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Academic Law and the Pandemic Response

Dr Amel Alghrani, Reader in Law at the University of Liverpool School of Law & Social Justice has been working alongside several of her colleagues to apply their knowledge and skills to projects that are helping with the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amel Alghrani head shotHere Amel shares details of some of these projects:

Working with local hospitals

During the pandemic, I have used my medical law and ethics expertise to help the local clinical response to Covid and currently sit on two panels at Alder Hey Hospital which were set up to help the pandemic response: (i) The Clinical Ethics Committee and (ii) The Clinical Decision Making Committee.

Alongside the clinicians at Alder Hey, we have co-authored a paper ''Rapid Development of a Clinical Decision-Making Committee in a UK Paediatric Hospital During the COVID-19 Pandemic". This documents how the hospital is making ethical decisions during the pandemic amidst the lack of national ethical guidance in England. This is under currently review with a peer-reviewed journal.

'Clinical and Ethical Decision Making in a Pandemic: The UK Experience' Webinar

With respected ethicist Dr Teodora Manea Hauskeller from the School of Medicine, we delivered a webinar in May 2020 on 'Clinical and Ethical Decision Making in a Pandemic: The UK Experience'.

This was a dialogue between Ethics and Law to tackle questions such as: What guidance (legal, ethical or professional) is there in the UK for those on the front line making clinical decisions during the Pandemic?; In what ways has ethical evaluation been incorporated into UK's clinical pandemic response?; What are examples of good ethical practice in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak?; Does society fulfil the duty of care towards front line workers? ; Are there ethical conflicts between Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients? In what ways, if at all, have ethical perspectives been changed by the experience of dealing with COVID-19?; What lessons might be learned for future pandemics?

You can watch a recording of this webinar online here (password: 2d+bTD#^)

Effects of the pandemic on children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities

With my colleague Seamus Byrne (also from the School of Law and Social Justice), we received ethical approval to undertake a research study on 'The Impact of the Pandemic on Children with SEND and their education' . The study received over 230 responses. We used this data in submitted written evidence to the Government. The Government Education Committee considered and published this evidence on 10th June 2020. It can be found here: https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/5816/html/

We have submitted an abstract to discuss our research at the British Sociological Association "Disability and Health Inequalities in Times of COVID-19" webinar series.

Special Covid collection in Medical Law International: 'The Covid19 Pandemic and Health Law'

Together with two of my colleagues in SLSJ (Dr Paula Case and Professor Marie Fox with whom I edit the journal, Medical Law International) we are doing a special collection of papers on "The Covid-19 Pandemic and Health Law".

We are now inviting abstracts for the collection of papers pertaining to the various impacts of the pandemic on health care law nationally and internationally. If you are interested in contributing either a short commentary (3-6,000 words including footnotes) or a longer paper (maximum 12,000 words including footnotes) or in contributing to the collection by assisting with the review of papers which fall in your area of expertise, please do get in touch. 

Draft abstracts (maximum 500 words) can be forwarded to paula.case@liv.ac.uk for distribution to the Editorial Team. We commit to prioritising the review and publication of any pandemic related submissions and accepted papers/commentaries will appear online on an Open Access basis before appearing in hard copy in due course.

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