Lisa is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Law, and (in Philosophy) at Somerville College and the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. Her main research interests lie in normative and practical ethics, and in the philosophy of medical and criminal law. Her postdoctoral project, ‘Changing One’s Mind: Neurointerventions, Autonomy, and the Law on Consent’, is on medical consent and examines the extent to which English law on consent sufficiently protects morally salient patient interests.


Prior to taking up the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, Lisa was a Research Associate on the Mental Health and Justice project at the University of York, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Practical Ethics at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, University of Western Ontario and, before that, she worked on the project ‘Neurointerventions in Crime-Prevention: An Ethical Analysis’ in the Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford. 


Lisa holds a PhD in philosophy and law and an MA in ethics and medical law from King’s College London and a BA in philosophy from Stockholm University. Her doctoral thesis was on the justification for the lawfulness of medical interventions.


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  • L Forsberg and Anthony Skelton, 'Achievement and Enhancement' (2020) 50 Canadian Journal of Philosophy 322
    DOI: 10.1017/can.2019.43
    We engage with the nature and the value of achievement through a critical examination of an argument according to which biomedical “enhancement” of our capacities is impermissible because enhancing ourselves in this way would threaten our achievements. We call this the argument against enhancement from achievement. We assess three versions of it, each admitting to a strong or a weak reading. We argue that strong readings fail, and that weak readings, while in some cases successful in showing that enhancement interferes with the nature or value of achievement, fail to establish that enhancement poses an unusual threat to achievement.
  • Thomas Douglas, L Forsberg and Jonathan Pugh, 'Compulsory medical intervention versus external constraint in pandemic control' (2020) Journal of Medical Ethics
    DOI: 10.1136/ medethics-2020-106435
    Would compulsory treatment or vaccination for COVID-19 be justified? In England, there would be significant legal barriers to it. However, we offer a conditional ethical argument in favour of allowing compulsory treatment and vaccination, drawing on an ethical comparison with external constraints—such as quarantine, isolation and ’lockdown’—that have already been authorised to control the pandemic in this jurisdiction. We argue that, if the permissive English approach to external constraints for COVID-19 has been justified, then there is a case for a similarly permissive approach to compulsory medical interventions.
  • L Forsberg and Thomas Douglas, 'What is Criminal Rehabilitation?' (2020) Criminal Law and Philosophy
    DOI: 10.1007/s11572-020-09547-4
    It is often said that the institutions of criminal justice ought or—perhaps more often—ought not to rehabilitate criminal offenders. But the term ‘criminal rehabilitation’ is often used without being explicitly defined, and in ways that are consistent with widely divergent conceptions. In this paper, we present a taxonomy that distinguishes, and explains the relationships between, different conceptions of criminal rehabilitation. Our taxonomy distinguishes conceptions of criminal rehabilitation on the basis of (i) the aims or ends of the putatively rehabilitative measure, and (ii) the means that may be used to achieve the intended end. We also explore some of the implications of each conception, some of the payoffs of a taxonomy of the kind we offer, and some areas for future work.
  • L Forsberg, 'Childbirth, consent, and information about options and risks' in Jonathan Herring, Camilla Pickles (ed), Childbirth, Vulnerability and Law: Exploring Issues of Violence and Control (Routledge 2019)
  • L Forsberg, 'Crime-Preventing Neurointerventions and the Law: Learning from Anti-Libidinal Interventions' in David Birks and Thomas Douglas (eds), Treatment for Crime. Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice (Oxford University Press 2018)
    ISBN: 9780198758617
  • L Forsberg and Thomas Douglas, 'Anti-libidinal interventions in sex offenders: medical or correctional?' (2016) Medical Law Review
    Sex offenders are sometimes offered or required to undergo pharmacological interventions intended to diminish their sex drive (anti-libidinal interventions or ALIs). In this paper, we argue that much of the debate regarding the moral permissibility of ALIs has been founded on an inaccurate assumption regarding their intended purpose—namely, that ALIs are intended solely to realise medical purposes, not correctional goals. This assumption has made it plausible to assert that ALIs may only permissibly be administered to offenders with their valid consent, in line with the approach taken to most other interventions with a medical aim. However, we argue that, contrary to this assumption, the state's intention in relation to at least some ALIs is, at least in part, to achieve correctional objectives. We evaluate two legal regimes for ALI provision—section 645 of the California Penal Code and the mental health regime in England and Wales. In each case, we identify the state's implicit purpose in imposing ALIs and argue that the Californian and English regimes both serve as counterexamples to the view that ALIs are intended solely for medical purposes. While the moral implications of our argument are not straightforward, it raises the question whether consent is required for permissible imposition of ALIs, and more generally, whether the moral permissibility of crime-preventing interventions using medical means should be assessed against the standards of medical ethics or against those of criminal justice ethics.

Research projects