Louisa Howard Bioethics & Society 2016/17 MA student awarded prestigious King’s College President’s international scholarships

Many congratulations to Louisa Howard who has been awarded one of the prestigious King’s College President’s international scholarships to pursue a Masters in Bioethics & Society at SSHM, starting in September 2016.

Louisa HowardLouisa graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 as an Echols Scholar, majoring in Art History with a minor in Bioethics and completing all medical school prerequisites.

Upon graduation, Louisa received a two-year Fellowship to perform research at the National Institutes of Health in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.. Through the masters program, Louisa seeks to develop a comprehensive understanding of the ethical issues facing medical professionals today. Following the program, Louisa plans to attend medical school. As a physician, Louisa hopes to be actively involved in the realm of clinical and academic bioethics.

Applications for the Bioethics & Society MA programme for entry September 2016 are OPEN (please note deadline for international students July 29th, 2016). For info see here:


Please note that applications for funding for 2016/17 are closed (deadline was March 31st, 2016). For more information about funding see here.

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Work In Progress Seminar Tuesday July 12th with Dr Liz Dzeng: “Communication Pathologies in Do-Not-Resuscitate Discussions at the End of Life”

When: 3:30pm Tuesday the 12th of July
Where: Room 3.1.1, East Wing King’s Building

In the next session of the Work in Progress (WiPs) seminar series Elizabeth (Liz) Dzeng, MD, PhD, MPH (http://profiles.ucsf.edu/elizabeth.dzeng) will present her paper:

“Communication Pathologies in Do-Not-Resuscitate Discussions at the End of Life: The Unintended Consequences of an Ideology of Patient Choice”

Abstract: The focus on patient autonomy in American medicine today highlights the importance of freedom and choice for patients make their own decisions. However, to truly honour patient autonomy, patients must adequately understand their situation and choices. Fifty-eight semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with internal medicine physicians at three hospitals in the US and one in the UK. I observed that two hospitals had policies that prioritized patient autonomy whereas the other two hospitals had policies that prioritized making decisions in the patient’s best interest. Particularly at hospitals where autonomy was prioritized, trainee physicians equated autonomy with giving a menu of choices. They were uncomfortable giving a recommendation based on clinical knowledge as they worried that that would infringe patient autonomy.


Liz is Assistant Professor at UCSF in the Division of Hospital Medicine and Social and Behavioral Sciences, Sociology program. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the King’s College London Cicely Saunders Institute. She completed her PhD in Medical Sociology at the University of Cambridge at King’s College as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and a General Internal Medicine Post-Doctoral Clinical Research Fellow and Palliative Care Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Liz has published several opinion pieces for the Guardian, Wired UK, Huffington Post. You can find out more about her research and public engagement activities here:


Reminder: these seminars are part of the SSHM BIOS+ Research Group events and offer the opportunity to the members of the Department to discuss drafts of their work-in-progress and receive helpful feedback from colleagues before submission or before a presentation. The aim is to bring together the researchers in the Department and provide a locus for sharing expertise and knowledge in an informal setting. Junior researchers, and members of the BIOS + group, are especially encouraged to present and attend.

If you wish to attend please email Giulia Cavaliere (giulia.cavaliere@kcl.ac.uk), the convenor of the WiP seminar series, to ask for the draft of the paper.

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What our students do after they graduate: Elizabeth Carlson and Andrew Barnhart

Elizabeth Carlson and Andrew Barnhart graduated from the Bioethics & Society MA programme at King’s College London in 2015.

Elizabeth CarlsonElizabeth has just started her post-graduate career by recently becoming a policy analyst for the Provincial Government of Alberta through the Alberta Public Service Internship in Edmonton, Canada. In this position Elizabeth performs research for policy and programs in the Ministry of Seniors and Housing. Her bioethics education allows her to engage with her work on an interdisciplinary level; combining philosophical, sociological, and scientific points of view.

Andrew BarnhartAndrew recently obtained a position as an adjunct philosophy instructor at Frederick Community College in the United States. He will teach courses related to ethics and philosophy to incoming students. Previously, Andrew was a research assistant at SSHM working with Dr. Courtney Davis on a project involving an analysis of NICE’s assessment of anti-obesity and diabetes pharmaceuticals.

Andrew chose the Bioethics & Society MA programme because he wanted to practice pragmatic ethical philosophy and shape future policies regarding contemporary scientific and social issues. These are goals that he continues to strive and achieve today.

Elizabeth says about her education at SSHM: “The Bioethics and Society MA attracted me because I wanted to merge my scientific and philosophy education. his unique MA allowed me to use my background and experiences to build an education around my interests and challenge me philosophically. This experience benefits my current position as a policy analyst because I now can use a developed interdisciplinary perspective to gain the best possible understanding of the issues at hand”.

Applications for entry September 2016 for the Bioethics & Society MA programme are open (deadline July 31st, 2016). For info see here:



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