I am a part-time Medical Ethics PhD student in the RIHSS and the School of Law, distance studying from Kent. Following a first degree in English and American Literature at the University of Manchester, I had a successful career in book publishing, working for Longman, Pan and Hodder Headline. A Master's degree in Applied Theology (distinction, Kent 2008) revealed a passionate interest in medical ethics, particularly beginning and end of life issues. This led me to the highly respected Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele (PEAK) where I embarked up the professional doctorate in medical ethics, which could be studied part time through distance learning, while raising a family and continuing to work in charity marketing and development. I transferred to the PhD in Jan 2013.

Suffield, Wendy (2015)'The ethics of changing the 14-day rule' Bionews 833, 21 December

Research project

Thesis Topic: The Moral Status of the Embryo.

A human embryo is not classed as a legal person, but nor is it a mere object to be traded. My research focuses on the obligations and protection that might be owed to such an entity when the demands of society for the benefits from stem cell research, embryo editing and three-person IVF clash with traditional views of moral status.

Dr. Sorcha Ui Chonnachtaigh
Prof. Alex Sharpe

Keele experience

Keele University was recommended to me for its highly respected Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele (PEAK), and I made contact with a tutor whose interest also lay in embryonic human life. I embarked upon the professional doctorate in medical ethics, which enabled me to study through distance learning, whilst rearing a family. There I found some of the best lecturers, including Dr Anthony Wrigley, and supervisors, including Dr Sorcha Ui Chonnachtaigh, it has ever been my privilege to experience. The two years of taught modules, and the stimulating discussion and support of my fellow doctoral students, gave me the opportunity to hone my thesis subject before committing to it, and transfer to a PhD.

I always look forward to my visits, and find the atmosphere friendly and encouraging. I relish the opportunity to discuss my work in person with my supervisor, and return home to my research and writing inspired.