Medical Law PhD

Cross cultural analysis of decision making processes at the end of a child's life when doctors and parents are in conflict.

Project aim

Cross cultural analysis of decision making processes at the end of a child's life when doctors and parents are in conflict.

About the project

I have worked in paediatric palliative care for 26 years and latterly have noticed the lack of a transparent and structured process in decision making at the end of a child's life when parents and doctors cannot agree. Such conflict often leads to a referral to the High Court, which can polarise opinion and cause extra harm and distress - as well as cost - to all parties. I studied all relevant UK court cases recently for a Master's Degree in Medical Law ( Distinction) and found it interesting to note the lack of formal child representation in decision making, which conflicts with the rights asserted in National and International Human Rights Law.

I wish to further my research through ascertaining the process of decision making in other countries, in order to inform and possibly improve those in the UK. The Countries chosen are: UK; Japan - culturally different but signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC); Oregon, USA - sanctions adult euthanasia, so assumed to have robust, structured and transparent decision making processes - not signed up to any International Child rights Conventions; Belgium - signed up to the UNCRC but has recently introduced laws sanctioning child euthanasia.

I have a University and Supervisor willing to oversee this research, but need to raise funds to pay the University fees. The PhD will be part time as a full time research position is not feasible - I am 58 and employed for 33 hrs per week in a children's hospice.

 

 

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