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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

Dr Kathy Liddell & Dr Jeffrey Skopek


This research seminar allows Part II students to write a dissertation on a question at the intersection of law, medicine and the life sciences.  The scope of potential dissertation topics is broad, including (but not limited to) emerging medical technologies, issues at the beginning and end of life, medical treatment, public health, and medical research and innovation.  


Examples of previous dissertations:

Clinical Treatment 

'Losing It': A Foucauldian Account of the UK Law on Cognitive Decline and Capacity to Consent to Treatment’ (2011).

‘When, If at All, Should People Be Allowed to Override the Wishes of the Patient and/or Their Family, concerning Consent to, or Refusal of Treatment, When the Patient Is a Child?’ (2008).

‘Understanding the Rise Of ‘Medical Manslaughter’: Should Doctors Be Criminally Liable If They Negligently Cause the Death of a Patient?’ (2008).

‘Different Approaches to Testing Hospital Patients for HIV: A Critical Discussion of The legal, Ethical and Practical Considerations’ (2008).

‘Rethinking the All-Or-Nothing Approach to Loss of a Chance in Medical Negligence’ (2007).

Reproduction & Beginning of Life

‘The Maternal-Foetal Rights Conflict: Should the Foetus Be Protected from the Behaviour of the Mother?’ (2015).

‘Showing Surrogacy the Red Light: Is Surrogacy a Form of Human Trafficking?’ (2015).

‘Should Sex Selection for Social Reasons Be Prohibited, and If So, On What Grounds’ (2015).

‘Redefining Reproduction: The Ethical Status of In-vitro Derived Gametes’ (2011).

‘Decisions to Actively End a Neonate's Life in the Netherlands: A Critical Assessment of the Legal Criteria’ (2008).


‘To What Extent Do Dworkin’s Arguments from Beneficence and Autonomy Defend the Moral Authority of Advance Directives?’ (2015).

Medical Research and Emerging Technologies

‘An Analysis of the Regulatory Framework for Anonymised Patient Information’ (2015).

‘Neuroscience and the Law: Justifying Criminal Punishment in the Absence of Libertarian Free Will’ (2015).

‘Compensating Harms Associated with Clinical Trials’ (2011).

‘Transplanting Identity: The Need for Unique Regulation of Face Transplants’ (2008).

‘Should Volunteers in Medical Research Be Paid According to Risk?’ (2008).

‘Preimplantation Genetic Selection and Procreative Autonomy: A Road to Designer Babies and Discrimination or Just Another Exercise of Parental Choice’ (2004).

NHS Organisation and Public Health

‘Preparing for the Next Pandemic Influenza: The Legal Position of NHS Trusts’ (2015).

'Should the NHS Be More Open to Approving Individual Funding Requests in Which the Exceptionality Criteria Is Proven by Evidence Obtained as a Result of the Patient Having (Previously) Funded the Treatment outside the NHS?’ (2015).

‘A Critical Analysis of Oncology Resource Allocation within the NHS’ (2008)

Other Controversies

‘Why the UK Won’t Wake Up to the Science of Sleep: A Critical Analysis of the Inadequacy of Protection Afforded by the Working Time Regulations 1998’ (2015).

‘Compulsory Health Checks, Female Genital Mutilation and Rights Balancing at the ECHR’ (2015).

‘In Defence of Legalised Kidney Sales: Three Options’ (2011).