Drew Carter

Dr Drew Carter

Research Fellow - Ethics

School of Public Health

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


I am a moral philosopher and health policy researcher who works mostly at the interface of ethics and health economics. I am interested in discussions about the nature of goodness, in how those discussions are best pursued, and in letting those discussions improve the thinking that informs decisions made by health care practitioners and policy makers, especially on questions of resource allocation.

My main research focus is on how health-related resources ought to be allocated. I am particularly interested in identifying what is important besides gaining the maximum possible health for a population. I have examined this in relation to assisted reproductive technologies (like in vitro fertilisation), intensive care triage and national funding decision making for pharmaceuticals and medical services. I am also interested in how qualitative research and deliberative methods can best serve inquiry into health-related ethical matters. Philosophically, I work to extend and apply insights made by the philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein, Iris Murdoch, Raimond Gaita, and Christopher Cordner.

Since 2009, I have been a Research Fellow in Ethics. I collaborate on research with health services researchers, health economists and social scientists, especially to inform decisions about how governments ought to allocate health care resources.

My current research focusses on ethical resource allocation.

I am analysing the ethical principles that ought to inform intensive care unit (ICU) admission and discharge, especially when the ICU is full and additional patients require admission.  I am also working to identify the ethical principles that formal recommendations on ICU admission and discharge currently embody.

I am involved in several research projects that aim to improve the decision making of health funding bodies that use Health Technology Assessment (HTA) as an evaluation framework.  I am researching the ethics of managed-entry agreements, where governments provisionally fund new health interventions on the condition that research is undertaken to reduce uncertainty concerning the intervention's effectiveness or cost-effectiveness, for example.  I am also researching how national bodies such as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) ought to include more than conventional cost-effectiveness in their judgements of the value for money that a health intervention provides.  Other projects examine the unique challenges and opportunities faced by state-level health funding bodies and how to best involve patients and the public in health funding decision making.

2015-2017.  Jonathan Karnon, Hossein Haji Ali Afzali, Annette Braunack-Mayer, Stephen Begg, Drew Carter.  Increasing population health by making better funding decisions: Estimation of the cost-effectiveness threshold for the Australian health system.  National Health and Medical Research Council.  Project Grant.  Grant ID 1084387.  $331,398.

Scoring 6 out of 7, this application scored in the top 5% of the 3800 Project grant applications submitted in 2014. My role in the project is to facilitate translation of the project findings into improved practice by collaborating with national health funding decision makers to identify and overcome challenges associated with implementing an explicit and empirically derived cost-effectiveness threshold when recommending whether the government ought to fund a new health technology.

2013-2018.  CIs: Alan Pearson, Alex Brown, Annette Braunack-Mayer, Ngiare Brown, Edoardo Aromataris.  AIs: Drew Carter, Carol Davy, Zoe Jordan, Craig Lockwood, Alexa McArthur, Sandeep Moola, Zachary Munn, Suzanne Robertson-Malt, Matthew Stephenson, Jackie Street, Catalin Tufanaru, Renee Williams.  Innovation in the synthesis and translation of research evidence to inform the prevention, management and treatment of chronic disease in Indigenous populations.  National Health and Medical Research Council.  Centre of Research Excellence.  App ID 1061242.  $2,482,576.    

I am actively involved in the Centre of Research Excellence in Aboriginal Chronic Disease Knowledge Translation and Exchange (CREATE).  I am a member of its Methods Group, working to create a novel tool to assess the quality of research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  I am also a member of the Centre's Sustainable Funding Domain, collaborating on systematic reviews concerning the value and funding of health services dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

2012-2014.  Annette Braunack-Mayer, Jackie Street, Chris Reynolds, Vivienne Moore, Megan Warin, Drew Carter, John Moss, Tracy Merlin, Elizabeth Handsley.  Steward or nanny state: Consulting the public about the use of regulations and laws to address childhood obesity.  Australian National Preventive Health Agency.  Category 1.  Preventive Health Research Grant Program 2011-12.  $288,381.

My role in the HealthyLaws project has included providing ethical insights to the project's deliberative engagement with citizens and co-supervising a PhD on ethics, obesity and public health policy.

Sep-Oct 2012.  Drew Carter and Paul Sendziuk.  The morality of using acute pain as a diagnostic tool in emergency medicine, together with a critical history of acute pain measurement.  The Brocher Foundation (Switzerland).  Visiting Researchers.  Approx. $20,000.

This project involved interviewing medical practitioners on the clinical and ethical reasoning underpinning pain management in the emergency department.

I currently teach ethics into the postgraduate course, Health Technology Assessment.

In the past, I have taught health ethics extensively.  From 2015 to 2018 I led the teaching of ethics to University of Adelaide medical students.  In recent years I also co-ordinated Public Health Ethics and Saving lives or respecting rights? An introduction to health ethics, which I developed from the ground up with Professor Annette Braunack-Mayer.

    Expand
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 Co-Supervisor Comprehensive Assessment of Interventions and Technology in Complex Health Systems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Abdolvahab Baghbanian
    2015 Co-Supervisor An Assessment of the Ethical Justification of Risk Labelling of Alcoholic Beverages in an Australian Context Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Emma Muhlack
    2015 Principal Supervisor Patient and Citizen Involvement in Health Technology Assessment Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Edilene Lopes McInnes
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 - 2017 Principal Supervisor An Ethical Analysis of Obesity, Weight Stigma, and Public Health Master of Philosophy (Public Health) Master Full Time Ms Alison Harwood
    2012 - 2014 Co-Supervisor PUBLIC AND PATIENT INVOLVEMENT IN GOVERNMENT HEALTH FUNDING DECISION MAKING IN AUSTRALIA Master of Philosophy (Public Health) Master Part Time Ms Edilene Lopes McInnes
  • Position: Research Fellow - Ethics
  • Phone: 83130620
  • Email: drew.carter@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 9
  • Room: WS9086.41
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Health Technology Assessment

Connect With Me
External Profiles