I am Professor of Law, Medicine, and Technology at the University of Birmingham Law School. Here you will find details of the various aspects of my work, including my teaching, research, publications, and other related activities.
The main focus of my research has been the philosophical analysis of law and policy in medicine and the biosciences. This often includes elements of doctrinal legal analysis combined with matters of practical ethics, with an eye on the regulatory and social context in which scientific and medical innovation takes place. There is an explicit interdisciplinary influence on this which draws on insights gained from law and philosophy, as well as science and medicine.
One theme which recurs in my research is that of the human body. As such, much of my research has been at the intersection of the law, political and legal philosophy, and ethics as it pertains to property in the body and human biomaterials. The core of the research is an analysis of arguments pertaining to self-ownership and property rights in separated biomaterials, and how these fit within the common law as it currently stands.
My current research focuses on the legal and philosophical challenges arising from the joining of persons and bodies with attached and implanted medical devices. These will be investigated as part of a major Wellcome Trust Investigator Award which will run for 5 years from September 2019. You can find details of the Everyday Cyborgs 2.0 project here.
Other research focuses on the idea of nudging. In particular I am interested in how research from the behavioural science is being (and could be) used in the legal, regulatory, and policy contexts; broadly construed this work involves looking at the regulation of health at state level and examining the normative legitimacy of a variety of health-affecting strategies and interventions.
My research interests are unified by a curiosity in biotechnological advances and innovations, especially how these can be and ought to be dealt with by society. As such, other research interests include the law and ethics of reproduction and the reproductive technologies, organ transplantation, rights, and public (health) policy. I have been involved in projects, organised and participated in conferences, and published papers on the law and ethics of organ donation, reproductive rights, enhancement, property and human tissue, public health, and the use of animals in research. You can find detailed information on my research activities here and my publications here.
A short interview where I talk about my research on ‘Everyday Cyborgs’, part of research on 21st Century Bodies taking place at Birmingham.