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The University of Southampton
Southampton Ethics Centre

Law and Compassion at the End of Life Event

13:30 - 14:30
21 February 2018
04/2007, Highfield Campus

For more information regarding this event, please email Mary Andrew at .

Event details

Part of the Centre for Health, Ethics and Law (HEAL) seminar series. For further information please visit:

Healthcare law presents numerous challenges to the conception of the law as a dispassionate arbiter of disputes or protector of rights. Issues relating to end-of-life care, the assessment of mental capacity and decision-making for those who lack capacity, amongst others, epitomise the complex nature of healthcare law. They also raise globally applicable questions about discrimination, or equal protection, as well as concerns for relief of suffering, the assessment of best interests and the exercise of individual autonomy. This paper will evaluate the extent to which law’s traditional objectivity (dispassion) is undermined by the introduction of concerns about compassion into judicial and executive decisions. Focusing primarily on the law in England and Wales, but with reference to multi-jurisdictional case law and international instruments, it will consider whether the law provides compassionate approaches and outcomes in end-of-life decision-making, and the implications of compassion for legal certainty.

Speaker information

Professor Hazel Biggs,Professor of Healthcare Law and Bioethics at the University of Southampton. Hazel received her first degree from the University of Kent after working for several years as a radiographer and ultrasonographer in the National Health Service. She was previously Professor of Medical Law at Lancaster University.

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