The Centre for Health, Law, and Society, and the Centre for Ethics in Medicine have been awarded a major Wellcome Trust Collaborative award for a cross-disciplinary project exploring the best interests of patients in medical ethics and law.

We are absolutely thrilled that the Wellcome Trust has chosen to support this important project. Best interests decisions are taken daily for thousands of patients and we hope, through our five years of work, to help support and inform everyone involved, from patients to carers to professionals

Professor Richard Huxtable, CEM and BABEL Director

Led by Professor Richard Huxtable, the project team comprises Dr Jonathan Ives and Dr Giles Birchley from the Centre for Ethics in Medicine (CEM) and Dr Judy Laing and Dr Sheelagh McGuinness from the Centre for Health, Law and Society (CHLS).

This project substantially builds on work between the CEM and the CHLS, and it will be supported by a broad multi-disciplinary team of researchers, patients and professionals from Bristol and beyond.

The £1.5 million grant will fund a 5-year programme of work, across four distinct workstreams, and includes PhD studentships, a visiting fellow scheme, and a programme of public engagement work.

The project builds on previous work conducted by both centres, including during a Wellcome Trust-funded Seed project, awarded to Prof. Huxtable, which explored legal rulings concerning patients in the minimally conscious state and cryonics.

This exciting inter-disciplinary project combines our health law expertise at the Centre for Heath, Law & Society (CHLS), with CEM's expertise in healthcare ethics. The research is hugely important, as it has the potential to impact on the legal and ethical frameworks which regulate the lives of many patients, both young and old, who are deemed to lack capacity to make decisions about their medical treatment

Dr Judy Laing, Reader in Law, Co-Director CHLS, Co-Deputy Director of BABEL

BABEL presents a fantastic opportunity to conduct important research into best interest decision making. Its potential to inform practice and support decision makers is in no small part founded upon its innovative interdisciplinary methodology, which has been developed here at the Centre for Ethics in Medicine

Dr Jonathan Ives, Deputy Director CEM, Co-Deputy Director of BABEL

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