Royal Institute of Philosophy Seminar Series: Issues in Health Care Ethics and Law

Issues in Health Care Ethics and Law is an annual series of public seminars and lectures by speakers invited from other universities. The series is sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy. All events are are open to the public as well as Keele students and staff, and we encourage anyone with an interest in healthcare ethics and law to attend.

Please direct all inquiries to Kirsty Moreton (

Next Event:
Dr Alexandra Mullock (University of Manchester)
‘The value of life in English Law: revered but not sacred?’

4-5.30pm, Thursday 26th January 2017.

Moot Room, Law School, Chancellor’s Building



Terms such as sanctity and inviolability have failed to provide a legally coherent or ethically sound principle upon which to determine the scope of the intrinsic value of life against extrinsic, quality-of-life considerations in a medical context. In their recent work, Margaret Brazier and Suzanne Ost introduce a new term, reverence for life, which they suggest may be more appropriate when attempting to navigate the murky waters of the meaning of life and the value that should be attached to it. They suggest that reverence should be utilised as an alternative that better reflects the nuances and the realities of the dilemma. This paper explores the existing difficulties before considering how the principle of reverence might provide a principled compromise over when the presumption in favour of preserving life should be rebutted.


Programmes for previous years

Posted on 09 February 2011 Information about past series and speakers