Annual David Hobman lecture given by the Bishop of London


A packed audience was present on Monday November 19th 2018 at the Annual David Hobman lecture given by the Bishop of London on ‘Spirituality and Ageing’. The lecture in the Great Hall, King’s College London was followed by a lively question and answer session.

Photo – left to right: Chairman of Age UK (Sir Brian Pomeroy), the Bishop of London (the Right Reverend and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally), The Director of the Institute of Gerontology, (Professor Mauricio Avenda Pabon) and Professor Anthea Tinker

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GHSM students Amber Mulcahy & Miranda Weston report on their summer internships at mental health facilities in Rio de Janeiro

In June 2018, we, Amber and Miranda, spent three weeks interning in mental health facilities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We were drawn to this opportunity due to our interest in mental health and our desire to work in this field after graduation. We also would not have been able to do this without the generous funding and bursary from our department to cover the flights and additional costs of this trip. We were also drawn to the trip because it was advertised as a structured split between hands-on experience in mental health settings and academic learning at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.

We also viewed it as an opportunity to expand our language skills. When we arrived, it became clear that we would need some assistance in this area. One of the students offered to be our translator for the time we were there and this was invaluable to our experience. We had never been to South America and saw this as a great opportunity to spend time in a radically different environment such as Brazil.

When spending time in mental healthcare settings, we were initially confused as to why so much healthcare was provided in primary care settings rather than specialist mental health units. However, the reason for this soon became clear when we were shown the inpatient units. The threshold for treatment at these locations was clearly significantly higher than that in the U.K. We also found that a lot of the mental health issues experienced by Brazilian citizens were as a direct result of circumstances that are unique to their locality. We questioned whether these localised mental health issues should be medicalised and/or medicated or whether they are a normal response to an acute stressor. These circumstantial experiences refer to the violence experienced, such as family members lost due to gun violence, on a daily basis by Brazilian citizens. On our days off, we were privileged to experience the attractions that Rio de Janeiro had to offer. This included Christ the Redeemer, one of the seven wonders of the world, which was amazing to see on a clear morning. We also took a cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain, which we found to be the quietest place in Rio! One of the students in the seminars at the university offered to show us the local beaches, including the famous Copacabana Beach. We also spent many hours on Flamengo and Ipanema beaches.

In view of the recent election of President Bolsonaro, who is vehemently anti-LGBT rights, we reflect on our time in the gay capital of Latin America in a different light. As members of the LGBT community ourselves, we felt safe at the time to explore the LGBT scene in Rio and be open about our sexuality. However, if we were applying next year we may be more hesitant about our safety.

We found this experience to be invaluable in enriching our skills as researchers. The opportunity to gain access to mental healthcare on the ground, sitting in on mental health consultations and therapy groups, was particularly important in broadening our experience in this field. This brought our class readings to life, now being able to read about Brazil with a lived experience of its culture and everyday life. Having the opportunity to engage with postgraduate seminars at the university enhanced our critical thinking skills. Having academic discussions with postgraduate students and PhD candidates was a wonderful opportunity to challenge our understanding of how mental healthcare should be delivered.

In summary, we are incredibly grateful to our department here at King’s for this opportunity and to those that were so welcoming to us in Rio. Particular thanks goes to our translator, Thais, who stood in at the last minute when we thought our limited language skills may bring the internship to a premature ending and a swift flight home.

Best wishes, Amber Mulcahy & Miranda Weston


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Institute of Gerontology hosts informal seminar on long-term care in Asia July 18th 12 pm

Announcing an informal seminar on long-term care in Asia which will take place from 12 to 1.30pm on 18 July at KING’S BLDG K-1.56. All are welcome!

Contact for this seminar: Dr Wei Yang


Professor Li-Fan Liu, Institute of Gerontology at National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, will be talking about Long term care needs in Chinese society and policies for this in Taiwan”.

Dr Lou Vivian W. Q., University of Hong Kong will be talking about Health and Social Integration in Long-term Care: Initiatives in Hong Kong”.


Dr. Li-Fan Liu is a Professor in the Institute of Gerontology at National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. She received her PhD in Social Policy from the Institute of Gerontology at King’s College London. Dr. Liu’s research explores the policies of long-term care, service delivery and outcomes, care management/integration models and also innovation of the long-term care e-services in Taiwan. Her research articles have appeared in journals such as Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, Quality of Life Research, Geriatrics & Gerontology International, Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics and Health Policy. In 2017, Dr. Liu received a Fulbright grant and cooperate with the government to start a new research project on long-term care integration care model in Taiwan. She serves as Vice President of the Gerontological Society of Taiwan (GST) and Consultant of the National Elderly Welfare Association (NEWA). She is Faculty at the Taiwan Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (TSGG) and Faculty at the Taiwan Long Term Care Professional Association.

 Dr. Lou Vivian W. Q. is the Director of Sau Po Centre on Ageing, and Associate Professor at Department of Social Work & Social Administration at The University of Hong Kong. Her research interests focus on family gerontology, in particular family caregiving for dementia, stroke, end-of-life older adults, and social adaptation and mental health of Chinese older adults. She also has a keen interest in building evidence-based models to empower older adults and their families. Dr. Lou has been appointed as a membership of the Elderly Commission of the HKSAR Government. She is also a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, and a Council member of Hong Kong Association of Gerontology.


Abstract 1 (Professor Li-Fan Liu): Chinese society including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have been listed on the ten countries/areas with the largest percentage point changes in the share of older persons from 2015-2030 (UN, 2015). With population aging, long-term care need is also increasing rapidly. By the evidence-based research, this talk will include points of the long-term care needs, the long-term care policy reform and service resources in Taiwan and the experience of how we delivering integrated care in the community. It is hoped that by the experience sharing and communication regarding long-term care policy and responsive services would have some implications to Chinese society as a whole.

Abstract 2: (Dr Lou Vivian W. Q.) To better achieve long-term care policy objectives, ageing in place and continuum of care, health and social care integration is considered as an essential and significant move in Hong Kong. This presentation will start with a brief introduction on welfare regime, followed by presenting three health and social care integration initiatives, namely private-public partnership scheme, WeRISE stroke family empowerment project, and dementia community support scheme. Reflections on best practices and challenges of health and social care integration in the Hong Kong context would be shared.


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And… it’s out! Programme of the 2018 Postgraduate Bioethics Conference hosted by Department of Global Health & Social Medicine July 23rd -24th

We are delighted to announce the programme of the 2018 Postgraduate Bioethics Conference (PGBC), hosted by the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London. The event will be held on the 23rd and 24th of July, 2018, at King’s College London’s Strand and Waterloo Campuses .

The PGBC is a two-day annual conference where Master’s and PhD students meet and share their bioethics research, as well as develop relevant skills for their academic and professional careers.

This year, the theme of the conference is Bioethics in the Public Square, focusing on debates within bioethics that extend into matters of political concern. These debates cover a wide range of topics relating to the construction of just societies, the boundaries of our political decisions, and the role bioethicists should play in liberal democracies.


sandraDr med. Sandra Loder started her career as a Medical Officer in the German Navy. After working in a German Military Hospital, abroad in Foreign Deployments, and as a Ship’s Doctor, her time in the Navy ended. Her civilian career continued as a specialist, and later as a consultant, in Anaesthesia, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy. Sandra’s profession ignited her interest in bioethical issues and led to her participation in the Bioethics Master’s Programme at King’s College London. Her current research interests are the ethics of assisted reproduction, ethical approaches that differ among nations and global health ethics.

giuliGiulia Cavaliere is a third-year Wellcome Trust PhD student in Bioethics & Society at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London. Her research focuses on ethical and social questions raised by new reproductive technologies such as mitochondrial replacement techniques. She is particularly interested in eugenics and in how these technologies face us with questions concerning “what sort of people should there be”. Giulia teaches the undergraduate module ‘Ethics of Emerging Technologies’ at KCL and she loves teaching as much as reading moral philosophy.

edgar.jpgEdgar René Ruiz López is currently enrolled as a PhD student at the department of Global Health and Social Medicine of King’s College London. His project, funded by the Mexican National Council on Science and Technology, is on the topic of exploitation in the Mexican surrogacy industry. He is interested in topics related to distributive justice and on the intersection between personal identity and ethics.




09:45 – 10:15



Welcome and Registration

Room: FWB G.73


10:15 – 10:30



Opening: Giulia Cavaliere, Edgar René Ruiz López, Sandra Loder

(King’s College London)

Room: FWB G.73

10:30 – 11:30  

Keynote 1: Expertise in Bioethics: Scope and Challenges

Dr Silvia Camporesi (King’s College London) & Dr Jonathan Ives (University of Bristol)

Chair: Edgar René Ruiz López; Room: FWB G.73


11:30 – 12:00


Coffee Break


12:00 – 13:15



Parallel Sessions 1

(1a, 1b, 1c)


13:15 – 14:15




14:15 – 15:15



Workshop: All you Need to Know/Ever Wanted to Know on Surviving (Early) Career in Academia

Dr Karin Jongsma (University of Utrecht) & Dr César Palacios-González (King’s College London)

Chair: Giulia Cavaliere; Room: FWB G.73


15:30 – 16:20


Parallel Sessions 2 (2a, 2b, 2c)


16:20 – 16:50


Coffee Break


16:50 – 17:50



Keynote 2: On Courageous and Productive Health Ethics

Dr Sridhar Venkatapuram (King’s College London)

Chair: Emma Wynne Bannister; Room: FWB G.79




Dinner (Brasserie Blanc South Bank)




9:15 – 9:30


Coffee and Welcome to Day Two

Room: FWB G.73


9:30 – 10:45


Parallel Sessions 3 (3a, 3b, 3c)


10:45 – 11:15


Coffee Break


11:15 – 12:15


Keynote 3: Science for Policy, Policy for Science? Considerations from an Ethicist-Politician

Professor Annelien Bredenoord (University of Utrecht)

Chair: Georgina Morley; Room: FWB G.79


12:00 – 13:15



Workshop: Publication: Strategy and Tactics

Dr Adrian Blau

Room: FWB G.79


13:15 – 14:15




14:15 – 15:05


Parallel Sessions 4 (4a, 4b, 4c)


15:15 – 16:15



Workshop: Applying for Funding 101

Dr Federica Lucivero (University of Oxford) and Paul Woodgate (Wellcome Trust)

Room: FWB G.79


16.15 – 16:45


Coffee Break


16:45 – 17:45


Keynote 4: What Should Academics do in the Public Square? Indeed What Should They do Anywhere Else?

Professor John Harris (University of Manchester / King’s College London)

Chair: Giulia Cavaliere; Room: FWB G.79


17:45 – 18:00


Closing Remarks followed by drinks



Chair: Arianna Manzini Room: WBW 3/7


Paolo Corsico (University of Manchester)


Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues in Novel Neurobiological Approaches to Psychosis and Schizophrenia: A Qualitative Study


Natalie Lane (University of Glasgow)


Time to Trump the Goldwater Rule: Are psychiatrists ethically justified in publicising their opinions on the US President’s mental health?


Leonie Mol (King’s College London)


The Ethics of Ethics: Bureaucratisation and Professionalisation of Formal Ethical Clearance


Chair: Edgar René Ruiz López Room: WBW LG/11


Jordan Parsons (University of Bristol)


Home Medical Abortion: Lagging Legislation in the UK


Claire O’ Connell (University College Cork)


Bioethics and the Regulation of Assisted Human Reproduction in Ireland


Joona Rasanen (University of Oslo)


Law, Morality and Abortion Rights after Artificial Wombs


Chair: Dr Gry Wester Room: WBW 2/1


Andrea Martani (University of Basel)


Ethical and legal issues concerning experimental treatment of terminally-ill patients: from theory to practice


Bernadette Roest (University of Humanistic Studies)


Euthanasia & the family in the Netherlands: a systematic mixed studies review


Jessica Brown (City, University of London)


Are Public Perceptions of Palliative Care Preventing Timely Transfer?



Chair: Dr César Palacios-González Room: WBW 3/7


Johanna Eichinger (King’s College London)


EctoEthics – between old objections, new freedoms and new constraints


Gala Rexer (Humboldt University of Berlin)


Clinical Encounters: The Construction of Israeli Fertility Clinics as Utopian Non-Places



Chair: Georgina Morley Room: WBW LG/11


·      Dominik Haserwarter (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)


Ethical challenges in the medical care for refugees on public hunger strike: A qualitative interview study with health care personnel


·      Mira Leonie Schneiders (University of Oxford) Ageing in Cambodia and the role of older people: giving care and getting care


Chair Rachel Thompson


Room: WBW 2/1
Aubrey Incorvaia (Georgia Institute of Technology)


Beyond Consent: Incorporating Patient Perspectives into Clinical Trial Research Development


Sofia Iacomussi (King’s College London) Deliberative democracy towards genome editing


Chair: Daniel Tigard Room: WBW 3/7


Agata Ferretti (ETH Zurich)


Big Data Trends in Biomedical Research: Implications for Ethics Review Boards


Heilien Diedericks (King’s College London)


Digital Pills and Promises: An Analysis of the Declared Benefits and Implications of Digitized Medication


Marta Fasan (University of Trento)


TreC Platform: New Technologies and Fair Access to Medical Services


Chair: Edgar René Ruiz López Room: WBW LG/11


Victoria Charlton (King’s College London)


Does prioritising the new promote fairness? The role of innovation in healthcare priority setting at the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)


Francisca Stutzin Donoso (University College London)


The ethics of chronic diseases


Lynette Martins (University of Pennsylvania)


How Conscientious Objections of Health Care Workers Conflicts with Justice in Healthcare



Chair Giulia Cavaliere


Room: WBW 2/1
Javiera Perez-Gomez (University of Maryland)


The Expressivist Objection to the Use of Prenatal Testing for Selective Abortion: A New Defense


Aksel Sterri (University of Oslo)


Sexist sex selection


Carla Maria Reale (University of Trento)


Transgender and intersex issues as bioethical matters: compulsory sterilization and surgical intervention on minors in Europe



Chair: Giulia Cavaliere Room: WBW 3/7


Nienke de Graeff (University of Utrecht)


Arguing about genome editing in animals: arguments in the academic literature


Anna Melnyk (University of Twente)


Representation of moral emotions in the assessment of the desirability of technologies for health risks diagnosis



Chair: Sandra Loder


Room: WBW LG/11


Daniel Tigard (Tulane University)


Taking the Blame: Appropriate Responses to Medical Error


Bukola Arikawe (National Biotechnology Development Agency)


The Role of Peer Pressure in Research Misconduct among Researchers in the University of Ibadan



Chair Dr David Lawrence Room: WBW 2/1


Tena Thau (University of Oxford)


The Ethics of Punishing Athletes Who Dope


Richard Gibson (University of Manchester)


Understanding Moral Bioenhancement through Epidemiological Models



Dr Silvia Camporesi is a bioethicist with an interdisciplinary background in biotechnology, ethics, and philosophy of medicine. She’s the Director of the MSc program in Bioethics & Society at King’s College London. She holds a PhD in Philosophy of Medicine from King’s and one in Foundations of Life Sciences: Epistemology and Ethics from the European School of Molecular Medicine, University of Milan. Over the past decade, Silvia has written extensively about the ethics of emerging biotechnologies, and about gender issues in sport. She is author of two books: From Bench to Bedside to Track and Field: the Context of Enhancement and its Ethical Relevance (UC Medical Humanities Press, 2014) and, with Mike McNamee, of Bioethics, Genetics and Sport (Routledge, 2018). You can read about her research at:

Dr Jonathan Ives is a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Ethics and Law, and Deputy Director of the University of Bristol’s Centre for Ethics in Medicine.  Jon has a range of administrative roles, including co-director of post graduate research for Bristol Medical School, and has two small children.  In his spare time, he tries to do research on Reproductive Ethics, Research Ethics, Clinical Ethics and Methodology in Bioethics.  His recent co-edited book ‘Empirical Bioethics: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives’, with Cambridge University Press, is failing to make him rich.

Dr Sridhar Venkatapuram is a Senior Lecturer of Philosophy and Global Health at King’s College London.  His research and expertise is in global/public health, human rights, ethics and political philosophy, particularly the capabilities approach.  He aims to bridge normative reasoning, particularly about social justice and inequality, with relevant natural and social sciences related to human health.  He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Health, the Graduate Institute, Geneva.

Prof Annelien L. Bredenoord is a professor of Ethics of Biomedical Innovation at the University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands as well as member of the Senate of the Dutch Parliament, on behalf of the political party Democrats 66 (D66). Her political portfolios are health care, ethics, privacy & data protection, and family law. Her research group seeks to identify, evaluate and promote policies and practices that ensure that biomedical innovation develops in an ethically and socially responsible matter. Recent advances in biological and medical research, such as regenerative medicine and stem cell research, next generation DNA sequencing, genome editing, reproductive technologies, biobanking and Big Data, continuously raise ethical and societal challenges: how to translate biomedical innovations from basic research into clinical care and society in an ethically sound way? Bredenoord co-authored over 90 articles and supervises several PhD students. She obtains funding from among others Horizon 2020, KWF (Dutch Cancer Society) and The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development ZonMw (among which a personal VENI grant).

 Professor John Harris  FMedSci., Member, Academia Europaea., FRSA.,  B.A., D.Phil., Hon. D.Litt. is Professor Emeritus  University of Manchester and Visiting Professor in Bioethics, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, School of Global Affairs, King’s College London. His many books Include: The Value of Life, Routledge, London, 1985.  On Cloning, Routledge, London, 2004. Enhancing Evolution, Princeton University Press 2007 and How to be Good published by Oxford  University Press in April 2016.



 Dr. Karin Jongsma is a bioethicist working on ethical questions of health care decision-making (especially within digital health and psychiatry), including patient and public involvement, bio-politics, decisional authority. She received her PhD in medical ethics in 2016 (supervised by Prof. Dr Inez de Beaufort and Prof. Dr Suzanne van de Vathorst) from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). She worked two years in Göttingen (Germany) as a post-doc, was a guest researchers at several other institutes (Ethox, Oxford; University of Tübingen; Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Israel). In September 2017 she started working as an assistant professor at the department Medical Humanities of the University Medical Center Utrecht (Prof.Dr Annelien Bredenoord). She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in bioethics and currently supervises two PhD students. 

 Dr César Palacios-González is a Research Associate at the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, King’s College London, working in the Wellcome Trust funded project “The Donation and Transfer of Human Reproductive Materials”. From September 2018 he will be a Career Development Fellow in Practical Ethics, at the University of Oxford. His background is in philosophy. He graduated from Universidad Panamericana in 2008 with a BA in Philosophy, the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2012 with an MPhil in Philosophy, and The University of Manchester in 2015 with a PhD in Science Ethics. César’s current research focuses on the ethical and legal issues surrounding mitochondrial replacement techniques, and human/nonhuman chimera research.

Dr Adrian Blau is Senior Lecturer in Politics in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. He works on democracy, corruption, rationality/irrationality, and post-truth politics. He has recently edited the first ever textbook on methods in political theory (Methods in Analytical Political Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Dr Federica Lucivero is Senior Researcher in Ethics and Data at the Ethox Centre and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities (Big Data Institute, University of Oxford). Her expertise spans across different areas and disciplines: ethics and social studies of science and technology, bioethics, governance of innovation, philosophy of science and technology. Federica’s current research focuses on the ethical aspects of the increasing introduction of IT(online portals, wearable sensors, mobile apps) in care pathways, individual health practices, and biomedical research. I am working on three main themes: a) the meanings of patient access to electronic health records (EHRs); 2) the governance of health apps; 3) the ethics and epistemology of biomedical research using EHRs.

Paul Woodgate is a Portfolio Developer in the Humanities & Social Science Department at Wellcome.  He focusses on the social science and bioethics parts of the funding portfolio.  Paul has been at Wellcome since 2001, having supported grant giving in Molecular & Cell Biology and Neuroscience & Mental Health before moving into his current area in 2008.  Before joining Wellcome, Paul was a graduate in economics, employed by the British Medical Association then KCL.


The PGBC 2018 organising committee would like to thank our generous sponsors: the King’s College London Faculty of Social Sciences & Public Policy Faculty Education Fund, the Institute of Medical Ethics, and the Wellcome Trust.


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Congratulations to Roisin Dillon MHPP students for being awarded the Oxford University’s 2018 “Map the System Challenge” award!


Roisin Dillon, MHPP student and receiver of the Oxford University’s 2018 “Map the System Challenge” award

Huge congratulations to Roisin Dillon, one of GHSM postgraduate students, for being awarded the top prize in Oxford University’s ‘Map the System Challenge’ competition.

This is a global competition in which students are asked to undertake research on a social or environmental issue they feel passionately about.


Roisin’s presentation on the opioid crisis came first out of 470 entries from 27 different universities across the globe. Details about the winners of this year’s competition will be up on the “Map the System’ website soon.

In an interview with 660 News, Roisin explains that “We’re oversimplifying the problem and we have a lot of misconceptions and assumptions about who might be experiencing any kind of struggle with opiate addiction.” Roisin argues that public health solutions need to tackle over-prescribing and the assumption that we should eradicate pain at all costs, rather than helping people to manage it.

See the news report here:

Roisin is studying on our MSc in Medicine, Health and Public Policy. 

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