Contemporary Ethical Debates

Our activities in this area are helping to

  • promote quality for women and ethnic and religious minorities
  • enhance public debate about pressing current ethical dilemmas
  • improve medical provision and public health

In this area staff work on contemporary problems of political, moral and religious concern:

  • Equalities issues - gender, religious minorities and diversity, and economic justice
  • Bioethics - consent, health and well-being
  • Genocide

Our staff who work on equalities issues, especially regarding gender and ethnic and religious minorities, have worked with organisations including: the Hindu-Christian Forum (which facilitates dialogue between these faith communities); the Gender Equality Network Myanmar; the Equality and Human Rights Commission; and the House of Lords. Our other contributions in this field include:

  • Kawanami is co-founder of the Sakyadhita Thilashin Sathin-daik nunnery school in Myanmar (Burma), which has made a major contribution to women's empowerment in that country.
  • Work by Knott and McEnery on anti-Muslim bias in the media was used by Engage in its submission to the Leveson Inquiry (to which Manson also testified, on the ethics of press freedom). Engage's conclusions were taken up in Leveson's final report.
  • Naguib served on HEFCE's Islamic Studies advisory board, part of a national process of consultation on the future development of the subject.

Much of PPR's work on ethical issues in health and biomedicine is associated with the Centre for Bioethics and Medical Law, whose staff work with many governmental and policy organisations in health: the Nuffield Council for Bioethics, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the Human Genetics Commission, the European Public Health Alliance, and the government’s Bioscience for Society strategy panel. Examples include:

  • Geyer is a consultant on health policy for the Hope Street Centre Liverpool and has advised Blackburn, Lancashire and Newcastle councils.
  • Manson was on the Ethics Working Group of NHS Human Organ Donation Taskforce; the Taskforce influenced the (Brown) government against introducing an opt-out system for organ donation.
  • Williams is now a steering committee member of EU project I.Family (Determinants of eating behaviour in European children, adolescents and their parents). This project has implemented a Europe-wide community-based intervention against childhood obesity. Lancaster is responsible for ethical aspects, policy implications and stakeholder involvement.

The 2013 Westminster Faith Debates are on Religion and Personal Life, addressing ethical debates about: stem cell research and abortion; the sexualisation of society; assisted dying; families and same-sex marriage; and gender equality within religion.

Research on economic inequalities by the Cultural Political Economy Research Centre is used by organisations including the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the Clean Clothes Campaign, and the Bolivian Central Bank.