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Dr.  Jessica  Flanigan
Dr. Jessica Flanigan
Associate Professor of Leadership Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law

Dr. Jessica Flanigan’s research addresses topics such as medical paternalism, economic freedom, leadership ethics, and public health ethics. Her book, Pharmaceutical Freedom: Why Patients Have a Right to Self-Medicate, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. Her current research includes a defense of the basic income, a series of essays about philosophical methodology and applied ethics, a Kantian analysis of disability rights, and a book project defending the legalization of sex work. Dr. Flanigan is also a proponent of effective altruism. She teaches Ethical Decision Making in Healthcare, Leadership Ethics, and Critical Thinking.

Selected Publications

Pharmaceutical Freedom: Why Patients Have a Right to Self-Medicate, Oxford University Press.


“Sweatshop Regulations and Workers' Choices,” Journal of Business Ethics (forthcoming).

“Rethinking Freedom of Contract,” Philosophical Studies.

“Seat Belt Mandates and Paternalism,” Journal of Moral Philosophy.

“Obstetric Autonomy and Informed Consent,” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 19 (1), 1-20.

“Non-Culpable Ignorance and HIV Criminalization,” The Journal of Medical Ethics, 40 (12), 798-801.

“Economic Freedom and the ACA,” Public Affairs Quarterly, 27 (3), 215-241.

“Public Bioethics,” Public Health Ethics, 6 (2), 170-184.

"Charisma and Moral Reasoning,” Religions, 4 (2), 216-229.

“Three Arguments Against Prescription Requirements,” The Journal of Medical Ethics, 38 (10), 579-586. Editors’ Choice, with commentary.

Ph.D., Princeton University 2012
Program in Political Philosophy
M.A., Washington University 2006
Political Science
B.A., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 2004
Philosophy and Political Science
Contact Information
129 Jepson Hall
(804) 287-6353
(804) 287-6062 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Political Philosophy