Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Jenny Krutzinna

Dr. Jenny Krutzinna



Jenny Krutzinna is a researcher at the Center for Research on Discretion and Paternalism, and holds a Ph.D. in Bioethics and Biomedical Jurisprudence.

Her main research interest is the role of well-being as justification in ethical and legal argumentation processes, especially in the context of raising and educating children.

PhD in Bioethics and Biomedical Jurisprudence, Centre for Social Ethics and Policy, University of Manchester
Thesis: “The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement in Children: a Risk of creating ‘Superhuman’ Disabled?”

MA in Health Care Ethics and Law , Centre for Social Ethics and Policy, University of Manchester

MA (Oxon) Jurisprudence, St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford

Get to know Jenny

What are you working on right now?

I am mainly working on the Acceptability of child protection interventions project, which currently involves two things: following up with court managers on child welfare cases we have been granted access to, and doing a literature review on the different types of arguments used in and by courts to justify child welfare interventions.

Can you describe your office space?

It’s a mess! I am actually very organized but you wouldn’t guess from looking at my desk. Although my excuse is that I am still missing a bookshelf, so everything is spread out on my desk. I love post-its and they are everywhere. I have a big poster of cognitive biases on my wall, which reminds me to be watchful when carrying out my own research or reviewing other people’s work.

Is there a book you’d recommend within your field?

For a great introduction, I recommend «Bioethics”, edited by the amazing John Harris and published as part of the Oxford Readings in Philosophy series. I became so fascinated with the issues covered in it that I decided to pursue a PhD in the field. For something less factual, I recommend Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, which raises a lot of interesting (bio)ethical issues. Although it was already written in 1958, it remains highly relevant today.

What is your background?

I read jurisprudence as an undergraduate and became very interested in philosophical approaches to law and in legal and administrative theory. My favourite elective subject was family and medical law, so a few years after graduating I decided to study for a masters degree in health care ethics and law, followed by a PhD in bioethics and medical jurisprudence.

My research is mostly applied, and I do like empirically informed bioethics, so in the last year I decided to do some CPD courses in social science research methods to complement my legal and philosophical background.

If you had to choose a different field, what would it be?

If I had to choose a different academic discipline, I would go for political science. If it had to be a different job altogether, I would choose to become a medical doctor, preferably a paediatrician.

If you were prime minister for a day, what would you do?

I would create a joint Ministry of Health, Education and Poverty Prevention, as I believe that these issues are inextricably linked and need to be addressed together. And of course, I would prioritise this ministry’s work!

Your friend sets you up on a blind date with someone famous – who do you hope it is?

I know it is impossible but it would have to be Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. They seem to me the most fascinating couple in philosophy.

What’s on your nightstand?

As always, a huge pile of books… the top one at the moment is Brødrene Løvehjerte. I loved this as a kid, and as I am trying to learn Norwegian, it is good to read something that I am already familiar with.