Posts Tagged ‘HEAL UoS’

Honouring the Contributions of a Founder of Medical Law

In 2015, Conferences, Uncategorized on December 14, 2015 at 9:29 am

Prof. John Coggon

On Friday 4th December, Hazel Biggs, David Gurnham, and I attended a meeting arranged at the University of Manchester to honour the contribution that Margot Brazier has made to the field of Medical Law. It is hard to describe in full enough terms the impact that Margot has had on legal scholarship, understanding, and practice. And even if we limit ourselves to the major area of study that she has pioneered—medical law—it is hard to capture quite how much she has given.

Margot is the quintessential scholar. She excels in her research, as a teacher, and as a figure engaged in significant questions of public ethics and policy. Just consider the research interests of each of HEAL’s core members in the Law School—Hazel Biggs, John Coggon, David Gurnham, Caroline Jones, Natasha Hammond-Browning, Claire Lougarre, Remigius Nwabueze, and A.M. Viens. Not one of us works in a field to which Margot has not offered significant insights and understanding. To repeat a term already used, she is a true pioneer: as was recognised both on the day, and in a festschrift that has been published in her honour.

The conference was a fantastic tribute to Margot’s great work. Hazel was amongst those speaking, but all who attended were able to attest to how much we owe Margot. Lady Hale’s foreword to the festschrift, which was the basis of her speech at the conference, provides in duly flattering terms the essence of what it is that has led to Margot inspiring, encouraging, supporting, mentoring, and advising so many of us in the field. She is a fantastic scholar, whose work—and approach to life—is founded on an uncompromising and deep-seated humanity.

As a whole research centre, we at HEAL are delighted to report our participation in this landmark event, and to thank Margot more than wholeheartedly for having helped define this field of study: I am sure it is fair to say that at least I, if not others in the Centre, would not be here without Margot.

Happy New Year from HEAL!

In 2014, Gratuitous self-promotion, News on January 3, 2014 at 8:58 am

Having had a much needed break, things are starting to kick off again at HEAL. There are plenty of plans unfolding, both in the shorter and longer term. Whilst a month’s extension on the holiday would have been welcome, there’s a lot to be pleased to come back into work for.

There are various things happening in January. We are delighted to be playing host to Malcolm Oswald on the 8th, when we’ll hear his paper “Drawing the line between identifiable and anonymised health data: dilemmas for a conscientious public servant”. As is so often the case with questions in health policy, it will put some important matters under the spotlight with little by way of promise for helpful guidance from law itself.

The following week, both John Coggon and A.M. Viens are off to Germany for a meeting at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research at Universitat Bielefeld, on “Individual Liberty and Problems of Justice in Public Health Ethics”. It will be a fantastic chance for them to showcase some research on conceptual and normative problems at the intersection of ethics, law, and politics in health policy.

At the end of the month, when semester two starts, Natasha Hammond-Browning is picking up the Health Care Law teaching (to include a cameo from Caroline Jones!). The semester two teaching will be much more issue-led, as contrasted with the more foundational work on law and ethics in semester one. Natasha’s half of the semester will focus on beginning of life matters; questions central to her research interests. Towards the end of term, John will take over and speak to issues concerning the end of life, and public and global health.

We are pleased to announce too that John is becoming the new Editor-in-Chief of Health Care Analysis in January, and that A.M. Viens has joined the editorial board. It is great that this journal, with its strong focus on philosophy and health policy, now has a firm base in HEAL.

Looking a bit further forward, we’re very excited that two of HEAL’s PhD students, Alex Chrysanthou and Emma Nottingham , were successful in 2013 in leading a bid to host the Annual Postgraduate Bioethics Conference in Southampton. The conference theme is going to be “Health Law and Bioethics at the Frontiers of Innovation.” It promises to include some excellent keynotes and top quality papers on a range of bioethical questions.

The next hidden lawmakers event, on ‘Test Case Biographies’, funded by the British Academy and The Leverhulme Trust and run by Caroline, Hazel Biggs, and Jonathan Montgomery, is on the horizon this semester, as is a meeting organised by John along with Jurgen de Wispelaere on the theme: “Towards a Republic of Health? Freedom and Solidarity in Public Health and Health Policy.” A.M. Viens is also co-organising two events in the spring. The first is a workshop on Disaster Justice, co-hosted by European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) and the University of Copenhagen. The second is a symposium on the Ethics of Antimicrobial Resistance, hosted by the Brocher Foundation in Geneva.

We’re also between us looking forward to hosting more visitors, making more research visits , and to participating in further public consultation responses.

There’s a lot to look forward to in 2014!

HEAL: Winding Down for the Holidays

In 2013, Gratuitous self-promotion on December 17, 2013 at 8:38 am

The Centre for Health Ethics and Law (HEAL) has had a busy and exciting start to the 2013/14 academic year. In September we were delighted to welcome both Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning and Dr A.M. Viens to Southampton Law School. Natasha’s interests include stem cell research and start of life issues more broadly, especially with regard to regulatory bodies/frameworks and reform. A.M. Viens’ research focuses on ethics, legal theory and public policy, especially public health ethics and law, global health and emergency/disaster management. In light of our growing critical mass, HEAL’s structure has also evolved, with Dr A.M. Viens taking up the mantle of Deputy Director and Dr Caroline Jones the role of Director.

Over the course of the summer, our University website was entirely revamped; and our continued engagement on Twitter has led to both friendly banter on-line, and a lunchtime seminar on the A NHS Trust v DE [2013] case (the much-discussed Court of Protection decision authorising the sterilisation of a man with learning difficulties) accompanied by excellent tea. In all, since September, HEAL has hosted three other events, in addition to the second instalment of the ESRC funded seminar series on Criminalizing Contagion , led in Southampton by Dr David Gurnham.

Our first meeting in October focused on the Nuffield Council on Bioethics consultation on Children in Research. Our response can be read in full here:HEAL response to NCOB Children and Clinical Research ethical issues FINAL. In our concluding remarks, we made the following suggestion:
In terms of the provision of practical guidance in specific cases, where it is uncertain
which principles should apply, perhaps something akin to the intervention ladder used
in the NCOB (2009) Public Health: ethical issues report about how to approach
public health interventions would be useful to researchers. One could foresee some
framework that helps to guide researchers when encountering tough cases as to
whether they should be, e.g., seeking assent, whether or not they should be asking
parents for consent for sensitive research, etc.

We look forward to reading the NCOB’s Report on this complex area.

The next meeting was known colloquially as Jonathan Montgomery’s swansong for Southampton, as he moved on to pastures new at the Faculty of Laws, UCL. Jonathan’s paper on ‘What is Medical Law ‘for’?’, saw him present a wide-ranging argument that contained two challenges to key ideas about illegitimacy in medical law. The first questioned the practical nature of legal legitimacy more broadly, whilst the second looked at medical decision-making as compared with judicial decision-making. The paper forms part of an exciting, on-going debate with scholars including Professor José Miola at Leicester, and we’re looking forward to seeing it in print in due course.

In November, the Twittersphere met ‘real’-life, in a HEAL event dedicated to a discussion of A NHS Trust v DE, led by one of our 2006 vintage (i.e., graduates), Jess Connelly, and Dr Andreas Dimopoulos of Brunel Law School, whose different constructions of the use of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in DE led to an interesting and engaged discussion. One question we are left with is the very way that health care law asks us to conceptualise persons, their rights, and the means of exercising health rights; would the law be more ethically defensible if we treat all persons as if they always have capacity, and does it even make sense to do so?

Last but not least in terms of events, this month Dr Andrew McGee from QUT spoke on a perennial debate in health law and bioethics; the act/omission distinction and end-of-life decision-making. Andrew combines a conceptual and a common-sense moral approach to analysing the law’s framing of causation, and generates a defence of the principle underpinning lawful treatment withdrawal in cases such as Bland. His talk, which was very well received, generated a stimulating discussion, defending a position that many scholars find — in the words of Lord Mustill in the Bland case — “both morally and intellectually misshapen.”

Meanwhile Dr Remigius Nwabueze and Professor Hazel Biggs have been flying the HEAL flag further afield, with Remi enjoying his research leave in Canada, and Hazel speaking on the ‘Legal aspects of cluster randomized truals under EU and UK Law’ at a recent Health Research Authority event.

Finally, as this is a ‘gratuitous self-promotion’ post, it would be shameful to miss the opportunity to embarrass John Coggon re his commendation at the BMA book awards in September, and to remind folk that he has co-edited two books that have come out this Autumn: with Swati Gola, Global Health and International Community ; and a volume led by A.M. Viens and co-edited too with Anthony S. Kessel, Criminal Law, Philosophy and Public Health Practice. It hardly needs noting that each would be a perfect stocking filler …

On that note, we wish you all the very best of wishes for a wonderful festive season – we’ll be back in 2014!

Caroline Jones, John Coggon & A.M. Viens

Today’s HEAL meeting: John Coggon

In 2012, Meetings on November 22, 2012 at 10:36 am

Today at 3pm, Thursday 22 November, John Coggon will see speaking on ‘Elective Ventilation for Organ Donation’, in room 2055/4(Law). All welcome.

HEAL Workshop 2012: Hidden Lawmakers in Health Care Law

In 2012, Meetings, Testing project on September 17, 2012 at 5:00 am

Today and tomorrow (17-18 Sept) we are hosting the second HEAL workshop on Hidden Lawmakers in Health Care Law. Previous posts on this research project can be found here and here.

Health Care Law is a relatively new legal discipline that until recently has been developed significantly through litigation. In recent years it has become apparent that the process by which cases come to be litigated may be less haphazard than at first appears. We are seeking to instigate discussion and further investigation of the role of such ‘test’ cases in developing the substance of Health Care Law.

Drawing on contributions to a two day seminar in 2011, funded by the Modern Law Review, a number of different categories of hidden lawmakers have been identified. This seminar seeks to take that work further in relation to a category of hidden lawmakers that emerged from the seminar and related discussions as requiring further study and consideration. It concerns those who intervene in matters that have come before the courts, to seek to influence the outcomes of the cases. It will bring together a group of invited participants including academics, clinical and legal practitioners, members of interest groups, and participants in influential cases to discuss and debate key aspects of the litigation process, and provide a sounding board for further exploration. The seminar will involve presentations by key participants combined with round table debates and discussions, both formal and informal, amongst the delegates.

Speakers include: Ann Furedi, BPAS; Josephine Quintavalle, CORE; David Lock, QC, No5 Chambers; Prof Rachael Mulheron, Queen Mary, University of London; Prof Laurence Lustgarten, Visiting Fellow, ELAC, University of Oxford and Prof Jonathan Montgomery, University of Southampton. Further details can be found here.


Ethics in a complex world

In 2012, News on April 30, 2012 at 8:23 am

The HEAL team members (Hazel, Jonathan and Caroline)  are excited to be involved in a new Curriculum Innovation Programme module to be offered in 2012/13: ‘Ethics in a complex world’, enthusiastically led by Dr Julie Wintrup from Health Sciences, and joined by Prof Roger Ingham, Dr Angela Fenwick, Dr Alex Furr and Fiona Harvey – with news of further colleagues joining the team to be confirmed later this year!


For more information check us out here & on YouTube.   

This week’s meeting!

In 2012, Human tissue, Meetings on January 24, 2012 at 8:26 am

News of our first 2012 event: Friday, 27 January, at 11am in the staff club, Highfield campus – Hazel, Jonathan and I will be meeting to discuss the Welsh Assembly’s White Paper on a proposed opt-out system for organ donation in Wales. English & Welsh versions of this document and further details about the consultation can be found http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/healthsocialcare/organ/?lang=en

The consultation contains 9 questions, broadly about operational issues of such a system (eg. factors to be taken into account in determining whether someone ‘lives in Wales’, safeguards for those lacking capacity, age restrictions and possible equality impact), and closes on 31 January 2012.

Anyone who would like to join us for this discussion is most welcome.

Welcome to the HEAL UoS blog!

In Welcome on September 1, 2011 at 3:00 am

As it says in the ‘About‘ section, HEAL UoS ~ the Health Ethics and Law research group at the University of Southampton ~ was established in 2005 through the efforts of Prof. Jonathan Montgomery and Dr. Caroline Jones. We were delighted to have Prof. Hazel Biggs join us in 2009. Together the three of us run the network, arranging lunchtime seminars on topical subjects & occasional workshops, and liaising with colleagues and peers to discuss and coordinate responses to public consultations in the field of Health Care Ethics and Law, broadly conceived. We try to both foster and further develop collaborative relationships across the University and local NHS community.

This blog …

Our aim is to update this blog at least once weekly with posts under the historical ‘case of the week’ section (going on the dates of judgments – so we can’t promise a case every week!), policy developments and ‘in the news’ stories, both current and historical, and ‘events’ to keep you up-to-date with HEAL UoS’s activities. You can also follow us on Twitter:  @HEALUoS

nb. This blog does not contain legal advice, nor does it seek to provide such guidance – if you need legal advice and assistance please contact a qualified solicitor, and/or your union (if relevant) or local CAB office.