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University professor to chair council on bioethics

Published: 16 April 2012
Chair of Nuffield Council on Bioeth
Professor Jonathan Montgomery

Professor of Healthcare Law at the University of Southampton Jonathan Montgomery has been appointed as the new Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

Professor Montgomery, of the Southampton Law School, will serve a five-year term with the Council, which is an independent body that examines and reports on ethical issues in biology and medicine.

He comments, “The Council has made an outstanding contribution over its first 20 years; informing public opinion and influencing policy and practice in areas of vital interest to our society. It will be a privilege to be part of this work.

“Bioethics touches all of our lives and we need to think clearly and rigorously about using our scientific knowledge responsibly and for the benefit of us all. The Council has established itself as a pre-eminent source of wise advice in the UK and internationally.”

Jonathan takes over from Albert Weale, Economic and Social Research Council Professorial Fellow and Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at University College London, who has chaired the Council since 2008. Under his leadership, the Council published reports on the ethics of dementia care, personalised healthcare, biofuels, and organ and tissue donation.

Professor Montgomery comments,“The University has a proud record in the area of law and bioethics and I am delighted to join Southampton professors Anneke Lucassen and Hugh Perry who already serve on the Council. We shall be able to draw on the support and advice of colleagues across the University through the Health Ethics and Law Network, coordinated from the Law School, and the Clinical Ethics and Law at Southampton group, based in the Faculty of Medicine.

“For me, this appointment is an opportunity to bring together my academic and public service work. Since I arrived in Southampton in 1984, my research has explored how the law has adapted to the particular context of the UK; redefining its subject area as ‘health care law’ rather than ‘medical law’, showing the impact of the NHS and institutions of bioethics on its principles, and making connections between law and other disciplines in order to explain how it works. This foundation will stand me in good stead to support the work of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.”

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