We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK


93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Researchers > Laura Machin
View graph of relations

Current Postgraduate Research Students

Laura Machin supervises 1 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

« Back

Dr Laura Machin


Laura Machin

Furness Building

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YG

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 594973

Location: B36

Research overview

Broadly, my research interests rest within the social and ethical aspects of medicine. I have a particular interest in matters related to reproductive medicine, the donation of body parts, blood and tissue, and patients’ rights. Throughout my research activities, I adopt an applied approach, whereby I consider the policy and practice implications of the topic under study. My research has tended to be interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on a wide range of literature from medical sociology and ethics, and focused upon accessing hidden populations and interviewing on sensitive subjects.

Current Research

Connections of workplace cultures, patient safety and dignity

In collaboration with Dr Dawn Goodwin, Lancaster University

Funding sought: Economic and Social Research Council


Exploring Perceptions of Quality Cord Blood Samples in Stem Cell Treatments

In collaboration with Dr Takuya Matsushige, National Institute of Public Health, Japan

Funded by:The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation


Aspects of Patient Self-Discharge Against Medical Advice

In collaboration with Dr David Warriner, University of Sheffield.

Funded by: Early Career Small Grants Scheme, Lancaster University


Exploring Egg, Sperm, and Potential Donors’ Satisfaction

Funded by: National Gamete Donor Trust


Learning about bodies: Intersections of technology, morality and pedagogy

In collaboration with Dr Dawn Goodwin and Dr Adam Taylor, Lancaster Medical School.

Funded by: Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University

Research Interests

Broadly, my research interests rest within the social and ethical aspects of medicine. My time as a postgraduate, whereby I focused on the social and ethical aspects surrounding reproductive medicine, in particular gamete and embryo donation, has been instrumental in shaping my research activities. I have since explored reproductive medical tourism, as well as the moral and political aspects of umbilical cord blood banking, during my postdoctoral period. Consequently, my research interests have extended to incorporate the social and ethical aspects of the donation of body parts, blood and tissue.

My continuing enthusiasm for conducting empirical research developed during my doctorate, with a particular interest in accessing hidden populations and interviewing on sensitive subjects. This is reflected in my current work with Dr David Warriner at the University of Sheffield on the social and ethical aspects of patients discharging themselves against medical advice. Similarly, my pleasure at conducting cross-cultural comparisons started with my PhD, when I conducted interviews with key stakeholders in the development of embryo donation in Australia and the UK, and continues today with my collaboration with Dr Matsushige at the National Institute of Public Health in Japan, where we are exploring the notion of ‘quality’ in cord blood treatments.

Throughout my research activities, I always adopt an applied approach, whereby I consider the policy and practice implications of the topic under study. This is reflected in my collaboration with the National Gamete Donation Trust to examine gamete donors’ satisfaction with the donation process, and the dissemination of the findings arising from the political and moral economy of umbilical cord blood banking project with Professor Nik Brown (Uni. Of York) and Dr Danae McLeod.

It is my current work with Drs Dawn Goodwin and Adam Taylor since arriving at Lancaster Medical School that combine my research interests, by exploring the use of donated deceased bodies to teach anatomy to medical students. I am particularly interested in exploring what is meant by terms such as ‘dignity’, ‘respect for bodily integrity’, and ‘emotional detachment’ in the context of anatomy teaching in medical education.

Current Teaching

I contribute to the MBChB degree programme in a number of ways:

Problem Based Learning: I am a PBL tutor for first year medical students

Lectures and Workshops: I lecture to 1st – 5th year medical students on the ethical aspects of the curriculum theme 'Professional Practice, Values and Ethics'. I also convene clinical ethics case analysis workshops for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year medical students, and the clinical ethics forums with 5th year medical students and masters social work students.

Special Study Modules: I convene three SSMs relating to my research interests for 2nd and 3rd year medical students ('The Social and Ethical Context of Reproductive Medicine'; 'Deconstructing Donation'; The Making of a 'Good' Doctor)

Additional Information

Research Supervision: Postgraduate

My postgraduate supervision has centered on professionals’ decision making in varying contexts of medicine. Theoretically, these studies have been interdisciplinary in nature, informed by medical ethics and medical sociology literature. Methodologically, these projects have involved conducting semi-structured interviews, which have been analysed using a thematic analysis. I have recently extended by supervision topics to include researchers’ ethics in practice, which is in line with my growing administration and research activities in the area.

Current students include:

Anna Chiumento. ‘How do researchers construct and apply “ethics” to mental health research with post-conflict humanitarian populations in Pakistan, Sri-Lanka and Nepal? (co-supervisors Professor Atif Rahman; Dr Lucy Frith – Uni. Of Liverpool)

Alex Wright. ‘End of life decision-making in the Intensive Care Unit’ (co-supervisor Dr Rachel Markham, Royal Lancaster Infirmary)

Heather Dixon. ‘‘Ethical’ decision making in organ donation’ (co-supervisor Dr Mark Wilkinson, Royal Lancaster Infirmary)


Research Supervision: Undergraduate

I am currently supervising two 3rd year projects relating to my ongoing and emerging research interests:

Justine Milward. ‘How is a fertility preservation consultation approached by healthcare professionals in adolescents with cancer?’

Matthew McGee. ‘The purpose of medical oath taking’


Positions of Responsibility: Internal

I am a member of the Lancaster University Faculty of Health and Medicine Research Ethics Committee.


Positions of Responsibility: External

I am Co-Convenor for the British Sociological Association Human Reproduction Study Group

I am a member of the UHMBT Organ Donation Committee

I am a member of the Lancashire Practical Ethics Committee

View all (8) »

View all (7) »