The Centre for Ethics in Medicine is the first such Centre in the UK to be located within a Medical School. The Centre was officially opened by Lord Limerick in 1998, although its work had begun in 1996, with the appointment of its first Director, Professor Alastair V Campbell. Since opening, the Centre has earned international recognition as a focal point for research and teaching on the ethical issues arising in medicine and health care.
The Centre’s research activities are grouped around three core themes:
The Centre’s research portfolio reflects the diverse expertise of its staff members, who come from such disciplines as philosophy, law, theology, sociology and medicine. Their work has been funded by organisations including the European Commission, the Wellcome Trust and the NIHR.
The Centre also boasts an extensive teaching portfolio, which includes significant input into the Medicine (MBChB) programme at Bristol, alongside programmes dedicated to the study of bioethics and health care ethics. Education and training is also provided on a range of continuing professional development courses for practising health care professionals, including workshops aimed at the members of research and clinical ethics committees.
Centre staff members also contribute to the maintenance of ethical standards by providing expert opinion, advice and support to organisations and professionals at the international, national and local levels. Beneficiaries include local ethics committees, the British Medical Association, the National Council for Palliative Care, the Retained Organs Commission, the European Clinical Ethics Network and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. Staff members equally enter into public discussions about ethics in medicine, through a range of public engagement activities and contributions to the worldwide media.