Dr Martin Woods & Dr Helen Rook's recent research expedition

Over the past few months, Senior Lecturer Dr Martin Woods and Lecturer Dr Helen Rook have been busy presenting their research projects in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Belgium.

Helen in conversation with the President of Ireland and his wifeAt the 21st International Philosophy of Nursing Conference (www.ipons.co.uk) held at the University of Worcester, Martin questioned how possible it is to perform robust and accessible research on nurses’ viewpoints about euthanasia. In the presentation, Martin argued that the results of much of the research on euthanasia is dubious at best. To illustrate his point Martin critiqued two New Zealand surveys on the subject. Helen presented two parallel sessions one on value dissonance in nursing and the other on how the ideas and philosophical thinking of Edith Stein can influence nursing. Drawing on her doctoral research Helen discussed the conflict the nurses’ face in enacting their values in healthcare systems that foster managerialism and cultures of anxiety. In the paper on Stein, Helen argued that Stein’s thinking on empathy, values and community are critically consideration in contemporary nursing practice. The conference showcased leading scholars in the field of nursing philosophy and will be held in Ireland in 2018.

Following on from Worcester, the academic pair travelled to University College Cork, Ireland at the invitation of Dr Joan McCarthy (Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery). Whilst in Cork both Martin and Helen presented on their respective research. The research seminar was attended by scholars from Cork, Galway and Dublin and was a wonderful opportunity to network and build on established relationships with the team at UCC. Martin concluded his trip with the presentation of a paper (Woods, M., Rook, H. & Popoola, T. (2017). Palliative care nurses’ viewpoints on euthanasia: reflections on a New Zealand study) at the 18th Nursing Ethics Conference and the 3rd International Ethics in Care Conference, Leuven, Belgium.

On returning to New Zealand Helen was honoured to meet the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins on his State visit to New Zealand. At a cultural performance and reception held at Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand, Helen had a brief conversation with the President about the collaborative research links between New Zealand and Ireland.