Dr Charles Douglas

Senior Lecturer

School of Medicine and Public Health (Clinical Ethics and Health Law)

Career Summary

Biography

Dr. Douglas is a relatively early career academic, having not taken an academic appointment, or commenced a PhD until establishing himself in his clinical career in 2004. He originally studied mathematics and physics at the University of Adelaide, and worked as a school teacher, which gave him a strong background in science generally and in teaching. He commenced medical training at the University of Newcastle in 1985, and completed his B Med with honours in 1990, having also completed a Bachelor of Medical Science in transplantation with first class honours, further strengthening his research background.

Dr. Douglas then undertook post-graduate training in surgery, taking a break from this in 1999 to do a year of research in ethics (relating to surgery). Soon after completion of his surgical training, an opportunity arose to take an academic position at the University of Newcastle as a Lecturer in Clinical Ethics and Health Law. He has continued in this role while developing his surgical expertise in the areas of breast cancer and melanoma surgery. He now works as a consultant surgeon at the Breast Centre, Gateshead, and at the Newcastle Melanoma Unit, and as a VMO surgeon at the Calvary Mater and Lake Macquarie Private Hospitals. In 2008 he was promoted to Senior Lecturer.

Dr. Douglas has developed a very wide range of research interests in ethics, clinical decision making, basic science and surgery. He was awarded his PhD (on end-of-life decision making) in 2012. He was holder of a Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Research Scholarship in 1999 and a Fellowship of the Federation of European Cancer Societies in 2003. He is also winner of the inaugural General Surgeons Australia Best Paper Prize for his work on the ultrasound diagnosis of appendicitis and the winner of the Sir Edward Hughes Memorial Research Prize for this project (1999). He was shortlisted again for the Sir Edward Hughes Memorial Research Prize for his work on surgeons attitudes to euthanasia (2000). He is the winner of the Ethel and Olive Hewitt Medical Research Scholarship in 2001. He won two ECR grants relating to his work on interviews with palliative care physicians regarding the use of palliative sedation at the end of life in 2007 and 2009, and is already internationally recognised for his work in this area.

Research Expertise
I have a very wide range of expertise, covering a number of different areas. My doctorate (submitted August 2011) is on 'end-of-life decision making' and incorporates 5 papers, two of which relate to moral psychology / philosophy, and 3 of which are sociological studies of doctors, in both qualitative and quantitative research traditions. While working on my PhD I have also published or am conducting clinical studies (a randomised controlled trial on the diagnosis of appendicitis using ultrasound), studies on clinical decision making (using decision aids, using different forms of communication), basic science studies (on the transplantation of thyroid tissue in mice, and on the tension properties of human skin as it relates to reconstructive surgery), and papers on bioethics, particularly the issue of informed consent.

Teaching Expertise
I am the Discipline Lead for ethics and I teach clinical ethics and health law to all years of the JMP program with the exception of Year 5, having developed this course myself. I have a broad interest in other areas of ethics, and have given talks to a variety of other schools in the past. I also teach into the surgery program and am involved in assessment of most years of the JMP program in a number of different areas, most importantly in clinical assessments.

Administrative Expertise
Program Convenor, Bachelor of Medical Science School Student Academic Conduct Officer HES course coordinator Discipline Lead, Clinical Ethics and Health Law Director, Melanoma Unit, Calvary Mater Newcastle.


Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Medicine (Honours), University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Adelaide
  • Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Breast surgery
  • Clinical decision making
  • Clinical ethics
  • End-of-life decision-making
  • Ethics
  • Health Law
  • Informed consent
  • Moral philosophy
  • Oncology
  • Surgery

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
111799Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified50
170199Psychology not elsewhere classified50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2014 - Senior LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Medicine and Public Health
Australia

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
Fellow - Royal Australasian College of SurgeonsRoyal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
Australia

Professional appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/08/2006 - Visiting Medical OfficerNewcastle Mater Hospital
Surgery
Australia

Awards

Research Award

YearAward
1999Sir Edwin Hughes Memorial Research Prize
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (20 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Douglas C, 'Moral concerns with sedation at the end of life', JOURNAL OF MEDICAL ETHICS, 40 241-241 (2014)
DOI10.1136/medethics-2012-101024Author URL
2014Douglas C, 'Moral concerns with sedation at the end of life', Journal of Medical Ethics, 40 241-241 (2014) [C3]
DOI10.1136/medethics-2012-101024
CitationsScopus - 1
2014Douglas CD, Kerridge IH, Ankeny RA, 'Double meanings will not save the principle of double effect', Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (United Kingdom), 39 304-316 (2014) [C1]

In an article somewhat ironically entitled "Disambiguating Clinical Intentions," Lynn Jansen promotes an idea that should be bewildering to anyone familiar with the literature on ... [more]

In an article somewhat ironically entitled "Disambiguating Clinical Intentions," Lynn Jansen promotes an idea that should be bewildering to anyone familiar with the literature on the intention/foresight distinction. According to Jansen, "intention" has two commonsense meanings, one of which is equivalent to "foresight." Consequently, questions about intention are "infected" with ambiguity-people cannot tell what they mean and do not know how to answer them. This hypothesis is unsupported by evidence, but Jansen states it as if it were accepted fact. In this reply, we make explicit the multiple misrepresentations she has employed to make her hypothesis seem plausible. We also point out the ways in which it defies common sense. In particular, Jansen applies her thesis only to recent empirical research on the intentions of doctors, totally ignoring the widespread confusion that her assertion would imply in everyday life, in law, and indeed in religious and philosophical writings concerning the intention/foresight distinction and the Principle of Double Effect. © 2014 The Author.

DOI10.1093/jmp/jhu011
CitationsScopus - 1Web of Science - 1
2014Douglas C, Morris O, Donovan L, 'The keystone flap: Is your 'unclosable' wound really unclosable?', ANZ Journal of Surgery, 84 496-497 (2014) [C3]
DOI10.1111/ans.12575
2013Douglas CD, Kerridge IH, Ankeny RA, 'NARRATIVES OF 'TERMINAL SEDATION', AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE INTENTION-FORESIGHT DISTINCTION IN PALLIATIVE CARE PRACTICE', BIOETHICS, 27 1-11 (2013) [C1]
DOI10.1111/j.1467-8519.2011.01895.xAuthor URL
CitationsScopus - 6Web of Science - 6
2013Douglas CD, Low NCK, Seitz MJ, 'The Keystone Flap: Not an Advance, Just a Stretch', ANNALS OF SURGICAL ONCOLOGY, 20 973-980 (2013) [C1]
DOI10.1245/s10434-012-2684-9Author URL
CitationsScopus - 4Web of Science - 4
2013Douglas C, Morris O, 'The 'keystone concept': time for some science', ANZ Journal of Surgery, 83 498-499 (2013) [C3]
DOI10.1111/ans.12291Author URL
CitationsScopus - 6Web of Science - 6
2013Douglas C, Proudfoot E, 'Nudging and the Complicated Real Life of ¿Informed Consent¿', The American Journal of Bioethics, 13 16-17 (2013) [C2]
DOI10.1080/15265161.2013.781716Author URL
2012Papeix G, Zardawi IM-A, Douglas CD, Clark DA, Braye SG, 'The accuracy of the 'triple test' in the diagnosis of papillary lesions of the breast', Acta Cytologica, 56 41-46 (2012) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 2Web of Science - 2
2012Douglas CD, Jansen M, Kerridge I, 'The devil is in the detail: Best practice, or catholic practice?', American Journal of Bioethics, 12 38-39 (2012) [C3]
2011Harwood RC, Douglas CD, Clark D, 'Decision aids for breast and nodal surgery in patients with early breast cancer: Development and a pilot study', Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, 7 114-122 (2011) [C1]
DOI10.1111/j.1743-7563.2010.01375.x
CitationsScopus - 1Web of Science - 2
2009Douglas CD, 'End-of-life decisions and moral psychology: Killing, letting die, intention and foresight', Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 6 337-347 (2009) [C1]
DOI10.1007/s11673-009-9173-2
CitationsScopus - 3Web of Science - 2
2008Douglas CD, Kerridge I, Ankeny R, 'Managing intentions: The end-of-life administration of analgesics and sedatives, and the possibility of slow euthanasia', Bioethics, 22 388-396 (2008) [C1]
DOI10.1111/j.1467-8519.2008.00661.x
CitationsScopus - 33Web of Science - 27
2007Douglas CD, McPhee JR, 'Informed consent: A review of the ethical and legal basis for medical decision-making for the competent patient', ANZ Journal of Surgery, 77 521-522 (2007) [C1]
DOI10.1111/j.1445-2197.2007.04144.x
CitationsScopus - 3Web of Science - 3
2004Winn RD, Laura S, Douglas C, Davidson PM, Gani JS, 'Protocol-Based approach to suspected appendicitis, incorporating the alvarado score and outpatient antibiotics', ANZ Journal of Surgery, 74 324-329 (2004) [C1]
DOI10.1111/j.1445-1433.2004.02993.x
CitationsScopus - 16Web of Science - 15
2001Douglas C, Kerridge I, McPhee J, Parkinson L, Spigelman AD, Rainbird K, 'The intention to hasten death: a survey of attitudes and prctices of surgeons in Australia', Medical Journal of Australia, 175 511-515 (2001) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 33Web of Science - 39
Co-authorsL Parkinson
2001Douglas C, 'Diagnosis of acute appendicitis - Appendicitis is a separate clinical entity in men and women - Reply', BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL, 323 50-50 (2001)
Author URL
2000Douglas CD, MacPherson NE, Davidson P, Gani JS, 'Randomised controlled trial of ultrasonography in diagnosis of acute appendicitis, incorporating the Alvarado score', British Medical Journal, 321 919 (2000) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 114Web of Science - 72
1999Davidson PM, Douglas CD, Hosking CS, 'Graded compression ultrasonography in the assessment of the "tough decision" acute abdomen in childhood', PEDIATRIC SURGERY INTERNATIONAL, 15 32-35 (1999)
DOI10.1007/s003830050506Author URL
CitationsScopus - 10Web of Science - 10
1989Douglas C, 'Combined effects of donor tissue culture and single-dose recipient immunosuppression on the survival of murine thyroid allografts.', Transplant Procedures, 21 3761-3762 (1989) [C1]
Show 17 more journal articles
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants5
Total funding$425,541

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20142 grants / $386,341

Who decides and at what cost? Comparing patient, surrogate and oncologist perspectives on end of life care$256,038

Funding body: NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)

Funding bodyNHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)
Project TeamLaureate Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher, Emeritus Professor Neil Rees, Ms Gill Batt, Doctor Charles Douglas, Professor Ian Olver, Doctor Nick Zdenkowski, Associate Professor Frans Henskens
SchemePartnership Projects
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNoG1300011
Type Of FundingAust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category1CS
UONY

Who decides and at what cost? Comparing patient, surrogate and oncologist perspectives on end of life care$130,303

Funding body: Cancer Council NSW

Funding bodyCancer Council NSW
Project TeamLaureate Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher, Emeritus Professor Neil Rees, Ms Gill Batt, Doctor Charles Douglas, Professor Ian Olver, Doctor Nick Zdenkowski, Doctor Scott Twaddell, Associate Professor Frans Henskens
SchemeNHMRC Partnership Projects Partner Funding
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
GNoG1300851
Type Of FundingAust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category1CS
UONY

20131 grants / $20,000

Reducing psychosocial burden among women diagnosed with breast cancer and their support persons: A randomised controlled trial of a web-based intervention.$20,000

Funding body: Hunter Medical Research Institute

Funding bodyHunter Medical Research Institute
Project TeamLaureate Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher, Doctor Charles Douglas, Doctor Jamie Bryant, Doctor Mariko Carey, Associate Professor Frans Henskens
SchemeNear Miss
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2013
Funding Finish2013
GNoG1300705
Type Of FundingGrant - Aust Non Government
Category3AFG
UONY

20091 grants / $9,600

A qualitative study of terminal sedation in end-of-life care, involving in-depth interviews with health care providers in palliative care$9,600

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor Charles Douglas
SchemeEarly Career Researcher Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2009
Funding Finish2009
GNoG0190227
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20071 grants / $9,600

A qualitative study of terminal sedation in end-of-life care, involving in-depth interviews with health care providers in palliative care$9,600

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor Charles Douglas
SchemeEarly Career Researcher Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2007
Funding Finish2007
GNoG0187405
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY
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Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2011Informed Consent for Clinical Examinations Involving Ionising Radiation
Radiography, Faculty of Health and Medicine
Co-Supervisor
2007Informed consent and the management of probably benign breast lesions
Medical Science, University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2007Informed consent and management of probably benign breast lesions
Medical Science, University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor

Past Supervision

YearResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
1999Ultrasound diagnosis of appendicitis
Accounting, University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
1998Ultrasound diagnosis of appendicitis - randomised controlled trial
Medical Science, University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
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Dr Charles Douglas

Position

Senior Lecturer
School of Medicine and Public Health
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Clinical Ethics and Health Law

Contact Details

Emailcharles.douglas@newcastle.edu.au
Phone0400 390 748

Office

RoomBB107
BuildingBowman Building
LocationCallaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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