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Austen Garwood-Gowers

Associate Professor

Nottingham Law School

Staff Group(s)
Nottingham Law School staff



  • 2007-2008: Aiding Andrew Alonzi on SCIE funded project concerning awareness of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 amongst community nurses
  • 2004-2005: Member of the responsibility, capacity and autonomy of minors research project run by I Ruiz-Gallardon and A G de Pablos at Universidad Complutense
  • 1991-1997: Member of the Project Management Team of EUROTOLD (Multi-Disciplinary European Study of the Ethical and Legal Aspects on Transplantation of Living Donors, ref: BMH1-CT92-1841) contracted to the European Commission for approximately £300,000 with oversight responsibilities for further contracts awarded to collaborating partners in Eastern and Central European countries under the PECO programme.

Career overview

Currently Dr Garwood-Gowers is Director of Studies for Phd's in the following areas:

  • assisted suicide (legal and ethical aspects)
  • the use of minors in research (legal and ethical aspects)
  • balancing inclusion and exclusion with respect to participation in sport (primarily legal, psychological, socio-cultural, medical and philosophical aspects)
  • maintaining competitiveness in sport (principally legal, ethical and economic aspects).

He is broadly interested in themes related to the human body that have ethical and legal dimensions and finds issues relating to medical use of the body of particular interest (to this end see research interests above).

Research areas

Health Law and Ethics

Medical law and ethics especially:

  • consent and protection of the incapable
  • beginning and ending of life issues
  • the use of tissue and organs for transplantation and other purposes
  • medical research
  • human rights aspects.

Much of Dr Garwood-Gowers' current research concerns respect for the human being in healthcare. Theoretical aspects of this include:

  • the use of philosophical theories to advance / detract from respect for the human being as a precondition for medical intervention
  • the relationship between respect and human dignity and between human dignity and autonomy
  • the protection of identity, integrity and equality and opposition to commodification and extreme forms of artificialisation (such as cloning and hybridisation) as aspects of the protection of dignity.

Practical aspects include:

  • the use of law and governance at the international, regional and domestic level to protect respect and to detract from it, both in general and with regard to specific classes of individual (embryo / foetus, minor, incapable adult, dying, dead etc.) and in specific contexts (e.g. medical research, use of tissue for research, transplantation, biotechnological development etc.)
  • issues pertaining to practice and enforcement. For example, the extent of failures to protect the individual in practice in specific fields and the extent to which problems with enforcement may contribute to these failures.

External activity

Dr Austen Garwood-Gowers is the author of some 40 or so publications in the field of healthcare law and ethics including leading edge works in the field of transplantation and medical use of the human body more generally. His external work includes occasional assessment of grant applications for the Welcome Trust, review work for leading peer refereed journals in the field (such as Medical Law Review and Medical Law International), external examination of higher degrees and programme validation and review. As well as being a Member of the Society of Legal Scholars, European Association of Health Law and World Association of Medical Law, Dr Garwood-Gowers represents the Law School on the steering group of the Midlands Healthcare Law and Ethics Consortium and leads the European Association of Health Law Interest Group on Use of the Human Body with Solvita Olsena.

Sponsors and collaborators

  • Key past sponsors have included the European Commission and SCIE.

Press expertise

Dr Garwood-Gowers can offer comment on euthanasia; medical law and ethics; medical research law and ethics; and organ transplants law and ethics.