Research at PEAK

PEAK academic staff are engaged in research, publication and supervision of research students over a wide range of areas of applied and professional ethics. Details of individual staff research interests can be found on the staff pages.

PEAK research spans several of the research clusters in the School of Law, but is most prominently represented in the Ethics Health and Social Care cluster.

Doctoral theses in progress or recently completed and supervised by members of PEAK include the following topics:

  • Research Ethics in developing countries
  • The Ethics of ECT
  • Accommodating religious requirements in the NHS
  • Social value as criterion for organ allocation
  • Prenatal Testing and Reproductive Autonomy
  • Moral status and the human embryo
  • Research governance in pharmacogenetic drug based development
  • Trust in Physicians
  • Ethics of harm reduction in addiction
  • Medical schools and the virtuous physician
  • Responsibilities of Western countries in relation to HIV in Sub-Saharah Africa
  • Moral particularism and medical ethics
  • The four principles and consequentialism
  • The good health care professional: a critique of Pellegrino

We encourage enquiries about doctoral study on a full-time or part-time basis.

We are also a branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and organise and host an annual seminar series entitled Issues in Healthcare Ethics, Law, and Philosophy. These seminars are open to the general public and are free of charge.

We regularly host conferences and workshops on topical issue in law and ethics. Previous events have included:

  • Loss, Bereavement and Compassionate Care (2014)
  • Putting the Care Back in Healthcare (2014)
  • Workshop on Ethical Policing. (Transcripts and other materials available online at
  • Research Ethics in Europe. (Funded by the European Textbook on Ethics in Research.)
  • Food, Ethics, and the Public's Health. (Papers published in the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, vol. 20, no. 3, 2007.)
  • Children and the Concept of 'Best Interests'
  • Priority setting in health care. (Papers published in Health Care Analysis, vol 14, no. 3. September 2006.)
  • The regulation of reproductive issues by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). (Papers published in Health Care Analysis, vol.12, no.1. Spring 2004.)
  • The conjoined twins legal case Re A. (Papers published in Medical Law Review, Vol.9. No.3. Autumn 2001.)