Human bodies: donation for medicine and research
Tuesday 11 October 2011, 14:00-17:00 (lunch from 13:00)
Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Following an 18-month inquiry, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics will publish a report which considers the ethical issues that arise when people are asked to donate bodily material to benefit others. Many different forms of human bodily material may be donated, including blood, organs, tissue, eggs and sperm, and the whole body. The material may be donated after death, during life, or both depending on the type of donation.

The report will consider two questions:

1      How far should society go in trying to encourage people to donate their bodily material? For example, is it acceptable to offer people money?
2      What is the role of the government and others in responding to the demand for bodily material? For example, how can barriers to donation be removed, and how can the need for donated bodily material be reduced?

At this seminar, members of the Working Party that produced the report, and invited guests, will discuss the report’s conclusions and recommendations for policy.

Chair: Tessa Dunlop, Broadcaster

Members of the Working Party who will take part as speakers or panelists include:

  • Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern, Chair of the Working Party and Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University
  • Mr Keith Rigg, Consultant Transplant Surgeon, Nottingham University Hospitals
  • Professor Chris Womack, Principal Clinical Histopathologist, AstraZeneca
  • Professor David Price, Professor of Medical Law, De Montfort University
  • Dr Gillian Lockwood, Medical Director, Midland Fertility Services, West Midlands
  • Dr Tim Lewens, Reader in Philosophy of the Sciences, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Theresa Marteau, Professor of Health Psychology, King’s College, London
  • Professor Sian Harding, Professor of Cardiac Pharmacology, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London
  • Professor Bobbie Farsides, Professor of Clinical and Biomedical Ethics, Brighton and Sussex Medical School


  • Professor Roger Brownsword, Director, Centre for Technology, Ethics and Law in Society (TELOS), King’s College London
  • Professor Michael Banner, Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge

Download the full agenda here. Copies of the report will be available at the seminar. Admission is free but places must be booked in advance. To book your place, please send your name, affiliation (if relevant) and email address to Deanna Johnson tel: +44 (0)20 7681 9619.


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