Course: Summer school – Doctors and lawyers dealing with death and dying

31 March 2017


Medical, legal and ethical challenges in end-of-life decision making. 3-7 July 2017

Preliminary Program Summer School

The Erasmus School of Law in collaboration with the department of Public Health of the Erasmus Medical Center (Erasmus MC) will host the international summer school ‘’Doctors and lawyers dealing with death and dying’’ in the first week of July 2017 in Rotterdam.

Many countries are currently engaged in a societal debate about the question whether to decriminalize or legalize some form of assistance in dying. In this multi-disciplinary one-week course, students will be introduced to the Dutch situation regarding Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act of 2002, the practice of medical decision making at the end of life, and current ethical, legal and medical challenges in comparative perspective with other European countries.

The aim of this course is to expand the knowledge of participants on medical, legal, and ethical issues at the end of life, and to reflect on these issues based on the facts and figures. The summer school is part of a broader Research Excellence Initiative (REI) ‘’Doctors and lawyers dealing with death and dying’’.


Conference: ‘A Right to Die?’ – Socio-legal perspectives at Keele University

6 March 2017

18th July 2017

School of Law, Keele University

Register here


10.00 Registration & Coffee

10.30 Welcome from Professor Alison Brammer, Head of Keele Law School

10:35 Introduction by Chair, Dr Sue Westwood

10.40 Keynote speaker: Professor Penney Lewis, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London (‘Assisted Dying and Legal Change’)

11.10 Q&A

11.20 – 12.30 Panel 1: Assisted Dying & Euthanasia – Current Debates. Chair: Dr Anthony Wrigley

Speaker (1) Dr Iain Brassington, University of Manchester (‘Overview of Debates’)

Speaker (2) Professor Richard Huxtable, University of Bristol (‘Euthanasia, Ethics and the Law’)

Speaker (3) Professor Alison Brammer, Keele University (‘Safeguarding Issues’)

12.20 Q&A

12.30 – 1.15 Lunch

1.15 – 2.40 Panel 2: Assisted Dying & Euthanasia – Views. Chair: Professor Marie-Andre Jacob

Speaker (1) Professor Clare Wilkinson, Bangor University (‘Why do we want the right to die?)

Speaker (2) Dr Glenys Caswell, University of Nottingham (‘Agency, death and dying in the UK’)

Speaker (3) Davina Hehir, Director of Legal Strategy and Policy, Dignity in Dying (‘Choice, control and access to services at the end of life: Advocating for the right to die’)

2.30 Q&A

2.40 – 3.00 Tea Break

3.00 – 4.10 Panel 3: Assisted Dying & Euthanasia – Subjectivities Chair: Dr Tsachi Keren-Perez

Speaker (1) Professor Celia Kitzinger, University of York (‘Court applications for withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration from patients in a permanent vegetative state: Family experiences’)

Speaker (2) Dr Sue Westwood, Keele University (‘Older lesbians, gay men and the “right to die” debate’)

Speaker (3) Professor Sue Read & Dr Sotirios Santatzoglou, Keele University (‘Exploring hospice care from the perspectives of people living with multiple sclerosis: An exploratory case study’)

4.00 Q&A

4.10 – 4.15 Closing comments (Chair)

4.15 Close

Conference: Managing crises at the end of life

21 June 2012

National Council for Palliative Care Conference: Managing crises at the end of life: Responsibility, welfare & choice

13 September 2012, London

There are still too many cases of professionals across settings feeling under-prepared and under-confident in dealing with end of life care crisis situations. The National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) regularly hears from people approaching the end of life, carers and former carers of the devastating impact this can have on people’s experiences of care, death and bereavement. As well as the emotional cost, crisis situations poorly managed have a financial cost too, particularly where they result in unnecessary emergency admissions to hospital.

This national conference will tackle some of these issues head-on. The conference will be a highly interactive plenary style discussion, with an expert panel and chair to facilitate. The panels will focus on:

— Maintaining hope and managing expectations

— Implanting and deactivating devices

— Attempting or not attempting resuscitation

The conference is aimed at:

— Frontline staff and end of life care providers

— Commissioners and decision-makers

— Academics from palliative care, medical ethics, law and beyond

— People with personal experience of end of life care

Radio: Truth-telling in palliative care

8 November 2011

One to One, BBC Radio 4, available indefinitely via the iPlayer

Evan Davis talks to Rob George, consultant in palliative care about truth-telling and disclosure in palliative care.

Play: The Tuesday Group

29 October 2011

A play by Sue Eckstein, our former colleague at the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, developed in conjunction with St Christopher’s Hospice

Chowen Lecture Theatre, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton BN1 9PS, easily accessible on foot from Falmer station, about an hour and fifteen minutes by train from London Victoria

18th and 19th November 2011 at 8pm

Tickets £5/£4 concessions, available from The Dome box office 01273 709 709 or Brighton ticket shop.

Sue writes: “We would be delighted if you would join us at the first full production of The Tuesday Group which is being directed and performed by medical students at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. The play is a moving but at the same time realistic and humorous observation of the conversations that take place between people who know that they are approaching the end of their lives.”

Lecture: Fairness in end of life care – quality or quantity or both?

31 May 2011

The Age UK and Institute of Gerontology, King’s College London Annual Lecture in memory of David Hobman

Monday 20 June 2011

The Great Hall, Strand Campus, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2

The lecture will begin at 1800 hours and light refreshments will be available from 1730 hours.

Speaker: Professor the Baroness Ilora Finlay is a consultant in palliative medicine at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff and team leader for the chronic pain management programme.  She is also a Professor of Palliative Care Medicine at Cardiff University.  Baroness Finlay is a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords and was President of the Royal Society of Medicine from 2006-2008. She was a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill and chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dying Well.

A wine reception will follow the lecture.  If you would like to attend, please email gerontology [at]

TV: Dispatches on end of life care

1 March 2011

Dispatches: Secret NHS Diaries

Channel 4, Friday 4th March 2011, 2am-2.50am, or available now on 4oD

“The NHS is there to make our final days as dignified and pain-free as possible. But as a devastating health service ombudsman report has shown, the reality can be very different.

For the first time, Dispatches has given three people cameras to film the last weeks of their lives, at home, in a care home, and in hospital. Their experiences provide a unique insight into the gap between what we hope for compared with the painful reality of dying.”