Visiting fellows at the LawLab

Dr Bernadette Richards, Cardiff University Honorary Research Fellow and Associate Professor at Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide (Australia) (Annual Visiting Fellow 2012-2017)

Bernadette Richards is a Cardiff University Honorary Research Fellow and a valued and central member of the LawLab. We are delighted to welcome Bernadette to Cardiff School of Law and Politics annually where she adds to our vibrant research culture, often acting as an important driver for collaborative activities across the LEAP network and LawLab Centre. Bernadette has helped LawLab (formerly the Cardiff Centre for Ethics, Law and Society) to launch a variety of workshops in which she has been a central participant, and she also participated in the very first of the interdisciplinary LawLab/LEAP lunchtime workshops, Regulatory Narratives around New and Emerging Technologies: A Conversation.  The success of that event quickly marked out the potential of the ‘short lunchtime workshop’ as a promising vehicle for generating wider awareness of the links between different disciplines and ultimately, for encouraging cross-disciplinary collaboration. Her research focus is in the area of medical law and ethics and her work  sits at the nexus of ethics and the law in the context of medical treatment, with a particular emphasis on consent to medical treatment. She is currently exploring issues around Advance Care Planning, access to innovative treatment and legal and ethical considerations with regards to organ donation.  She is an Honorary Fellow at Cardiff University, Chair of the  Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee and is a past member of the University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee and the South Australian Council on Reproductive Technology. Dr Richards is also a member of the NHMRC Embryo Research Licencing Committee. Find out more about Dr Richards.

Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning, Lecturer, Southampton Law School, University of Southampton (UK) (Visiting Fellow 2016-17)

Dr Hammond-Browning’s research interests are in medical law and ethics, principally in start of life issues and stem cell research. She is researching the regulation, regulatory systems and institutions involved in these sensitive areas of law and ethics, as well as questions around regulatory reform. Dr Hammond-Browning was previously employed at the Centre for Ethics in Medicine at the University Bristol where she held two separate positions, as Research Associate on the EU FP7 funded EPOCH project (Ethics in Public Policy Making: The Case of Human Enhancement: http://epochproject.com) and as Teaching Fellow in Biomedical Ethics and Law. Prior to Bristol, she worked at Cardiff Law School as a GTA and Course Director for Law and Spanish whilst researching her PhD. Natasha is now pursuing research into the law and ethics of uterus transplants, and was an invited guest speaker to an audience of clinical practitioners studying on the Legal Aspects of Medical Practice LLM Programme in April 2017 presenting her paper: ‘Uterus transplants – a reproductive revolution or cause for concern?’.  Find out more about Dr Hammond-Browning.

Professor Yuko Nagamizu, St Andrew’s University, Osaka, Japan (Visiting Fellow 2016-17)

Professor Nagamizu undertakes research on medical decision making of/on behalf of children, especially on the balance between the parental responsibility/rights and children’s autonomy in difficult situations like abortion and refusal of life-sustaining medical treatment. Member of a Proactive Standing Committee on Legal and Ethical Issues of a large birth cohort project like ALSPAC run by the National Institute of Environment, Professor Nagamizu’s research interests have now extended to include medical research involving children, in particular, in addressing the question of how to reflect their voices in the research and get their consent. Professor Nagamizu has been a member of the Governmental Committee for Revision of Ethical Guidelines on Medical Research from 2010-2015 and is also a member of the Governmental Committee of Governance of Stem Cell Research (2013-current). Her interests also extend to assisted-reproductive technology and the family, the role of family members to make medical decisions on behalf of the incompetent patient, genetic information and privacy.

Professor Yuichiro Sato, Associate Professor of School of Education, Tokyo Gakugei University (Visiting Fellow 2016-17)

Professor Sato’s research themes and interests are situated mainly within the field of medical law. Examples of his interests (non-exhaustively) include: 1) Healthcare systems, including quality of medical care, incident reporting system, and the relationship (maybe properly described as “tension”) between “reporting culture” and legal responsibility; 2) Organ donation; people’s attitudes toward to it (both deceased donation and living donation) and the limit of living donation; 3) Terminal care and (physician) assisted suicide; 4) The legal responsibility of mental patients and the elderly with dementia / of the family members of such patients; 5) Research governance/regulating system, for example, GCP in clinical trials, research on human tissue, and brain banks; and 6) Death investigation; I was once a research assistant at a school of medicine (legal medicine department), so I am interested in the post mortem and coroner’s inquest. I am also interested in the child death review.

Professor Virgillio Rodriguez-Vazquez, Faculty of Law, University of Vigo, Spain (Visiting Fellow 2012)

I earned a BA (Hons) in Law at the University of Vigo (Spain) in 2001. In 2008 I defended my thesis, entitled Criminal Responsibility in the Medical Activities (Summa Cum Laude). I currently hold a full-time lecturing position at the Faculty of Law (University of Vigo), where I teach Criminal Law at both undergraduate and graduate level. Since 2002 I have participated in various conferences devoted to Medical Law, and I have published a number of articles within this research area. During the academic year 2003-2004, I carried out a research stay at the Institute for Medicine and Law, Göttingen University (Germany).  In 2008-2009, I attended a seminar series about Medical Law at the Biomedical Law Centre, University of Coimbra (Portugal). In order to enhance my experience in an international research environment and gain some more knowledge on a number of topics related to my research interests, I sought to conduct a research stay with the centre from 14th March to 30th June 2012. My main research interests include criminal responsibility in cases of medical negligence, the delimitation of criminal responsibilities within the medical team, the judicial value of medical protocols, informed consent and advanced directives. One of the aims of my research visit was to gain understanding of the health system in the UK, as well as to learn about adverse events in this country. In Spain, there is not enough data about adverse events, and the data used by researchers are the official statistics about medical negligence or adverse events at hospitals and medical centres; there is no tradition of acknowledging errors in the medical activity and thus there is no system to detect such errors. The outcome of my intended research at the CCELS is to identify the real dimension of the claims against doctors in Spain in comparison with other countries of the UK. I also sought to evaluate the possibility of establishing an adverse events system in Spain which would be similar to the one in the UK. I also sought to explore the question of informed consent and find out about the status of informed consent in the UK. I will then compare this system with other systems in various European countries, namely Germany, Austria, Spain and Portugal.  Looking at the solutions provided in each of those countries might help to identify the existence of informed consent doctrine. During my stay at Cardiff University I successfully established rooting myself in a network of people interested in these topics by attending seminars, discussions and other activities at the Faculty of Law. My monograph entitled, Responsabilidad penal en el ejercicio de actividades médico-sanitarias. Criterios para delimitar la responsabilidad penal en supuestos de intervención conjunta de los profesionales sanitarios (“Criminal Responsibility in Medical Activity. The Delimitation of Criminal Responsibility in the Medical Teamwork”) has recently been published.  This monograph emerged as a revised version of my PhD dissertation, submitted to the University of Vigo as the result of an extensive research work carried out at the Institüt für Medizin und Strafrecht (University of Göttingen, Germany), the Centro de Direito Biomédico (University of Coimbra, Portugal), the Cardiff Centre for Ethics, Law and Society (Cardiff University, United Kingdom), and the Law School at the University of Vigo.  The monograph has been published by Marcial Pons Editor (Madrid, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo) and funded by the Rafael Pino Foundation (Madrid). It can be purchased through the Marcial Pons website and is also available in bookshops.