4 December 2018
BBC Radio 4, Sunday 9 December 2018, 17.00 GMT or via BBC Sounds
This programme features KCL MA Medical Ethics and Law alumnae Victoria Butler-Cole and Sarah Barclay, co-founder (with alumnus Dr Simon Meller) and Director of the Medical Mediation Foundation.
How and when should the decision be made to end the life of a critically ill child?
The BBC’s Medical Correspondent Fergus Walsh reflects on the legal and ethical challenges raised by controversial and emotionally charged cases, like those of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans.
Their impact reverberated around the world, prompting protests on the streets, an outpouring of emotion on social media and the vilification of hospital staff. Even the US President and the Vatican got involved. Though these cases were very different, in each the parents were locked in a bruising battle with the hospital for the right to make decisions about how and where to treat their children.
The current legal test focuses on what is in the child’s best interests and, in court, the hospital, the parents and the child all have separate legal representation.
But the potentially adversarial nature of the court system and the presence of ferocious debate on social media means these intensely difficult decisions can became even more emotionally charged.
The programme examines whether it’s possible to improve the current system, to prevent more cases reaching court and whether the legal process itself could be improved.
13 November 2018
Thursday 24 January 2019, Edinburgh.
With speakers ALASTAIR MacDONALD (the second person, and first male, ever to be born who was conceived via IVF) and his mother GRACE MacDONALD (one of the original fertility patients treated by the pioneers of IVF)
Alongside other speakers including:
- SALLY CHESHIRE (Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority)
- PROFESSOR COLIN DUNCAN (Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Science at the University of Edinburgh)
- DR KAY ELDER (Senior Research Scientist at Bourn Hall Clinic, previously worked with the pioneers of IVF)
- DR ABHA MAHESHWARI (Clinical Lead in Reproductive Medicine at the Aberdeen Fertility Centre)
Chaired by PROFESSOR ALLAN PACEY (Trustee at the Progress Educational Trust and Professor of Andrology at the University of Sheffield),
See https://www.progress.org.uk/40yearsofivf for details.
13 November 2018
Wednesday 5 December 2018, London.
With Keynote Addresses by SIR JAMES MUNBY (former President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales) and SALLY CHESHIRE (Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority)
See https://www.progress.org.uk/conference2018 for details including attendance fees and how to book your place.
- SOCIETY MARCHES ON: KEY SOCIAL CHANGES
- SCIENCE MARCHES ON: KEY SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENTS
- A PATCHWORK OF POLICIES: ASSISTED CONCEPTION AND EMBRYO RESEARCH IN EUROPE
- THE FUTURE OF FERTILITY LAW: WHAT MUST CHANGE AND WHEN?
Confirmed speakers and chairs include:
- DR KATHY NIAKAN (Group Leader of the Francis Crick Institute‘s Human Embryo and Stem Cell Laboratory, and the first researcher licensed by the UK regulator to edit the genomes of human embryos)
- BARONESS RUTH DEECH (Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords)
- PROFESSOR JOHN HARRIS (Emeritus Professor of Bioethics at the University of Manchester, and author of books including Enhancing Evolution: The Ethical Case for Making Better People and How to Be Good: The Possibility of Moral Enhancement)
- PROFESSOR EMILY JACKSON (Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science)
- DR ANDY GREENFIELD (Programme Leader in Mammalian Sexual Development at MRC Harwell)
- BARBARA CONNOLLY QC (Barrister at 7 Bedford Row)
- PROFESSOR CHRISTIAN DE GEYTER (Chair of ESHRE‘s European IVF Monitoring Steering Committee)
- PROFESSOR ELLIE LEE (Director of the University of Kent‘s Centre for Parenting Culture Studies)
- JAMES LAWFORD DAVIES (Partner at Hempsons)
- NATALIE GAMBLE (Founder of Natalie Gamble Associates and of Brilliant Beginnings)
- TIM CHILD (Medical Director of Oxford Fertility)
- SATU RAUTAKALLIO-HOKKANEN (Chair of Fertility Europe)
- DR EVAN HARRIS (former MP who scrutinised the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008)
- ERIKA TRANFIELD (Director of Pride Angel)
- NATALIE SMITH (Chair of Surrogacy UK‘s Working Group on Surrogacy Law Reform)
- PROFESSOR ROBERT SPACZYNSKI (Vice President of the Polish Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians)
- DR KYLIE BALDWIN (Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Health at De Montfort University)
- DR ROGER HIGHFIELD (Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group)
- FIONA FOX (Chair of Trustees at the Progress Educational Trust and Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre)
- SARAH NORCROSS (Director of the Progress Educational Trust)
The conference is supported by the Anne McLaren Memorial Trust Fund, the Edwards and Steptoe Research Trust Fund and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (silver sponsors), and by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, the European Sperm Bank, JMW Solicitors, the London Women’s Clinic and Vitrolife (bronze sponsors).