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Key priorities

Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences) supports excellence in academic research, innovative teaching and public dialogue on the ethical, social and regulatory issues raised by the life sciences. This area is defined broadly to include issues relating to health, the environment and biotechnology. We seek to promote the exchange of ideas and the production of high-quality scholarship within and beyond the University. Our expertise spans a wide range of academic disciplines, including (but not restricted to) anthropology, biology, law, philosophy, sociology and theology.

About Us
Engaging public dialogue on the ethical, social and regulatory issues raised by the Life Sciences
Range of academic disciplines including Anthropology, Biology, Law, Philosophy, Sociology and Theology
Innovative teaching through our wide-ranging expertise
Exchanging ideas promoting the production of high-quality scholarships

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Murdering a foetus by taking drugs while pregnant? The role of criminal law in regulating the behaviour of pregnant women

Murdering a foetus by taking drugs while pregnant? We need to think carefully about the role of criminal law in regulating the behaviour of pregnant women
Woman and baby

COVID-19: Escalating the threat to autonomy and rights during childbirth

This blog forms part of a series of blogs that showcase the important contributions published in Women’s Birthing Bodies and the Law: Unauthorised Intimate Examinations, Power and Vulnerability (2020). In her chapter, ‘Human Rights and Gender Stereotypes in Childbirth’ Christina Zampas offers an impactful account and analysis of the influence of gender stereotyping in childbirth.
Book cover titled 'Women’s Birthing Bodies and the Law: Unauthorised Intimate Examinations, Power and Vulnerability '

A European Gilead: Using the Courts to Curb Abortion Rights in Poland

Zoe Tongue comments on the recent ruling by Poland's Constitutional Court which will lead to a near-ban of abortion in a country which already has one of the most restrictive abortion regimes in Europe.
People handling placards and protesting in the street

Responding to Challenges in Diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Four Durham CELLS members responded to a NICE consultation on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in September 2020. In this post we set out some of the concerns raised in our individual responses. In particular, we are concerned at the proposal to screen and record all alcohol consumption during pregnancy and record it in any forthcoming child’s medical notes, without any mention that the pregnant person should give informed consent.
A composition of whisky bottles

Murdering a foetus by taking drugs while pregnant? The role of criminal law in regulating the behaviour of pregnant women

Murdering a foetus by taking drugs while pregnant? We need to think carefully about the role of criminal law in regulating the behaviour of pregnant women
Woman and baby

COVID-19: Escalating the threat to autonomy and rights during childbirth

This blog forms part of a series of blogs that showcase the important contributions published in Women’s Birthing Bodies and the Law: Unauthorised Intimate Examinations, Power and Vulnerability (2020). In her chapter, ‘Human Rights and Gender Stereotypes in Childbirth’ Christina Zampas offers an impactful account and analysis of the influence of gender stereotyping in childbirth.
Book cover titled 'Women’s Birthing Bodies and the Law: Unauthorised Intimate Examinations, Power and Vulnerability '

Postgraduate research

Durham CELLS is committed to recruiting and supporting the very best research students engaged in innovative research on the ethical, societal and regulatory aspects of the biosciences.

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Students studying

Upcoming events

Reva Siegel, Why Restrict Abortion? Expanding the Frame on June Medical

Wednesday 5 May 2021 - Wednesday 5 May 2021
4:30 PM to 6:01 PM
Zoom
Durham Castle Courtyard

Petra Minnerop, The Paris Agreement rulebook: Adding a Glasgow Chapter to the Katowice Package

Friday 28 May 2021 - Friday 28 May 2021
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Zoom
Durham Castle Courtyard

Stephen Minas, Advancing Technology Development and Transfer under the Paris Agreement

Friday 18 June 2021 - Friday 18 June 2021
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Zoom
Saddler Street in Durham City Centre

Get in touch

Find out more about the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences and contact us using the buttons below.

Durham CELLS

The Palatine Centre
Durham
DH1 3LE
UK