues in light of Christian faith

My CV.

PhD thesis: “Life, Medicine and Human Fulfilment. End-of-Life Decisions in Light of a Revised Natural Law Theory” (2014). From the report of the evaluation committee:

“Magelssen’s study is original, well-argued, and well-written. … the committee considers the dissertation as an excellent study of new natural law theory that adds important dimensions to the ethics of end-of-life decisions.”

Peer-reviewed academic papers in English:

Ewnetu DB, Thorsen VC, Solbakk JH, Magelssen M. “Navigating abortion law dilemmas: experiences and attitudes among Ethiopian health care professionals”. BMC Medical Ethics 2021: 166.

Fredheim OM, Materstvedt LJ, Skulberg I, Magelssen M. “Ought the level of sedation to be reduced during deep palliative sedation? A clinical and ethical analysis”. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2021.

Magelssen M, Karlsen H, Thoresen L. “Establishing Clinical Ethics Committees in Primary Care: A Study from Norwegian Municipal Care”. HEC Forum 2021, published online 1 Oct 2021.

Sævareid TJ, Pedersen R, Magelssen M. “Positive attitudes to advance care planning – a Norwegian general population survey”. BMC Health Services Research 2021; 21: 762.

Magelssen M, Karlsen H. “Clinical ethics committees in nursing homes: what good can they do? Analysis of a single case consultation”Nursing Ethics, publisert på nett 13.7.2021.

Magelssen M, Rasmussen M, Wallace S, Førde R. “Priority setting at the clinical level: the case of nusinersen and the Norwegian national expert group”BMC Medical Ethics 2021; 22: 54.

Gustad KE, Askjer Å, Nortvedt P, Fredheim OMS, Magelssen M. “Refractory suffering at the end of life and the assisted dying debate: An interview study with palliative care nurses and doctors”. Clinical Ethics 2021; 16(2): 98-104.

Magelssen M, Ewnetu DB. “Professionals’ experience with conscientious objection to abortion in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: an interview study“.  Developing World Bioethics 2021; 21(2): 68-73.

Heggestad AKT, Førde R, Magelssen M, Arnekleiv B. “Ethics reflection groups for school nurses”. Nursing Ethics 2021; 28(2): 210-220.

Wikstøl D, Pedersen R, Magelssen M. “Public attitudes and health law in conflict: somatic vs. mental care, role of next of kin, and the right to refuse treatment and information”BMC Health Services Research 2021; 21: 3.

Heggestad AKT, Magelssen M, Pedersen R, Gjerberg E. “Ethical challenges in home-based care: A systematic literature review”. Nursing Ethics, published online 17-Dec-2020.

Magelssen M, Karlsen H, Pedersen R, Thoresen L. “Implementing clinical ethics committees as a complex intervention: presentation of a feasibility study in community care”. BMC Medical Ethics 2020; 21: 82

Fredheim OM, Skulberg IM, Magelssen M, Steine S. “Clinical and ethical aspects of palliative sedation with propofol – a retrospective quantitative and qualitative study”. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavia 2020

Ewnetu DB, Thorsen VC, Solbakk JH, Magelssen M. “Still a moral dilemma: how Ethiopian professionals providing abortion come to terms with conflicting norms and demands”BMC Medical Ethics 2020; 21: 16.

Litleskare LA, Strander MT, Førde R, Magelssen M. “Refusals to perform ritual circumcision: a qualitative study of doctors’ professional and ethical reasoning”BMC Medical Ethics 2020; 21: 5.

Magelssen M, Pedersen R, Miljeteig I, Ervik H, Førde R. “Importance of systematic deliberation and stakeholder presence: a national study of clinical ethics committees”Journal of Medical Ethics 2020; 46(2): 66-70.

Magelssen M, Bærøe K. “Can clinical ethics committees be legitimate actors in bedside rationing?” BMC Medical Ethics 2019; 20: 97.

Magelssen M, Le NQ, Supphellen M. “Secularity, abortion, assisted dying and the future of conscientious objection: modelling the relationship between attitudes”. BMC Medical Ethics 2019; 20: 65.

Barlaup AH, Landsverk ÅE, Myskja BK, Supphellen M, Magelssen M. “Acceptable attitudes and the limits of tolerance: Understanding public attitudes to conscientious objection in healthcare”. [Postprint version (PDF)] Clinical Ethics 2019; 14(3): 115-121.

Gaasø OM, Isaksson Rø K, Bringedal B, Magelssen M. “Doctors’ attitudes to assisted dying”. Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association 2019; 139(1): …

Myskja B, Magelssen M. “Conscientious objection to intentional killing: an argument for toleration”. BMC Medical Ethics 2018; 19: 82.

Magelssen M, Solberg B, Supphellen M, Haugen G. “Attitudes to prenatal screening among Norwegian citizens: liberality, ambivalence and sensitivity”BMC Medical Ethics 2018; 19: 80.

Magelssen M, Holmøy T, Horn MA, Dybwik K, Førde R. “Ethical challenges in tracheostomy-assisted ventilation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis”Journal of Neurology 2018, published online first 14 September.

Hofmann BMagelssen M. “In pursuit of goodness in bioethics: analysis of an exemplary article”BMC Medical Ethics 2018; 19: 60.

Magelssen M, Miljeteig I, Pedersen R, Førde R. “Roles and responsibilities of clinical ethics committees in priority setting”BMC Medical Ethics 2017; 18: 68.

Bringedal B, Isaksson Rø K, Magelssen M, Førde R, Aasland OG. “Between professional values, social regulations and patient preferences: medical doctors’ perceptions of ethical dilemmas”Journal of Medical Ethics 2017, published online first 18 Nov.

Magelssen M“Professional and conscience-based refusals: the case of the psychiatrist’s harmful prescription”Journal of Medical Ethics 2017, published online first 24 Apr.

Blikshavn T, Husum TL, Magelssen M“Four Reasons Why Assisted Dying Should Not Be Offered for Depression”Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 2017; 14(1): 151-157.

Magelssen M, Gjerberg E, Pedersen R, Førde R, Lillemoen L. “The Norwegian national project for ethics support in community health and care services”BMC Medical Ethics 2016; 17: 70.

Magelssen M, Gjerberg E, Lillemoen L, Førde R, Pedersen R. “Ethics support in community care makes a difference for practice”Nursing Ethics 2016, published online first 22 Sep.

Magelssen MPedersen RFørde R“Four Roles of Ethical Theory in Clinical Ethics Consultation”American Journal of Bioethics 2016; 16(9): 26–33.

Magelssen M, Kaushal S, Nyembwe KA. “Intending, hastening and causing death in non-treatment decisions: a physician interview study”Journal of Medical Ethics 2016; 42(9): 592-596.

Magelssen MSupphellen MNortvedt PMaterstvedt LJ“Attitudes towards assisted dying are influenced by question wording and order: a survey experiment”BMC Medical Ethics 2016; 17: 24.

Materstvedt LJ & Magelssen M“Medical murder in Belgium and the Netherlands”Journal of Medical Ethics 2016; 42(9): 621-624.

Magelssen MNortvedt PSolbakk JH“Rationing at the bedside: Immoral or unavoidable?” Clinical Ethics 2016; 11(4): 112-121 [draft version (PDF)].

Magelssen M. “Prenatal Diagnosis and the Christian Health Professional”. Christian Bioethics, published online 2 Sep 2016.

Magelssen M, Filtvedt OJ. “Assisted Reproduction, the Logic of Liberalization, and Five Christian Responses”Ethics & Medicine 2015; 31(3): 159-175.

Magelssen MPedersen RFørde R. “Novel Paths to Relevance: How Clinical Ethics Committees Promote Ethical Reflection”. HEC Forum 2015; 28(3): 205-216 [draft version (PDF)].

Nordberg EMK, Skirbekk H, Magelssen M. “Conscientious objection to referrals for abortion: pragmatic solution or threat to women’s rights?” BMC Medical Ethics 2014; 15: 15.

Magelssen M, Pedersen R, Førde R. “Sources of bias in clinical ethics case deliberation”Journal of Medical Ethics 2014; 40: 678-682.

Nordstrand SJ, Nordstrand MA, Nortvedt P, Magelssen M. “Medical students’ attitudes towards conscientious objection: a survey”. Journal of Medical Ethics Published online first 14.08.2013.

Magelssen M, Åsten P, Godal E, Os E, Smith A, Rusten Solås H, Hem MH. “Blood sampling from dying patients – an ethical dilemma”. Clinical Ethics 2012; 7: 107-110.

Magelssen M. “When should conscientious objection be accepted?” Journal of Medical Ethics 2012; 38: 18-21.

Book chapter:

Magelssen M. “How details matter morally in the debate on conscientious objection. The case of Norway”. In: Frewer, Bergemann & Jäger, Jahrbuch Ethik in der Klinik 9, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2016, pp. 343-350.

Other articles:

Magelssen M. “Opting Out. Conscience and Cooperation in a Pluralistic Society” (Review of David Oderberg’s book). The New Bioethics 2019.

Magelssen M, Fredheim OMS. “A spiritual dimension is important for many patients”. Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening 2011; 131: 138-140.