Job: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Judging Values and Participation in Mental Capacity Law at Birkbeck

3 December 2018

Location: London
Salary: £37,912 to £43,333
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 30th November 2018
Closes: 1st January 2019
Job Ref: 372209

The post is for a fixed-term Postdoctoral Researcher for 2.8 years who specialises in socio-legal studies and mental capacity law, to join the AHRC-funded project, Judging Values and Participation in Mental Capacity Law, located at the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London. This exciting project is undertaking a socio-legal, philosophical, and policy examination of current judicial deliberation in mental capacity decisions, and is led by Dr. Camillia Kong (ICPR), with co-Investigators Professor John Coggon (Bristol), Professor Penny Cooper (ICPR), and Dr. Michael Dunn (Oxford).

You will:

  • Ideally be able to demonstrate specialist expertise and academic training in mental capacity law, judicial deliberation, and/or or socio-legal approaches that will support a philosophical and policy-oriented programme of work
  • Possess expertise in, or experience with, empirical studies, with a focus on the application of qualitative methodologies in legal research in particular
  • Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with a proven ability to work collaboratively as part of an interdisciplinary research team
  • Have the ability to work independently to manage academic research and associated activities, including the ability to work towards deadlines
  • Possess a growing international research profile, demonstrated by academic publications in leading national and international journals, or be able to show clear potential to be able to produce such publications

You will be responsible for:

  • Conducting and assisting in interviews with judges and legal advocates, as well as undertaking qualitative data analysis for the project
  • Contributing to legal and philosophical analysis to be conducted within the project, depending on your specific skills and disciplinary background
  • Collaborating closely with project investigators in contributing to the ambitious programme of mental capacity law research around central project themes which span from legal jurisprudence, judicial deliberation, value theory, and legal policy
  • Advancing this programme of work by initiating and developing independent research papers for journal publication around central project themes
  • Contributing to project network activities, including symposiums with advisory group members, strategic meetings with international collaborative partners / centres, and the project conference
  • Representing the Judging Values project at external conferences, meetings, and seminars
  • Contribute to the intellectual life at the ICPR by attending relevant meetings and seminars
  • Any other duties commensurate with the grade and level of responsibility of this post, for which the post holder has the necessary experience and/or training

Grade 7 of the College’s London Pay Scale which is £37,912 rising to £43,333 per annum


Consultation: GMC Consent guidance

26 November 2018

We’re consulting on our revised Consent guidance which outlines what doctors should consider when discussing treatment and care with patients. 

The updated guidance focuses on the importance of communication, personalised conversations, and doctors and patients making decisions about treatment and care together.

We’ve restructured it and made it clearer, so it’s easier for doctors to apply in practice. And we’ve provided more advice, including steps to follow when making decisions in different circumstances.

The guidance reflects the law, policy and healthcare settings in all four countries of the UK.

Tell us what matters to you

The consultation is open until Wednesday 23 January 2019 and there are several ways you can take part.

Accessing the consultation in other languages and formats

We can provide paper copies and other formats (such as large print) on request. The consultation documents are also available in Welsh.

Please email marketingcommunications@gmc-uk.org for further details.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the review or consultation please contact our Consent review team on gmcconsent@gmc-uk.org or 020 7189 5404.

If you’d like to submit a consultation response in hardcopy please send it to: Consent Review Team, General Medical Council, 350 Euston Road, London NW1 3JN.

What have we done so far?

We’ve gathered evidence through our own and commissioned research as well as engagement, to understand what issues to address.

We’ve worked with our Task and Finish group who provided expert input from a legal, medical, health, social care and patient perspective to review the evidence.

We’ve now redrafted our guidance to:

  • focus on how doctors can support patient decision making and involve patients in decisions about their care as far as possible
  • focus on the importance of doctors finding out what is meaningful for their patients and helping them explore the different options
  • include practical suggestions and examples to explain how the principles apply
  • make it more accessible by referring less to the law and more to the principles on which the law is based.

Why are we updating the guidance?

Good consent practice is at the heart of the doctor-patient relationship, but we know it’s sometimes challenging to get this right. Our guidance sets out good practice principles for making decisions about care, from the treatment of minor conditions to major interventions with significant risks or side effects.

Since it was last published in 2008, there have been shifts in the legal, policy and workplace environments. Doctors are telling us that increasing pressures and demands on their practice can make it difficult to seek and record a patient’s consent in line with our guidance and the law.

We want to support doctors and patients to have meaningful conversations and to make shared decisions. Therefore we have updated the guidance to ensure that it is still clear and helpful, relevant to doctors’ needs, and consistent with the law.

We want the final guidance to be shaped by doctors on the medical front line, patients, and healthcare organisations. It’s therefore vital that we hear as many views as possible.


Essay Contest: Decision-Making Capacity: Who’s to say?

29 September 2017

SOWERBY ESSAY CONTEST – 2017

The law uses the concept of decision-making capacity (or competence) to determine whether a person’s decision to, for example, refuse medical treatment, should be respected. If a person can express a decision, understand the relevant information, appreciate how it applies to his case, and use and weigh it in deliberation, then he has decision-making capacity, and the refusal should be respected as his to make, and otherwise not.

Can one person judge of another person whether she has decision-making capacity without prejudice? For example, can we judge whether a patient has decision-making capacity without resting on the fact that their preference not to be treated is not what we judge to be in their best interests, or not what we think we would have wanted had we been in their shoes? Why or why not?

Eligibility: Students and alumni of all University of London schools, including undergraduate and postgraduate, and medical and professional schools.

Prize: £500

Length: less than 4,000 words

Due: 18 October 2017

Submission: Prepare your paper for blind review by making sure your name does not appear anywhere in the pages of the file, and send it to philandmed [at] kcl.ac.uk

Essays will be assessed by a panel of six distinguished academics from the University of London, chaired by Dr Tuomas Pernu.

The prize will be awarded at the Third Annual Sowerby Lecture in Philosophy and Medicine on 9 November 2017 which will be given by Dr Gareth Owen.


Lecture: Richard Huxtable on ‘A Balance of Opposites? Ethics, Judges and Minimally Conscious Patients’

18 July 2017

2017 Institute of Medical Ethics Public Lecture

Tuesday September 26th, 2017, 17.00 for 17.45, followed by a drinks reception at 19.15.

Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Rd, London, NW1 2BE

Richard Huxtable, Professor of Medical Ethics & Law, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Ethics in Medicine at the University of Bristol, will give a talk titled “‘A Balance of Opposites? Ethics, Judges and Minimally Conscious Patients’

This event is free but you must register.

 


Job: Health & Welfare/Court of Protection Solicitor, NHS Wales

7 July 2017

We are looking for a talented and committed solicitor to work predominantly within our Complex Patient Team which deals with disputes in some of the most complex and sensitive clinical scenarios.

The Team advises and represents the NHS in Wales in the Court of Protection which includes cases involving Serious Medical Treatment and Deprivation of Liberty. The Team also advises on Mental Health legislation and works closely with our Inquest team in cases involving death in detention.

This is a genuinely rare opportunity to join a team that works closely with its clients at the front line of clinical practice where legal and ethical problems are common.

You will be part of an experienced team that offers exciting opportunities not available elsewhere in Wales.

The ability to speak Welsh is desirable for this post

Closing date – 6th August 2017

For further details / informal visits contact:
Gavin Knox [KCL MA MEL alumnus]
02920 903713


Lecture: Mary Donnelly on Rebalancing Empowerment and Protection: Evolving Legal Frameworks for Impaired Capacity

28 November 2016

Thursday 8 December 2016, 18:00 – 19:00

UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Current Legal Problems series

Speaker: Professor Mary Donnelly (University College Cork)
Chair: TBC
Accreditation: This event is accredited with 1 CPD hour with the SRA and BSB

Admission: Free, Registration required (here)

The past decade has seen a notable evolution in the normative context for law’s response to people with impaired capacity. Driven by a range of factors, including greater recognition of human rights (perhaps most notably through the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and better empirical understandings, a rhetoric of inclusion and empowerment has replaced traditional approaches centred on control and protection.  Law reform projects in various jurisdictions (Australia, Canada, Ireland, Northern Ireland) have attempted to develop legislative frameworks to give effect to these emerging norms. Yet there is also another narrative. Concerns are expressed (perhaps most commonly by frontline professionals: healthcare professionals, lawyers, social workers and sometimes by family members of people with impaired capacity) that something important may be lost where there is a devaluation of protective norms. There is also a dissonance between the abstract ideals of human rights on the one hand and on the other, the complex corporeal, economic, family, phenomenological and social context within which people with impaired capacity, and those who care for/about them, live.

Tensions between empowerment and protection norms and between abstract, rights-based and contextual, evidence-based policy drivers are inevitable by-products of law’s evolution and they play a necessary role in the development of the law in this area. Rebalancing is a process and not a once-off event. And, of course, as revealed by even a minimal consideration of earlier legal responses to impaired capacity, there is a good deal of room for evolutionary wrong-turns and for unexpected and undesirable consequences. Placing current debates about how law should respond to impaired capacity within an evolutionary context, this paper identifies and evaluates the range of ways in which contemporary tensions may be resolved.

About the speaker:

Mary Donnelly is a Professor in the Law School, University College Cork. Her books include Consent: Bridging the Gap Between Doctor and Patient (Cork: Cork University Press, 2002); Healthcare Decision-Making and the Law: Autonomy, Capacity and the Limits of Liberalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) and The Law of Credit and Security (Dublin: Round Hall Thomson Reuters, 2011; 2nd ed, 2015) and she is co-author of End-of-Life Care: Ethics and Law (Cork University Press, 2011) and Consumer Law: Rights and Regulation (Dublin: Round Hall Thomson Reuters, 2014) and co-editor of Ethical and Legal Debates in Irish Healthcare: Confronting Complexities (Manchester University Press, 2016).

She has collaborated on projects funded by the European Commission, the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the National Children’s Office and the Irish Hospice Foundation and has acted as consultant for public agencies and legal firms.  She is/has been a member of the Expert Group to review the Mental Health Act 2001 and of the HSE National Consent Advisory Group and the HSE National Assisted Decision Making Steering Group.


Radio: iPM on a patient with capacity having her life-sustaining pacemaker deactivated

27 September 2016

Last year, the Radio 4 programme iPM ran an item about an adult patient with capacity seeking to have her pacemaker deactivated:

“Who can make decisions about a pacemaker once it’s in my body?’ – After a listener got in touch with an ethical dilemma, we explore what the UK law says about switching off pacemakers and other implanted medical devices.”

Last week, the programme updated the story with details of the deactivation and eventual death of the patient.

“The listener who fought for her pacemaker to be turned off and the US doctor who helps to stop his dying patients’ hearts.”