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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Faculty in Collaboration with HKU Centre for Medical Ethics on Emerging Issues in Medical Ethics, Law and PolicyThe University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the University of Cambridge held a launch ceremony on 16 September to mark the collaboration of the two leading universities on emerging issues in medical ethics, law and policy. Professor John Spencer and Mr. Terry Kaan of the HKU Centre for Medical Ethics and Law officiated at the ceremony.

The event marked the launch of an ongoing cooperation between the interdisciplinary HKU Centre for Medical Ethics and Law (CMEL) and the Faculty. Funded by the Hatton Trust and the WYNG Foundation, a lectureship in medical law, ethics and policy, and a junior research fellowship in medical law, ethics and policy at Trinity Hall will be created. The sponsored scholars will be supported to visit the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law at HKU and spend up to four weeks at HKU annually to facilitate research interactions between Cambridge, Trinity Hall and HKU. A variety of guest lectures and seminars at CMEL on topics of interest will be provided to the academic community and the general public.

In the evening, Professor John Spencer gave a public lecture on 'Criminalising sickness? Liability for the transmission of disease'. Professor Spencer explored in the lecture the moral, legal and logistical dimensions of imposing civil or criminal liability for transmitting illness to another person. Professor Spencer's talk focused on a UK rule that an HIV-positive person may be found to have maliciously inflicted grievous bodily harm for knowingly having unprotected sexual intercourse with an unaware partner. Researchers and advocacy groups have pointed out that the additional stigma and burden are potentially imposed upon the sick by such legal consequences. The wider relevance of the topic and the future of legislation around the transmission of illness are considerable interest in Hong Kong, where emerging infectious diseases are of constant concern and high in public awareness.

For more information, please see the University of Hong Kong website.

Image courtesy of University of Hong Kong.