• Anne Barnhill

Anne Barnhill, PhD


Anne is a philosopher and bioethicist. Her research interests span theoretical ethics and bioethics, including food ethics, food policy, the ethics of anti-obesity policy and wellness programs, ethical issues in clinical communication, the ethics of personal relationships, and sexual ethics. Her recent work includes papers on the ethics of anti-obesity policy and the ethics of clinical use of placebos. Before coming to Penn, Anne was a Faculty Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and a Greenwall Fellow in Bioethics and Health Policy at Johns Hopkins University and Georgetown University.

Selected Publications

Anne Barnhill and Katherine F. King:

2013. "Ethical agreement and disagreement about obesity prevention policy in the United States." International Journal of Health Policy and Management 1(2).

Jennifer K. Walter and Anne Barnhill:

2013. "Good and Bad Ideas in Obesity Prevention." Hastings Center Report 43(3): 6-7.

Anne Barnhill and Katherine F. King:

2013. "Equity Critiques in Food Policy: The Case of Sweetened Beverages." The Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics (Spring 2013).

Anne Barnhill:

2013. "Bringing the body back to sexual ethics." Hypatia.

Anne Barnhill:

2012. "Clinical Use of Placebos: Still the Physician's Prerogative?" Hastings Center Report 42(3).

Anne Barnhill:

2011. "Impact and Ethics of Excluding Sweetened Beverages from the SNAP program." American Journal of Public Health 101(11).

Anne Barnhill:

2011. "What It Takes to Defend Deceptive Placebo Use." Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 21(3).

Anne Barnhill, Tyler Doggett, and Andy Egan:

The Ethics of Food: An Introductory Textbook (under contract with Oxford University Press).


New York University, PhD, Philosophy

Princeton University, AB, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 


In the News

Is Honesty the Best Policy When Giving Placebos to Patients? (American Medical News)
Dr. Barnhill's work on placebos had been discussed in The Portland Tribune, Medical Ethics Advisor, and American Medical News.