He was also an Anglican priest and the son of former Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, Phillip Newell.
His obituary in the Mercury in Tasmania says:
Newell received an Order of Australia medal in 2001 for services to people with disabilities, to health consumers and the development and practice of ethics. On
receiving the award Dr. Newell joked about why he was worthy of such an honour.
"Why would they give me this? I am a stirrer, I ask questions," Dr. Newell said in a 2001 interview with The Mercury.
As a senior lecturer in medical ethics at the University of Tasmania Medical School, many of Dr Newell's questions saw him labelled as an opponent of euthanasia.
However, he simply claimed euthanasia served to highlight the inadequacies of funding of palliative care.
He was best known in international disability studies circles as a bioethicist and co-author (with frequent collaborator Gerard Goggin) of the 2005 book Disability in Australia: Exposing a Social Aparteid.
Here's a list of some of his other important publications:
- Digital Disability: The Social Construction of Disability in New Media (with Gerard Goggin) Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002.
- Voices In Disability And Spirituality From The Land Down Under: Outback To Outfront (with Andy Calder), Routledge, 2004.
- "Foucault on the Phone: Disability and the Mobility of Government" (with Gerard Goggin) in Foucault and the Government of Disability, edited by Shelley Tremain, University of Michigan Press, 2005.
- "An End to Disabling Policies? Toward Enlightened Universal Service" (with Gerard Goggin), The Information Society, Volume 16, Number 2, 1 June 2000 , pp. 127-133(7).
- "Biomedicine, Genetics and Disability: reflections on nursing and a philosophy of holism," Nursing Ethics, Vol. 7, No. 3, 227-236 (2000).
- "Powerful Practices: an Australian case study of contested notions of ethical disability research," Disability & Society, Volume 12, Issue 5 November 1997 , pages 803 - 810.
- "Responsible Choice: the choice between no choice" (with David Wareing) Disability & Society, Volume 17, Issue 4 June 2002 , pages 419 - 434.
- "Disability, Bioethics, and Rejected Knowledge," The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Volume 31, Number 3, June 2006 , pp. 269-283(15).
- "The Disability Rights Movement in Australia: a note from the trenches," Disability & Society, Volume 11, Number 3, 1 September 1996 , pp. 429-432(4).
- "The Human Connection: A Case Study of Spirituality and Disability" (with Pam McGrath), Journal of Religion, Disability & Health: Volume: 8 Issue: 1, 2004.
- "Communicating Disability: What’s the Matter with Internet Studies?" (with Gerard Goggin).
- "Disability, identity, and interdependence: ICTs and new social forms" (with Gerard Goggin), Information, Communication and Society, Volume 9, Number 3, June 2006 , pp. 309-311.
- "Disability: a voice in Australian bioethics?" N Z Bioeth J. 2003 June, 4(2):15-20.
- "Tasmania Together? A disability critique of a social plan," (with R. Wilkinson), Disability & Society, Volume 18, Number 4, June 2003 , pp. 457-470(14).
- "Narrating Normalcy: Disability, Medicine and Ethics, Commentary on Stowe et al.," Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 13(2), 2007.
- "Imagining Disability Tomorrow" (with Gerard Goggin), Journal of Futures Studies, November 2005.
- "MEDIA BIOS: or, Harvie Krumpet and the ethics of disability and death" (with Gerard Goggin), paper presented at The Annual Meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association, Christchurch, New Zealand, 4-7 July 2005.
- "Disability's Affect or, Refugees, Communication and Community" (with Gerard Goggin), Southern Review: Communication, Politics & Culture, Volume 38 Issue 2 (2006).
- "Studying with a disability or chronic illness"in Doctorates Downunder.
- "Disability and chronic illness: Alived experience," in Doctorates Downunder.
- "'Don't Talk about Me ... Like I'm Not Here': Disability in Australian National Cinema" (with Kath Duncan and Gerard Goggin), Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine, Issue 146/147 (2005)
- "Debates Regarding Governance: a disability perspective," Disability & Society, Volume 13, Number 2, 1 April 1998 , pp. 295-296(2).