Julian Savulescu is a Romanian-Australian philosopher and bioethicist. He is Uehiro Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford, Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and Head of the Melbourne–Oxford Stem Cell Collaboration, which is devoted to examining the ethical implications of cloning and embryonic stem cell research. He was the editor of the prestigious Journal of Medical Ethics, which was until 2005 the highest impact journal in medical and applied ethics (as ranked by Thomson-ISI Journal Citation Indices). His approach is consistently utilitarian and he draws heavily on notions of rational outcomes.
In some of his publications he has argued for the following: (1) That parents have a responsibility to select the best children they could have given all of the relevant genetic information available to them (Bioethics, vol. 15 no. 5/6, pp. 413–25), a principle that he extends to the use of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and preimplantation genetic diagnoses (PGD) in order to determine the intelligence of embryos and possible children. (2) That stem cell research is justifiable even if it means killing a (human) person (Bioethics, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 508–28). His argument is based on the principle that killing is justified if some of those at risk of being killed stand to benefit from the killing and whether those benefits are more likely in a world in which the killing occurs. Thus, he concludes that even if embryonic stem cell research involves the killing of a person, it is justified.