Social and Ethical Aspects of Health and Medicine

Our research explores the social and ethical aspects of health and medicine. Our research is interdisciplinary in nature, theoretically underpinned, with a view to informing policy and practice.

The research focuses on cultures of healthcare work and patient safety; issues of learning, knowledge and practice; concepts of autonomy, responsibility and accountability, use of technology in healthcare practice; reproductive medicine; donation of body parts, blood and tissue; and patients' rights. Our research studies are influenced by theoretical perspectives such as mobility studies; science and technology studies and feminist technoscience; ethnomethodology; organisational studies; medical sociology, anthropology and ethics. Methodologically, we specialise in ethnography, documentary analysis, focus groups, and interviews on sensitive subjects with hidden populations.

Topics we have supervised on include practitioner decision making, patient safety, professional boundaries within healthcare work, constructions of evidence and expertise, knowing in palliative medicine, fertility preservation, deconstructing concepts of 'ethical' research, medical oath-taking, self discharge against medical advice.

We invite proposals for postgraduate study in the broad areas of medical sociology, anthropology, and ethics; science, technology and medicine; masculinities and health; and organisational aspects of healthcare work.


Researchers working in this area, together with a short description of their research interests, are listed below.

  • Professor Maggie Mort (joint appointment with Sociology) Technological change; telemedicine and telecare; innovation in health science and technology; health policy and politics, disaster and recovery studies
  • Dr Dawn Goodwin Ethnographic studies of clinical practice including the intersection of anatomical, technological and embodied knowledge; the role of the home environment in supporting people with dementia; and the construction of patient safety in general practice
  • Dr Laura Machin Assisted conception, the donation of organs, blood and tissue, and people discharging themselves against medical advice
  • Dr Lisa Wood Accountability, responsibility and autonomy in practice, in particular technologically mediated practices and how practitioners generate knowledge, more recently looking at practices 'on the move'


Contact LMS

Lancaster Medical School
Furness College
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1524 594547

Problems with this page? Contact the FHM Webmaster
© 2008-2014 Lancaster University - Disclaimer and Copyright notice - Privacy and Cookies Notice