Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Strengthening the Capacity for Ethical Public Health

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Originally posted on Better Health For All, the blog for the Faculty of Public Health.

Public health is proudly an evidence-based field. But evidence without values cannot tell us what we should do.

We need public health ethics if we are to understand and explain, by reference to the classic definition of public health advanced by Winslow, what we, as a society, ought to do to assure the conditions in which people can enjoy good health and equitable prospects for health. Using the ‘organised efforts of society’ to protect and promote health and well-being is an ethical goal—indeed, as many of us would argue, it is an ethical imperative. And to be achieved, it requires law and policy. To evaluate when threats to health warrant a public health response, scientific analyses must be complemented by matters such as the balancing of values, an assessment of the relative merits of different possible interventions, an appreciation of the likely risks and impacts of intervening, and a sensitivity to political and cultural contexts and realities.

At a workshop convened in London, at the Royal College of Physicians on 18th January 2018, Public Health practitioners, trainees, leaders, researchers, and policy-makers convened with scholars in public health ethics to discuss how Public Health Ethics and Law (PHEL) might be established as a professional competency, and how we might ensure that it is robust and rigorous through education and training. This is part of a project I am involved in with A.M. Viens at the University of Southampton, and Farhang Tahzib, Chair of the Faculty of Public Health (FPH)’s ethics committee and a champion for bringing academic public health ethics into practice.

We argue that the Public Health workforce needs a clearly defined PHEL competency, secured within Public Health education and ongoing professional training. This builds on further work that we have done regarding PHEL expertise to support the Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework. As contributions throughout the day affirmed, such a competency requires to be explained in a way that is academically robust: is it based on sound and coherent principles? It must be practically realisable: is it clear how to apply the PHEL competency in the vast, complex, and challenging range of practical situations covered by public health? And it must be treated properly as an essential part of public health capacity: how, for example, can we ensure it is taken seriously as part of CPD requirements? The feedback and engaged discussion from all participants were complemented and further stimulated by contributions from Bruce Jennings—described by Farhang as one of the fathers of Public Health Ethics—as well as an expert panel on which Bruce was joined by Angus Dawson, Vikki Entwistle, Kevin Fenton, and Fiona Sim.

Just as areas such as statistical analysis and detection of disease require skills and expertise, so do legal and ethical understanding and practice. As FPH President John Middleton suggested at the start of the day, we need to consider how questions of justice impact public health practice, and how our overall political agendas should be shaped if we are to achieve a sustainably fairer society. For good practice, and good frameworks for practice, PHEL experts need to work with the public health community to ensure that ethical challenges, big and small, can be addressed with proper knowledge, understanding, and skills in ethical, legal, and political reasoning.

We look forward to publishing a full report on our findings, detailing how the PHEL competency should be defined, and a range of model materials for PHEL education and training through the FPH’s website, as well as wider academic papers. It is an exciting time to be engaging with FPH and other partners to advance these agendas, strengthening capacity for ethics and law in public health.

John Coggon, Professor of Law and Honorary Member of the Faculty of Public Health, Centre for Health, Law, and Society, University of Bristol Law School


Uterus Transplants – A Reproductive Revolution or Cause for Concern?

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2017 at 9:47 am

Upcoming HEAL seminar. We look forward to seeing you there.

Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning (University of Southampton)

Uterus Transplants – A Reproductive Revolution or Cause for Concern?

Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 1-2pm
Building 4, Room 1035, Highfield Campus

Uterus transplantation involves IVF, major surgery on at least two occasions, use of immunosuppressant drugs, and (possibly) high-risk pregnancies. It is recognised that at least four people will be affected by a uterus transplant the recipient, the donor, the recipient’s partner, and a future child, however, the focus of this paper is on the women involved – the recipient and the donor. This paper considers concerns with uterus transplant research including the criteria to participate in the clinical trials, the motivation of the recipients to participate in the research trials, the expected gestational experience of recipients, the welfare of recipients, maternal care, and the welfare of donors.

Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning is a Lecturer in Medical Law and Ethics and Co-Director of the REPROLaw research group at the University of Southampton. Her research interests are in medical law and ethics, principally in start of life issues and stem cell research. She is researching the regulation, regulatory bodies and reform of these sensitive areas of law and ethics.

Possible Outcomes for Tainted Blood Scandal Victims

In Uncategorized on September 29, 2017 at 8:13 am

Dr Melinee Kazarian has written about the recent decision to hold a public inquiry into the 1980s contaminated blood scandal that affected thousands of victims, and the recent court ruling that victims may now sue the government for compensation for the harm caused. It provides an analysis on what possible outcomes there might be at the end of the inquiry and whether this will successfully help the victims’ search for the truth.


Uterus Transplants and Infertility Survey

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning is conducting an online survey to gather the views of British women (aged 18yrs and older) with absolute uterine factor infertility towards uterus (womb) transplants and alternative methods of motherhood. Any woman who is affected by uterine factor infertility, for example women with MRKH and Asherman’s syndrome, are asked to complete the survey.

The survey is open until Friday 8th September and can be found here: https://www.isurvey.soton.ac.uk/24011

The survey is anonymous but if you have any concerns please do contact Dr Hammond-Browning on N.Hammond-Browning@soton.ac.uk

HEAL member speaks at international conference on uterus transplantation

In Uncategorized on October 10, 2016 at 9:14 am


Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning was invited to speak at an international conference at the University of Lancaster (September 2016). The conference, ‘The Ethics of Uterus Transplantation’, was organised as part of a Wellcome grant awarded to Professor Rosamund Scott (KCL) and Professor Stephen Wilkinson (Lancaster). The conference brought together academics and clinicians from around the globe to debate the ethics and to discuss the medical progress being made in the field of uterus transplantation. Dr Hammond-Browning’s paper, ‘Undue concerns about uterus transplantation? Or, is ectogenesis the way forward?’ discussed concerns of uterus transplantation, and whether artificial wombs were the solution to those concerns.

Second Annual Jonathan Montgomery Lecture

In Uncategorized on October 7, 2016 at 8:31 am

We are pleased to announce that the 2nd Annual Jonathan Montgomery Lecture will be held on 26th October 2016. This year’s lecture is entitled ‘Framing a New Interspecies Ethics:
The Role of Care Theory in the Laboratory’. This year’s lecture will be given by Prof. Marie Fox of the University of Liverpool. We hope to see you there.


Exploring Commonalities in Global Health Research Thursday, 16 June, Southampton

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2016 at 11:09 am

On Thursday 16 June, the Global Health Research Institute (GHRI) of the University of Southampton is organising an event on ‘Exploring Commonalities in Global Health Research’ at the Hilton Hotel (Southampton, SO16 3RB).

Further information, including the programme of the day, can be found here:


Following a first workshop held in February 2016, this event aims at bringing together global health researchers at the University of Southampton with external stakeholders to further collaboration. Four research themes will facilitate such discussions: 1) Nutrition and Development; 2) Infections; 3) Population; and 4) Right to Health/Governance/Ethics.

In the Right to Health/Governance/Ethics theme, coordinated by Dr Claire Lougarre from Southampton Law School, Professor Lisa Forman will present her views on ‘The Right to Health and Global Health Policy’, with Professor John Coggon from Southampton Law School acting as respondent.  Professor Forman holds a Canada Research Chair in Human Rights and Global Health Equity at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Professor Lisa Forman (theme presenter) is a human rights lawyer and leading scholar on the right to health. She worked closely with various NGOs and UN institutions, including the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. For more details on Lisa’s background and research, please see: http://www.dlsph.utoronto.ca/faculty-profile/forman-lisa/

Professor John Coggon (theme respondent) is an expert on legal, moral and political theory applied to human health and welfare, and a leading legal scholar on the philosophy of public health. He is currently member of the British Medical Journal’s Ethics Committee, and of the University Hospital Southampton’s Clinical Ethics Committee. For more details on John’s background and research, please see: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/law/about/staff/jc4r11.page

Finally, Dr Claire Lougarre (theme coordinator) is a human rights lawyer specialised on the right to health. She is involved in various research networks, including the Academic Network on the European Social Charter (ANESC/RACSE), and the Economic and Social Rights Academic Network UK and Ireland (ESRAN-UKI). For more details on Claire’s background and research, please see: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/law/about/staff/cl5u13.page

Everyone is welcome to attend; the point of this workshop being to raise awareness of the GHRI’s existence and work, as well as to attract researchers to join. If you wish to attend, please register via eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exploring-commonalities-in-global-health-research-2-tickets-22167699185

Drinks and/or dinner will also be held after the event, at 6pm, near Highfield Campus. If you wish to attend, please email Dr Claire Lougarre by Monday 30 May (C.lougarre@soton.ac.uk).

In order to be notified of future events organised by the GHRI, please email Ms Frances Clarke (F.M.Clarke@soton.ac.uk) who will add you as a member.

Reproductive Futures: Reproductive Choices?

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2016 at 2:50 pm

4th and 5th July 2016 Southampton

This meeting is designed to bring together academics working on human reproduction from legal and ethical perspectives, in order to consider and reflect on the next era in this field. The key objective of the meeting is to facilitate the cross-fertilisation of ideas on issues that are currently on the reproductive radar, broadly conceived. These ideas will include both a re-engagement with established ‘traditional’ debates (in light of recent developments), and ‘new’ challenges posed by emergent technologies. Amongst others, topics include surrogacy, abortion, and assisted reproductive technologies.

Confirmed speakers include: Julie McCandless (LSE), Kirsty Horsey (University of Kent), and Rita D’Alton Harrison (Royal Holloway). Programme to follow soon:

HEAL website: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/heal/news/events/2016/07/04-reproductive-futures.page? HEAL blog: https://healuos.wordpress.com

Kindly supported by the Socio-Legal Studies Association and the Centre for Health Ethics and Law at the University of Southampton.

This workshop will be held from lunchtime on Monday 4th of July to lunchtime on Tuesday 5th July 2016, at Jurys Inn in Southampton (Charlotte Place, SO14 0TB). There will also be a workshop dinner on Monday 4th July. Attendance is free (including lunch both days and the dinner), but numbers are limited. Recommendations for accommodation are available on request. Please register through the eventbrite website: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reproductive-futures-reproductive-choices-tickets-25195019983

PGR bursaries: We have available a limited number of bursaries for travel and subsistence up to £100 for postgraduate research students. If you wish to be considered for one of the bursaries please send a summary of up to 350 words explaining how this workshop will benefit your postgraduate research, and how this funding will support your attendance. Please register through Eventbrite and send your summary by email to Dr Claire Lougarre by 5pm on Monday 6th June: C.Lougarre@soton.ac.uk

Organising Committee and contact details: Chairs: Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning (N.Hammond-Browning@soton.ac.uk) and Dr Claire Lougarre (C.Lougarre@soton.ac.uk), Lecturers in Law, Southampton Law School, supported by Dr Elselijn Kingma and Dr Fiona Woollard, Lecturers in Philosophy, Philosophy Department, University of Southampton

Programme: Jury’s Inn, Charlotte Place, Southampton SO14 0TB

Monday 4 July 2016

12:00 – 12:30pm Registration

12:30 – 13:30 Two course lunch in Jury’s Inn restaurant for all attendees

13:30: Introduction

13:45 – 15:30 Session 1 – New Technologies and Technique

Dr Amel Alghrani (Liverpool)

Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning (Southampton)

Dr Cesar Palacios-Gonzalez (KCL)

15:30 – 15:45 Break

15:45 – 17:00 Session 4 – Reproductive Rights

Dr Claire Lougarre (Southampton)

Dr Elselijn Kingma (Southampton)

19:00 – Dinner for all attendees at The Blue Island, Above Bar Street, Southampton. Meet at 18:45 to depart on foot from the Jurys Inn


Tuesday 5 July 2016

8:30 – 9:00 Coffee

09:00 – 10:45 Session 3 – Surrogacy

Rita D’Alton Harrison (Royal Holloway)

Dr Kirsty Horsey (Kent)

Dr Julie McCandless (LSE)

10:45 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 12:15 Session 2 – Abortion

Dr Ruth Fletcher (Queen Mary)

Dr Sheelagh McGuinness (Bristol)

12:15 – 13:00 Session 4 – Reflective Session

Professor Marie Fox (Birmingham)

Thank you’s from Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning and Dr Claire Lougarre (Southampton)

13:00 – 14:00 Two course lunch in Jury’s Inn restaurant for all attendees and depart

Reproductive Futures Programme Final

Reproductive Futures Advert v2

New Book: Public Health Ethics: Cases Spanning the Globe

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2016 at 10:16 am

Dr. A.M. Viens co-authored two case studies with Maxwell Smith in the new book, Public Health Ethics: Cases Spanning the Globe (Springer), published this month.  One case study is on critical care triage in pandemics and the other case study is on mass evacuations for public health emergencies. This work is part of Dr. Viens’ on-going and larger research agenda on ethical and legal issues surrounding disasters and emergencies.

Dr. Drue H. Barrett, Lead of the Public Health Ethics Unit at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, is the lead editor on the project. The book is available in hardback, as well as electronically as a free, open-access publication

Book synopsis: “This book highlights the ethical issues and dilemmas that arise in the practice of public health. It is also a tool to support instruction, debate, and dialogue regarding public health ethics… There are few practical training resources for public health practitioners, especially resources which include discussion of realistic cases which are likely to arise in the practice of public health. This work discusses these issues on a case to case basis and helps create awareness and understanding of the ethics of public health care. The main audience for the casebook is public health practitioners, including front-line workers, field epidemiology trainers and trainees, managers, planners, and decision makers who have an interest in learning about how to integrate ethical analysis into their day to day public health practice.”            

Health Research Authority Research Ethics Committees – Vacancies for Lay Members in Hampshire

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2016 at 9:55 am

The role of the Health Research Authority is to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health research, and to streamline the regulation of research.

The Health Research Authority is responsible for NHS Research Ethics Committees. Our RECs are managed through the Research Ethics Service (RES). Research Ethics Committees consist of up to 15 members from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds. Our Committees review health and social research, check that people are provided with the information they need to help them decide whether they wish to take part, and provide an opinion as to whether the research is ethical.

We currently have vacancies for members of the public who are not healthcare professionals or who have recently retired from a health service background, and who are interested in thinking about issues from the perspective of a potential research participant and would like to develop knowledge of research ethics. HRA Research Ethics Committee members receive training in ethical review and have opportunities to debate challenging issues.

We are particularly seeking people from the Hampshire area with the following backgrounds:

 • Members of the general public

• Social care professionals (excluding social workers, who would be Lay)

• Sociologists

• Statisticians with no clinical trials experience

• Academic ethicists

• Lawyers

• Chaplains

• NHS administrative, technical and support staff (not involved in management of clinical trials)

 There are 68 RECs which meet across England. Positions are voluntary, but expenses are paid for attendance at REC meetings and training events, including travel and childcare costs if applicable. Committees meet on average for half a day per month, 10 times per year and you will need to be able to attend at least 6 meetings per year plus be available to participate in Sub-Committee business held by email correspondence between meetings.

 We have a positive approach to diversity and encourage applications from all sections of the community.

What people say about us:

 An Ethics Committee Member’s view

‘The interaction with sharp young minds, seeing that spark of understanding and spark of curiosity knowing you have helped shape that through engaging with and encouraging them, was particularly enjoyable’.

A Researcher’s view

‘I thought that the Committee had considered my application fairly, invested time in it, and raised useful comments regarding my study’.

 ‘The review from the Research Ethics Committee assured me that my project was ethically sound and gave me more confidence to approach NHS managers for their support’.

 ‘The questions raised by the REC contributed toward improving the proposal and we are very grateful for that’.

A Patient’s view

‘I am very pleased to have been part of something that has resulted in these drugs becoming licensed’.

An application pack is available to be downloaded from the HRA website:


Or you can contact Libby Watson, Deputy Regional Manager, at libby.watson1@nhs.net or on 02071048031 for further information.