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Professor Hazel Biggs

Formerly at Lancaster University

Hazel Biggs

PhD supervision

Hazel has research interests in most areas of medical law and bioethics with an emphasis on assisted reproduction, death and dying and clinical research. She is happy to consider research proposals across the fields of bioethics and medical law generally andhas successfully supervised PhDs on a variety of subjects including surrogacy, abortion, wrongful conception and euthanasia.

Research Interests

Hazel received her first degree from the University of Kent after working for several years as a radiographer and ultrasonographer in the National Health Service. After graduating she was awarded a teaching fellowship whilst working on her PhD thesis examining legal and ethical aspects of euthanasia. Medical Law is the main focus of her research witha particularemphasison end of life decision-making, human reproduction and clinical research. Her research takes a socio-legal approach and typically adopts afeminist perspective, broadly construed.

Alongside her university activities Hazel has been involved with NHS Research Ethics Committees since 1998 and has been Chair of East Kent LREC and Chair of the Metropolitan Multi-Centre Research Ethics Committee. She is also involved with education and training for members of research ethics committees and the medical research community. Hazel was an active member of the editorial board of Feminist Legal Studies since the journal began in 1993.She joined the board of Medical Law Review in 2004 and became a member of the editorial board of Research Ethics Review in 2005.

Research Interests

Medical Law and Bioethics generally, end of life, beginning of life, the ethics and law of clinical research, socio-legal studies and feminist legal theory.

Publications List


H. Biggs, Euthanasia, Death with Dignity and the Law, (2001) Hart Publishing: Oxford.

H. Biggs & K. Horsey (eds), Human Fertilisation and Embryology: Reproducing Regulation (2006) Routledge-Cavendish.


H. Biggs & K. Diesfeld "Assisted Suicide for People with Depression: An Advocate's Perspective" (1995) 2 (1) Medical Law International, 23-39.

H. Biggs, "Decisions and Responsibilities at the End of Life: Euthanasia and Clinically Assisted Death" (1996) 2 (3) Medical Law International, 229-245.

H. Biggs, "Euthanasia and Death with Dignity: Still Poised on the Fulcrum of Homicide" (1996) Criminal Law Review, 878-888.

H. Biggs, "Madonna Minus Child, or Wanted Dead or Alive! The Right to Have a Dead Partner's Child" (1997) 5 (2) Feminist Legal Studies, 225-234.

H. Biggs "I Don't Want to be a Burden! A Feminist Reflects on Women's Experiences of Death and Dying", in S. Sheldon, M. Thomson (eds) Feminist Perspectives on Health Care Law (1998) Cavendish, 279-295.

H. Biggs & R. Mackenzie, "Viagra is Coming! The Rhetoric of Choice and Need" Law & Medicine: Current Legal Issues Vol. 3 (2000), Oxford University Press, 341-361.

H. Biggs, "Forever and Ever Amen: Life and Death in Perpetuity", Res Publica 8 (2002) 93-104.

H. Biggs, "The Ageing Body: Real Bodies and Ageing Realities" in M. Evans & E. Lee (eds) Real Bodies (June 2002) Palgrave: Basingstoke, 167-184.

H. Biggs, "Research in Extremis" 13 Pharmaceutical Physician, 2 (2002) 10-13.

H. Biggs, "A Pretty Fine Line: Life, Death, Autonomy and Letting it B", 11 Feminist Legal Studies 3 (2003), 291-301.

H. Biggs, 'Euthanasia and End of Life Decision-making' in Payne-James, Wall and Dean (eds) Medico-Legal Essentials of Healthcare (2nd ed), (2004) Greenwich Medical Media, 139-149.

H. Biggs, 'The Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill 2004: Will English Law Soon Allow Patients the Choice to Die?' European Journal of Health Law 12, (2005) 43-56.

H. Biggs & R. Mackenzie, "End of Life Decision-making, Policy and the Criminal Justice System: Who Cares about Carers?" Genomics, Society and Policy Vol. 12 No. 1, (2006), 118-128.

H. Biggs, "Human Tissue: New Law, Same Issues", The Good Clinical Practice Journal , 13 (7) (2006), 25-27.

H. Biggs, 'In Whose Best Interests: Who Knows?' 1 (2) Clinical Ethics (2006) 90-93.

H. Biggs, "What is Wrong with the Quest for the Perfect Child?" in H. Biggs & K. Horsey (eds), Human Fertilisation and Embryology: Reproducing Regulation (2006) Routledge-Cavendish, pp1-15.

H. Biggs, "Taking account of the views of the patient", but only if the clinician (and the court) agrees - R (Burke) v General Medical Council' Child and Family Law Quarterly (2007) 225-238.


H. Biggs, "The Choice is Yours, or is it?" in R. Hunter and S. Cowan, CHOICE AND CONSENT: Feminist Engagements with Law and Subjectivity Cavendish (Jan 2007).

H. Biggs, "Criminalising Carers: death desires and assisted dying outlaws" in J. Herring et al (eds) Death Rights and Rites, Hart (2007).

H. Biggs, Healthcare Research Ethics and Law: Regulation, Review and Responsibility Routledge-Cavendish, March 2008.

Recent Conference Presentations

9th June 2000, Genethics: Fundamental Issues in Research Ethics, LREC Administrator's Business and Training Meeting, Medical Society of London. 7th September 2000, Living wills and the will to die: Who Decides?, The Royal College of Geriatricians, Kent & Canterbury Hospital.

5th October 2000, The Research Ethics Committee: Ethical Principles in Practice, The National Health Executive (Department of Health), The Commonwealth Institute, London.

7th July 2001, How Far Should the Law Intervene in the Quest for the Perfect Child? Law & Society Association, Budapest.

22nd October 2002 Public Debate on Euthanasia The Law Society - London 21st November 2002 CPR Policies in Action: A Legal Perspective, National Council for Hospice and Palliative Care Services, Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, London.

26th November 2002, Working Together with the New NHS Arrangements: An Ethics Committee Perspective, NHS R&D Forum, Barbican Centre London.

21st May 2003 debate of the motion This House Believes that Informed Consent in Clinical Research Does Not Exist!, The Institute of Clinical Research, Royal College of Pathologists.

3rd March 2004, Protecting Patients: Research Governance in practice Confidentiality, and Mental Incapacity, NHS R&D Forum, Royal College of Physicians London.

14th-15th September 2005 'Assisted Dying and Matters of Life and Death: Whose Choice is it Anyway?' The Institute of Medicine, Law and Bioethics' International symposium: European perspectives on end of life decision-making.

4th-6th October 2005 'Avoiding Potential Problems in Tissue Handling' European Clinical Trials Summit, Paris.

3rd November 2005 'It May be Lawful but is it Ethical?' Liverpool.

16th November 2006 'Consent is not Enough: Patient Safety and Data Protection - Broken Key, the Professors Tale' The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK.

Current Teaching

Current teaching Medical Law, Medical Ethics andCriminal Law

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