Legal and Ethical Interests
In 2003, I successfully completed a master’s degree, LLM, in Medical Law at Cardiff University Law School.
This degree complemented my clinical skills and helped me appreciate the regulatory framework within which clinical services are delivered, the standards of care that should be expected and the importance of corporate and individual accountability required for the delivery of safe, high quality clinical services.
The dissertation for my Master’s Degree in Law was entitled “My Body as my Property”. This dissertation explored whether property rights exist in the body and whether the development of property rights would provide a legal framework to design and support new legislation that regulates organ donation and transplantation.
Following the completion of the LLM, I have been involved in developing clinical, ethical and regulatory guidelines for many aspects of transplantation in the UK. These activities include:
- Advisor to the Human Tissue Authority, Department of Health, UK:
The UK Human Tissue Act UK, received Royal Assent and was passed into law in 2004. The Act was designed to regulate all activity, including transplantation, involving human tissue and organs. The Act created the Human Tissue Authority, as the UK Government’s regulatory body, which would ensure human tissue was used safely and ethically, with proper consent.
As advisor to the Authority, I provided professional advice on the implementation of the Human Tissue Act in the UK and offered clinical advice on the interpretation of the Act in complex clinical cases referred to the Authority. I also helped create and provide training to independent assessors who, assess any potential living donation of a solid organ, to ensure the requirements of the Human Tissue Act 2004 were met.
- Provided written advice to the Scottish Parliament UK on the new legal framework for organ donation in the UK.
- Appointed Member of the Department of Health Advisory Board for the Safety of Blood Tissues and Organs (SaBTO). This National Policy Advice Group is charged with developing advice to the UK Parliament to ensure the safe supply of tissues for medical use and research.
- Appointed member to the UK Academy of Royal Colleges, Ethics Committee. This committee provides ethical guidance to the Royal Colleges of Physicians, Royal College of Surgeons and other UK Royal Colleges on issues related to organ donation and transplantation.
- Co-author of Ethical Guidance for Deceased Cardiac Death Donation. UK Academy of Royal Colleges Ethics Committee.
- Member of the British Transplant Society Ethics Committee 2004-2006.
- Co-author of British Transplant Society Guidelines with regards to consent for organ donation.