I am a philosopher who works in bioethics, medical ethics and social philosophy. My early career was as a cancer nurse where my work as the manager of a regional Adult Leukaemia and Bone-marrow Transplant unit provoked my interest in ethical issues such as end of life decisions, clinical research and the relationship between patients, families and health-professionals. Over the next few years I pursued my developing research interests in end of life and palliative care, professional communication and clinical ethics as a Macmillan lecturer at Liverpool University. During this time I researched my PhD which addressed the social and ethical implications of the concept of 'quality of life' as applied to healthcare. My first academic position at the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy at Manchester University focused on the delivery of clinical ethics education for health professionals within the North-West of England as well as conducting international research on the values of Palliative care in Europe as a member of the PALLIUM Project. I joined PEALS (the Policy Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre) in 2003 as a Senior Lecturer and Co-Director. Since joining PEALS my research interests have expanded to include medical technology, genomics, 'Big Data' for health care but I continue to have a strong interest in research ethics, end of life issues and the patient experience.
Co-Director of the Policy Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre (PEALS)
School Post-Graduate Research Director
Research Ethics Convenor for the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
Research Ethics Committee Member: Faculty of Medical Sciences and Faculty of Science Agriculture and Engineering
PhD Bioethics (Manchester)
B.A. (Hons) Philosophy
Lecturer in Bioethics, Institute of Medicine Law and Bioethics/ Centre for Social ethics and Policy, School of Law, University of Manchester.
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, University of Manchester. Lecturer in Nursing (Feb. 1998 – Oct 1999).
Department of Nursing, University of Liverpool: Macmillan Lecturer in Cancer Nursing (1993 –1998).
Bioethics/ Medical Ethics and social philosophy. As a philosopher working within medical ethics and bioethics I am interested in the relationship and constructive contributions of philosophical and empirical approaches to interdisciplinary research. Central themes in my work include; the nature and scope of autonomy, professional power and responsibility, personal choice and best interests, ethics and governance within medical/ health-care practices and the life sciences. These themes have been the basis of my research within substantive areas such as end of life care and decisions, clinical and research ethics and the burgeoning area of genomics as well as the technological advances within the medical life-sciences. My work has also addressed a wider range of issues such as the relationship between the life-sciences and art, science and society and the relationships and potential tensions between medicine in society and the emergence of social phenomena such as ‘recreational’ genomics and body ‘projects’ such as tattooing and body modification.
A wide selection of my publications can be downloaded from Newcastle University's 'e-prints service'.
Co-Investigator: Synthetic Portabolomics: Leading the way at the crossroads of the Digital and the Bio Economies. EPSRC (£4,267,554.91) May 2016-2021. P.I. Professor Nat Krasnagor. Recently awarded; I am leading the responsible innovation strand of the project.
Ethics advisor: Prof Julian Hughes (PI): Wellcome Trust SEED award: Art, Authenticity and Citizenship in Care Homes. £49,649.00 in collaboration with Helix Arts.
Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (Ethics) Domain Leader with Dr Pauline McCormack. Leading a multi-centre collaboration to explore the experience of patient public participation in the UK 100,000 Genomes Project.
Research: Completed Projects
I would be interested in supervising students in any of the following areas: Bioethics (philosophical or empirical) especially in areas related to clinical ethics, end of life issues, genetic technologies, research ethics, especially human tissues, 'Big data', 'lay' use of technologies for health/ enhancement/ aesthetic purposes.
Annie Featherstone (MD)
Rashmi Manning (MD)
Luke Martin (TRF Doctoral Fellow)
Henderson R.A. PhD (Completed 2008) “The problem of consent in paediatric gene-therapy research.” (With Bushby and Shakespeare)
Wienroth M PhD (Completed 2009) “The lowest common denominator? A Newcastle case study on the interdisciplinary nature of nano (bio)technology.” (With Haimes)
Skyrme S (2008-2011) “Research decisions: Living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. (With McLaughlin)
National Ethics Advisors' Panel Member, (NHS) Health Research Authority: National Research Ethics Service.
Visiting Scholar Aalborg University Denmark September 2015-January 2016.
IRDiRC – International Rare Diseases Research Consortium ethics working group member.
Chair: International Ethics Council, TREAT-NMD EU FP6 Network of Excellence (2008-2013)
Oversight Committee Member: TREAT-NMD Global Registry. (2008-)
NHS Research Ethics Committee Vice-Chair (Newcastle and North Tyneside 1 2008-2013)
University of Northumbria Research Ethics Committee Lay Member (2003 -2008)
Associate Editor: BMC Medical Ethics
Reviewer for the following Journals: Journal of Medical Ethics, Bioethics, Medicine Philosophy and Healthcare, Sociology, Reproductive Biomedicine Online, Human Fertility.
Oxford University Press
Open University Press
Assessor for National/ International Research Panels:
NSC Northern Ireland
EPSRC Peer Review College Member
I have been invited to give evidence or opinion to consultations organised by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Health Research Authority, European Medicines Agency.
Sociology of Health and Illness
MRes Bioethics Module
Genomics: Module leader - Ethics Module
CPD Modules and courses
Children's participation in research
Adults Lacking Capacity in Research
Social Care Research involving adults who lack capacity