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Exploring Health Care Law's Recognition of Autonomy and Rights

Date: 16 March 2009 Time: 10am

A Centre for Bioethics and Medical Law half-day seminar event on the way in which health care law recognises and responds to matters of autonomy and rights. Patient autonomy has increasingly become a paramount concern for health care law and has long been recognised as a fundamental principle of bioethics. Especially since the enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998, matters such as access to health care, the doctor-patient relationship and self-determination in respect of one's body and health have increasingly come to be viewed through the lens of individual rights. The seminar will focus on tensions that exist between rights and autonomy in health care law and ethics and the question of whether a right to health in fact exists. The event will involve colleagues from within the Schools of Law and Philosophy and the Medical School and non-Lancaster participants who are working on the issues of autonomy and rights in order to exchange perspectives. In this way it supports the purpose of the Centre to promote and facilitate high quality interdisciplinary research in bioethics and medical law across disciplines within the University with a clear unifying focus upon the legal, medical and ethical dimensions of biomedicine.

Key Facts

Researchers: Hazel Biggs (Law), Sara Fovargue (Law), Suzanne Ost (Law)

Dept/Research Groups: Centre for Bioethics and Medical Law, Law, Philosophy

Keywords: Autonomy, Ethics, Health care, Medical and health-care law, Medical ethics, Medical law, Medical law and ethics, Human rights

Project Description

Non-Lancaster participants will include Henriette Aasen, a Law Professor from the University of Bergen in Norway who is an expert on human rights in the health care context, and Dr Josť Miola, a Senior Lecturer in Law from the University of Leicester who has recently written a book exploring the relationship between medical law and ethics.

The seminar will involve individual and joint presentations by key participants, and round table debate and discussion amongst all those participating.

We anticipate that the seminar will be the first in a series which will provide a means to enhance inter-disciplinary research collaboration on autonomy and rights in healthcare. The series should also support future internal and/or external funding applications for a major international conference to be held at Lancaster.

Venue: IAS Building, B Floor, Meeting Room 7


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Bioethics and Medical Law, Law, Philosophy


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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