skip to content

Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

On Thursday 4 November 2021, Dr Caterina Milo will deliver a Cambridge Socio-Legal Group Webinar on 'Covid-19 Vaccines and the Role of Informed Consent'.

Since the temporary authorisation for the supply and use of COVID-19 vaccines, from the Department of Health and Social Care and Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, a new phase of the pandemic started in the UK. The latter was surely marked by a greater sense of hope and expectation. However, this new phase hasn’t eradicated completely public hesitancy towards vaccines. Mistrust, unwillingness or uncertainty regarding COVID-19 vaccines are still present amongst the public. This paper explores how Informed consent (IC) can offer a valid response to the phenomenon of vaccine hesitancy and more broadly to the safeguarding of patients’ autonomy. IC is a key patients’ right that ensures that every medical decision is the result of a shared decision-making process between clinicians and patients upon relevant and scientifically accurate information. In the context of COVID-19 vaccines, this would entail clearer disclosure of information around  both known and unknown risks, together with benefits concerning for instance immunity and its length. Ultimately, this paper will claim that law and professional guidelines should more clearly provide a pathway to safeguard IC in the context of COVID-19, since this is a key tool to enhance both patients’ autonomy and trust towards vaccines.

Dr Milo is College Lecturer and Fellow in Law at Robinson College. She earned her Ph.D. in Law (Health Law) in 2021 from Durham Law School, with a project funded by the AHRC.  She also holds a MA in Bioethics and Medical Law (St Mary’s University-Twickenham), a 5-year master degree in Law (University of Siena, Law School, Italy), a Diploma in Legal Studies (University of Oxford, Faculty of Law).  Before joining Robinson she was Lecturer at Exeter Law School in Medical Law, Tort and EU Law.  She is  Fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK. Since 2019, she is Research Scholar at the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights (Rome), where she co-directs the research group 'Dignity and Equity in women's health issues'.  Her research interests lie in the area of Health Law and ethics, particularly informed consent, doctor-patient relationship and reproductive ethics.

The event will not be recorded. For more information and to register to attend, click here.

Thursday, 4 November, 2021 - 13:00 to 14:00
Event location: 
Online, via Zoom.