Dr Muireann Quigley - research
Muireann's research interests include the ethics of reproduction and the reproductive technologies, organ transplantation, rights, and the ethics of 'nudges' in the health context.
Her current research focuses on property rights in the human body and its parts and aims to give an ethical and legal philosophical analysis of concepts such as self-ownership, autonomy, and consent and the role these (purportedly) play in the control of a person's body and their separated parts.
Regulating Bodies & Influencing Health: Nudges, Incentives, & Public Policy
Co-funding from a Wellcome Trust Small Grant and the University of Manchester’s Wellcome Trust Strategic Programme ‘The Human Body: Its Scope, Limits, & Future’. Held in Rotterdam in June2012 as a pre-congress symposium at the International Association of Bioethics World Congress.
More information at: Health Nudges
Media and Medical Law in the Spotlight
Muireann was successful, with colleagues in CSEP, in obtaining funding from the British Academy and the Society for Legal Scholors. This took place in Nov 2010 at the British Academy in London.
Humans & Other Animals: Challenging the Boundaries of Humanity
This conference sought to examine and challenge the boundaries so often drawn in philosophy, as elsewhere, between humans and other animals. It drew on philosophical, legal and scientific perspectives in order to question the legitimacy and utility of such distinctions and thereby to explore the moral and philosophical meanings of humanity and being human.
Speakers included Prof Patrick Bateson, Dr Juan Carlos Gomez, Dr Lisa Bortolotti, Professor John Harris, Prof Margot Brazier, Dr Matteo Mameli, Prof Sarah Cunningham Burley, Prof Raymond Tallis, Prof David DeGrazia, and Prof Frans De Waal.
More information at: Humans and Other Animals
Prosocial Primates: Empathy in Animals and Humans
This public lecture at the Wellcome Collection was held in conjunction with the Humans and Other Animals Conference. Acclaimed primatologist Frans de Waal demonstrated how empathy comes naturally to a great variety of animals, including humans. He argued that understanding empathy and survival value in evolution can help to build a more just society based on a more accurate view of human nature.
More information at: Prosocial Primates
Challenges at the Interface of Biolaw & Bioethics
Academic staff, research staff, and postgraduate students within the Centre hosted the 3rd Annual Postgraduate Conference in Bioethics. The conference aimed to bring together leading academics and postgraduate students. Speakers included Professor Emily Jackson, Dr. Mairi Levitt, Professor Priscilla Alderson, Professor Margaret Brazier, Professor SÃren Holm, and Professor John Harris. The keynote speaker was Dr Evan Harris MP.
Further details at: Challenges at the Interface of Biolaw & Bioethics
A recent interview about the ethical issues in synthetic biology for the SYBHEL project.
Past Research Activities
Visiting Researcher, Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM), Sydney
In 2010 Muireann spent some time at VELiM in Sydney where she was working on organ donation and property in the body.
ESRC Seminar Series: 'Transplantation and the Organ Deficit in the UK - Pragmatic Solutions to Ethical Controversy'
Academic staff within the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy (CSEP) were awarded funding by the ESRC for a Seminar Series entitled 'Transplantation and the Organ Deficit in the UK - Pragmatic Solutions to Ethical Controversy'. The seminar series ran from November 2006 to March 2008 and brought together national and international academic experts, policy-makers, doctors, scientists and patient representatives to consider how best to address ethical, policy and legal issues arising out of the shortage of organs available for transplantation in the UK.
Further details at:
Crucible 2008 - National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)
Muireann was selected to take part in NESTA's 2008 Crucible programme, which brought together researchers from a wide range of disciplines to think innovatively about the social and technical challenges facing society.
Further details at:
Visiting Researcher, Department of Medical Ethics in the Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam
In 2008 Muireann received an Erasmus Training Grant which enabled her to spend some time as a Visiting Researcher at the Department of Medical Ethics in the Erasmus Medical Centre of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Muireann was previously involved in lobbying while the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill was passing through Parliament see:
The final text of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 are available at: