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Bioethical and legal ramifications of end of life decisions

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Smith
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

PhD research will explore the bioethical and legal ramifications of end of life decisions. Bioethical and legal dilemmas, which are everywhere, are even more clear in patient care at the end of life, as decisions about supporting or ending life interventions are made daily. Decisions are affected by the culture, values, and religion of those who have to make those decisions, and this becomes even more difficult when a clash exists between those giving the care and those receiving it.

The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise puts Birmingham Law School seventh in the country for world-leading and internationally excellent research. Published on 18 December 2008, this result secures the School’s position in the front rank of British law schools.

Funding Notes

Birmingham Law School selects up to six research students to be Postgraduate Teaching Assistants each year. PTAs take up their positions on or soon after 1 September. The School provides payment of £12,300 pa (from 2008/09) for each PTA; this figure is made up of an annual maintenance grant (£10,260) as well as payment for small group teaching (£2,040) Successful applicants are likely to have obtained, or be likely to obtain this summer, a first class or upper second class degree in English Law.


The Medical, Legal and Cultural Regulation of the Body: Transformation and Transgression (with Ronan Deazley, eds.) (2009) (Ashgate Publishing) ISBN-10: 0754677362/ ISBN-13: 978-0754677369
The Value of Life: George Bailey and the life not worthy of being lived in Orientations on the Right to Life: Law, Politics and Ethics (John Yorke ed.) (2009) (Ashgate Publishing) (forthcoming).
Precautionary Reasoning in Determining Moral Worth, in Law and Bioethics, Current Legal Issues, Volume 11 (Michael Freeman ed.) (2008) (Oxford University Press).
Empirical research in the debate on physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia, 2 Clinical Ethics 129 (2007).
Dignity: The Difference between Abortion and Neonaticide for the Severely Disabled, in The Criminal Justice System and Health Care (Charles Erin & Suzanne Ost eds.) (2007) (Oxford University Press).
Some Realism about End of Life: the Current Prohibition and the Euthanasia Underground 33 The American Journal of Law and Medicine 55 (2007).
Fallacies of the Logical Slippery Slope in the Debate on Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, 13 Medical Law Review 224 (2005).
Evidence for the Practical Slippery Slope in the Debate on Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, 13 Medical Law Review 17 (2005).
The Killing of Severely Disabled Newborns: the Spectre Behind the Legalisation of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia? 24 Medicine and Law 791 (2005).

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Law?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 31.79

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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