Lecture and Seminar October 2nd with Edward Dove: “Tissue, biomedical research and consent: relational autonomy or the autonomy of relations?”

We are delighted to announce a lecture and seminar with Edward Dove, on “Tissue, biomedical research and consent: relational autonomy or the autonomy of relations”, to be held on 2 October at 10am in the Large Committee Room in the Hodgkin Building at Guy’s Campus (http://www.kingsvenues.com/Conferences-Meetings/Guys/comit.aspx)

The audio recording of this video is now available here.


In this talk, I will analyse a recent European Court of Human Rights decision that has raised a curious question regarding the nature and scope of the right for relatives to consent to or to oppose the removal of a deceased person’s tissues. Beyond the intriguing facts specific to the case, the decision compels us to consider several broader, confounding issues: the role of consent as a regulatory device in medicine and biomedical research, the nature and scope of consent, and the possibility for there to be a free-standing right for another person (i.e. a relative) to oppose the removal of a deceased loved one’s tissues or organs, regardless of the deceased person’s own wishes, in the name of the relatives’ human ‘right to respect for private life’.

Edward will also give a seminar (to start directly after the lecture in the same venue, 11am-3pm; lunch will be provided) on “Relationality and consent: How could or should relational approaches affect how we conceptualise and enact consent in medicine and biomedical research?”. The background to this seminar is that despite much conceptual work capturing the relational nature of human beings (such as ‘relational autonomy’ etc.), little progress has been made in spelling out what such a relational approach could and should mean for ethical and legal instruments in medical practice and research. At the seminar we would like to look at what such practical solutions could look like. Participants are most welcome to bring their own cases and case studies for discussion.

If you would like to come to the lecture, you don’t need to do anything, just mark your diaries!

If you would like to participate in the seminar, please let Barbara Prainsack know  by  email: barbara.prainsack@kcl.ac.uk  If you would like to bring or present a case, please also let Professor Barbara Prainsack know.


Edward (Ted) Dove is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh School of Law. From 2011 until 2014, he was an Academic Associate at the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University in Montreal. Ted holds degrees in Political Science, Civil Law and Common Law from McGill, and a Master of Laws degree (LLM) from Columbia Law School in New York City. His primary research interests are in the areas of biomedical research regulation, data access and sharing, data privacy, international research collaboration, and research ethics.

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