University of Oxford Featured PhD Programmes
Health Data Research UK Featured PhD Programmes
University of Oxford Featured PhD Programmes

Patient autonomy in medical decision-making: fetish, fiction, fact or futile?

School of Law

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Dr T Callus Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Empowering patient choice is at the heart of health policy in England and Wales. Over recent years, the partnership between doctor and patient has evolved to place the patient’s views at the centre of treatment decision-making by reference to individual rights, and notably the concept of autonomy. Yet our understanding of autonomy and indeed the intentions as to its purpose lack consensus. This PhD will explore the conceptualisation of autonomy in medical decision-making, investigate its legal basis and worth, and identify which interpretation of it can actually achieve a better decision-making process, for doctors, patients and ultimately judges. Primarily a doctrinal study, there is scope to include an empirical element depending on the relative experience of the successful applicant.

Funding Notes

The successful applicant would be expected to hold a Masters degree (or equivalent) in a socio-legal discipline at least at Merit level.

Students need to be self-funded, although the University does offer some regional bursaries. More information can be found here:

Support is also available for the candidate to apply for UKRC funding:

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