Call for abstracts: European Understandings of Advance Decision-making

26 May 2017

12th September 2017 University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Keynote speakers

Professor John Ellershaw (Professor of Palliative Medicine, University of Liverpool)

Professor Rob Heywood (Professor of Medical Law, University of East Anglia).


This interdisciplinary conference marks the culmination of the ESRC research seminar series ‘Towards a European understanding of advance decision-making: a comparative, interdisciplinary approach’.

Advance medical decision-making occurs in a range of situations, encompassing decisions relating to end-of-life treatment, typically focussed upon refusals of life-sustaining treatment; advance decisions concerning physical health care unrelated to end of life care, including for example birth plans which typically include positive requests for treatments (e.g. an epidural) as well as refusals of treatment; and ADs relating to psychiatric treatment, where individuals with severe mental illness set out their treatment preferences. In each of these situations an advance decision can act as an important mechanism for conveying precedent autonomy, bridging the occurrence of incapacity and providing a clear statement of how the patient wants to be treated, or more usually what treatment the patient does not wish to be given.  Anticipatory decision-making offers great promise and could make a substantial contribution to the empowerment of those lacking capacity, but there are important asymmetries between anticipatory and contemporaneous decision-making that could potentially undermine both the legal and moral authority of an advance decision. The Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (1997) requires that account is taken of a patient’s previously expressed wishes (Article 9), demanding at least a minimal consideration of precedent autonomy. A number of European jurisdictions have gone further, seeking to clarify the standing of advance decisions and to promote legal certainty by providing statutory recognition of the importance and binding nature of at least some advance decisions.

The conference will consider European legislative responses to anticipatory decision-making, seeking to explore those responses within the practical contexts within which advance decision-making occurs.  We are particularly interested in linking legal discourse with policy and practice discourses and the (dis)connect between law, practice and professional guidance.

The conference is generously funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC).



This conference is part of the research seminar series’ Towards a European understanding of advance decision-making: a comparative, interdisciplinary approach’ funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.  It is being organised by the grant holders, Dr Samantha Halliday, Prof. Jörg Richter and Prof Gillian Hundt.



Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to S.Halliday[at] by 15th June 2017.  Applicants should expect to hear from the convenors by 20th June 2017.



Registration for the conference is free, but compulsory. Numbers are limited and early registration is highly recommended. Please register via Eventbrite: Bursaries will be available to fund travel and accommodation costs for PhD students – please email S.Halliday[at] if you wish to apply for financial support.  The conference is aimed at both academic and professional attendees and will be CPD accredited.

Workshop: Sex selection – Changes in Australian policy

22 May 2017

9 June, 2017, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics (CAVE) and Sydney University Centre for Values, Ethics, and Law in Medicine (VELiM) are hosting a workshop on the latest policy about sex selection in Australia on 9 June. All are welcome to attend but please register for catering purposes.


*   Dr Tereza Hendl (University of Sydney, Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine)
*   Prof Wendy Rogers (Macquarie University, Department of Philosophy)
*   Dr Sascha Callaghan (University of Sydney, Sydney Law School)
*   Dr Kate Gleeson (Macquarie University, Macquarie Law School)
*   Morgan Carpenter (Organisation Intersex International Australia)
*   Dr Tamara Browne (Deakin University, School of Medicine)

Preliminary Program:

10:00 – 10:10: Tereza Hendl and Wendy Rogers, Opening Remarks

10:10 – 10:30: Wendy Rogers, “What’s changed on sex selection since 2007 Guidelines”

10:30 – 11:15: Sascha Callaghan, “Sex selection and the law”

11:15 – 11:45: Morning tea

11:45 – 12:30: Tereza Hendl, “2017 Guidelines, sex selection and gender equity”

12:30 – 13:15: Kate Gleeson, “Sex selection using IVF and abortion from feminist legal perspectives”

13:15 – 14:00: Lunch

14:00 – 14:45: Morgan Carpenter, “Prenatal genetic diagnosis and its implications for children with intersex variations”

14:45 – 15:00: Tamara Browne, “Is gender disappointment a mental disorder?”

16:00 – 16:30: Panel discussion

Contact: All are welcome but please register with Tereza Hendl tereza.hendl[at]

For information about other events, please visit:

Workshop: Does Dignity Help in Thinking about Paternalism?’

15 May 2017

Monday 29th May 2017, Edinburgh.

Every year during the Spring term the Edinburgh Legal Theory Research Group holds the Legal Theory Spring Festival (also known as Spring Workshops), which is composed by a series of thematic workshops organised by staff and students of the University of Edinburgh.

The 2017 Legal Theory Festival is scheduled for May 29th-June 1st, 2017. The festival is open to all and attendance is free – but places are limited and registration is required.

Full details about the Festival can be found here.

The workshops include the following:

Monday 29th May 2017:  Barbara Levenbook (NCSU) – ‘Does Dignity Help in Thinking about Paternalism?’
Venue: Old College, Elder Room 3:30pm – 5:30pm

Register via Eventbrite here.

Writing competition: Do the right thing

6 May 2017

British Medical Association Writing Competition

Submission deadline: Friday 7 July 2017

Do the right thing? Why wouldn’t you? Of course, just like you always tell the absolute truth, and hand in that pound coin you found to the police station.

Perhaps you have faced a dilemma where both options had a claim to be ‘right’? Or where neither felt right. Or where the ‘right thing’ – morally, legally or professionally – may have done more harm than good.

Another way to approach the topic is like this – if you failed to do the ‘right thing’, why? Lack of time, resources, insight, courage?


Open to BMA members only. Read the 2016 winning stories or details on terms and conditions and how to enter, here.

Play: Bodies by Vivienne Franzmann

20 February 2017


“We should have brought a gift.”

“We’ve brought a gift. It’s called 22 thousand pounds.”

Purchased from Russia. Developed in India. Delivered to the UK.

A global transaction over nine months that offers ‘a lifetime of happiness’ to all involved.

“What do you think will happen to a baby girl in India that nobody wants?”

Vivienne Franzmann’s previous work at the Royal Court includes Pests and The Witness. Her new play Bodies will be directed by Jude Christian (Lela & Co.).

Wed 5 Jul – Sat 12 Aug

Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court Theatre

Tickets from £12. General booking opens on Wed 22 Feb at 10am.

Conference: Too Much Medicine

9 February 2017

April 19-20, 2017, University of Oxford, Oxford.

Too Much Medicine: Exploring the Relevance of the Philosophy of Medicine to Medical Research and Practice 

Confirmed speakers:

Philosophers of medicine

Professor Alexander Bird (Bristol, UK)

Jeremy Howick (Oxford, UK)

Medical researchers

Professor Lisa Schwartz and Professor Steve Woloshin (Dartmouth, US)

Professor Jeffrey Aronson (Oxford)

Call for Papers

This cross-disciplinary conference will explore the emerging problem of ‘too much medicine’ (TMM) including overdiagnosis and overtreatment. TMM is likely to benefit from an interdisciplinary perspective for several reasons. One cause of TMM is arguably ‘disease mongering’ where for example risk factors are interpreted as diseases and treated as such. This is related to the philosophical problem of defining disease—without a clear definition of what counts as diabetes or cancer, harmful and costly tests and treatments can be introduced unchecked. Also, the problem of TMM provides a platform for broader issues. For example it highlights the importance of considering values alongside evidence—some might value being given a test even without an improved clinical outcome. The conference seeks to address the problem of TMM issue from an interdisciplinary perspective, especially the interface between medicine and philosophy. Papers engaging with philosophical aspects of the Too Much Medicine question are invited, with potential topics including: the role of evidence based medicine in the Too Much Medicine question,  the values underlying the problem, and unique aspects of the problem in particular branches of medicine. See website for more details:

Selected papers from the conference in a special issue of the Journal for Applied Philosophy.

How to submit an abstract

We welcome abstracts from philosophers of medicine with ideas that may be relevant to medicine, and medical researchers/practitioners with ideas that may be relevant to philosophy are encouraged to submit abstracts.

Abstracts (no more than 200 words) to be sent no later than 28 February 2017 to: philmedlab[at] Do not include your name on the document to permit blinded review. Please be sure to emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of your talk.

We will complete reviewing the abstracts by 6 March 2017.

How to register if you would like to attend without giving a talk

The cost of the conference is £50 for two days and includes all talks, morning/afternoon tea and coffee, and lunch.

Please reserve your place by sending an email to: philmedlab[at] no later than 21 March 2017.


Two £200 bursaries are available for UK students (including graduate students)

PhD studentship: Empirical Bioethics

24 January 2017

Funded Studentship (3.5 years), Ethics and Society unit, Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick.

At short notice a funded PhD studentship has been made available at the University of Warwick, under the supervision of Professor Heather Draper.

The closing date for applications is 30th January 2017. Interviews will be held on 2nd February at the University of Warwick. The successful candidate will be expected to start 2nd October 2017 and will be located at Warwick Medical School. 

Project area – any topic that aligns with Professor Draper’s research interests, which include ethical issues arising from:

  • Assistive technology, social robotics, digital health
  • Organ/tissue transplantation
  • Military medicine
  • Parental responsibilities and health
  • Public health, infectious disease, pandemics, humanitarian responses
  • Research ethics

Candidate must be willing to work using an empirical bioethics approach. Training will be given if necessary. Candidate should also be willing to assist with teaching as appropriate and contribute to responsibilities and academic life of the Ethics and Society unit. The first academic supervisor will be Professor Heather Draper, Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School.  

The applicant should have a degree directly related to bioethics e.g. philosophy, or medicine, social science or law with modules taken and passed in bioethics. A relevant masters degree would be a distinct advantage. 

This studentship is available to Home and EU students, according to fee status, that meet Research Council eligibility requirements based on residency.  The studentship includes full fees for the successful candidate along with a tax free maintenance allowance in line with Research Council UK standard stipend (£14,057 for the previous year 2015/16)

Please contact Professor Heather Draper for further information: h.draper[at] + 44 (0) 24761 50347

To formally apply, please send a copy of your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a one page personal statement to wms.rdcoord[at] clearly stating the studentship you are applying for.

The ad can be found here: