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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

Many challenging questions of law and ethics arise in the delivery of medical care.  There are contested periods of life that present particularly thorny issues, such as the beginning and end-of-life, and reproductive years.  But even routine appointments with medical professionals for diagnosis and treatment raise hard questions about professional responsibilities to share information and act with appropriate expertise.


In some cases, the challenges arise from the need to balance competing values.  For example, the protection of patient autonomy through informed consent requirements can run counter to patient well-being (e.g., when teenagers refuse medical treatment) or hinder medical research (e.g., when access to valuable patient data is refused).


In other cases, the challenges arise from controversies about what a given principle or value requires.  For example, it is unclear whether risk of harm should be an actionable harm; whether privacy rights are violated by technologies of data processing; and whether diagnostic uncertainty must be disclosed for a patient to give meaningful informed consent.


Examples of LML research in this field can be found below:


Consent and Capacity


C Cox and Z Fritz, ‘Presenting complaint: use of language that disempowers patients’ (2022) 377 BMJ e066720.

C Cox and Z Fritz, ‘What is in the toolkit (and what are the tools)? How to approach the study of doctor–patient communication’ (2023) 99(1172) Postgraduate Medical Journal 631-638.

C Milo, ‘Informed consent: an empty promise? A comparative analysis between Italy and England, Wales and Scotland’ (2022) 22(2) Medical Law International 147.

C Milo, ‘The role of knowledge and medical involvement in the context of informed consent: a curse or a blessing? (2022) 22 Medicine Health Care and Philosophy 1.

B Sloan, C Fenton-Glynn, ‘Parental Responsibility and Evolving Capacities’ in C Fenton-Glynn and B Sloan (eds) Parental Guidance, State Responsibility and Evolving Capacities: Article 5 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Brill Nijhoff, 2021).


Diagnosis and treatment

K Liddell, J M Skopek, I Le Gallez, Z Fritz, ‘Differentiating Negligent Standards of Care in Diagnosis’ (2022) 30(1) Medical Law Review 33-59.


Beginning of Life


J Dadiya, ‘Visas for Surrogates: Acknowledging Familial Bonds between Surrogates, Intended Parents, and Children,’ (2022) Oxford Human Rights Hub, online.

J Dadiya, ‘Medical need and medicalisation in funding assisted reproduction: A right to health analysis’ (2022) 22(3) Medical Law International 249.

C Fenton-Glynn, ‘International Surrogacy Arrangements: A Survey’ (2022), online access on the Cambridge Family Law Website.

C Fenton-Glynn, "Outsourcing Ethical Dilemmas: Regulating International Surrogacy Arrangements" (2016) 24(1) Medical Law Review 59.

N Lowe and C Fenton-Glynn (eds) (2023) Research Handbook on Adoption Law (Edward Elgar Publishing).

S Martin, ‘Abortion and the “Right to Choose”: The Consumer Rights Implications of Roe v Wade’ in Garder and Ramsay (eds) (2023) Landmark Cases in Consumer Law (Bloomsbury)

J M Scherpe, N Espejo-Yaksic, and C Fenton-Glynn (eds) (2023) Surrogacy in Latin America. (Intersentia).


End of Life

S Martin, ‘The right to life at the end of life: A note on Mortier v Belgium App No. 78017/17’ (2023) Medical Law International.

C Fenton-Glynn, "Child Euthanasia: A right too far?" (2016) 46(12) Family Law.