The Mason Institute is proud to announce, in addition to our upcoming MI lunches, seminars and symposia for the coming year, an exciting new calendar of MI events specifically geared at students for the academic year 2013/14. These events will be led BY students FOR students, and will be pertinent to all those with academic interests or courses at the interface between medicine, life sciences and the law. The subject matter will feature the dissertation research of the presenters and will feed into a number of courses throughout the entire University in line with our interdisciplinary focus.

The details for the events are as follows:


Should the law of Scotland permit the sale of Human Organs and Tissues? – An ILW Event

Thursday 20th February 2014, 3.30-5pm (Lecture Theatre 270 with wine reception to follow in the Lorimer Room, Old College, Edinburgh)

THE DEBATE – a debating team from the University of Edinburgh will go head-to-head during Innovative Learning Week (ILW) against the University of Glasgow to debate this controversial multidisciplinary issue for Scotland, before a judgment in favour of the most convincing team is handed down by the chairperson, David Stephenson QC.

To this event we invite students and interested parties from both Universities, and a wine reception and social gathering will follow the event.

If you are interested in joining either team for the debate, please contact:

Keir Gilius                            (Team Edinburgh)           –    

Beverley Addison            (Team Glasgow)              –    

N.B. Please note that we will have a photographer  present at the debate – please let us know in advance if you do not wish to have your picture taken.


Consent to Medical Treatment and the Child: Does Mummy Know Best?

Tuesday 5th November 2013, 1-2pm (Moot Court Room, Old College, Edinburgh)

Register here:

Keir Gilius (4th Year LLB Undergraduate, University of Edinburgh)

Who makes clinical decisions for children? Is it the parents, the doctors, the state or the children themselves? In any case, should we defer to the parents for proxy consent to medical decisions in relation to their own children, or does such an approach hinder and stifle the emerging autonomy of the child? The overarching question remains: Does mummy always know best?

In this new series of Mason Institute student seminars (bring a packed lunch!) in 2013/14 by students and for students, 4th Year Undergraduate LLB student, Keir Gilius, will present his case, followed by a discussion from the floor.

This seminar will be relevant to students across disciplines with interests in Child Law and Children’s Rights, Child Psychology, Contemporary Issues in Medical Practice, Medical Ethics, Medical Jurisprudence, Human Rights and Social Sciences.

Organ donation in Scotland: My heart is your heart?

Monday 10th February 2014, 1.10-2pm (Ken Mason Suite, Old College, Edinburgh)

Michaela Halpern (4th Year LLB Undergraduate, University of Edinburgh)

Opt-in or opt-out organ donation. Is it better to require an action to allow one’s organs to be donated or to require an action to oppose? What is the reasoning behind each choice? Studies show that countries with opt-out systems have higher rates of organ donation. However, is this because people “forget” to opt-out even though they vehemently oppose? Or is it that in opt-in systems people simply don’t take the time to opt-in in their busy lives even though they are willing to donate? With Wales becoming the first country in the United Kingdom to change to an opt-out system, what should Scotland do?

This lunch-time seminar (bring a packed lunch!) led by Michaela will be on the topic: ‘Organ donation in Scotland: My Heart is Your Heart?’. Her presentation will be followed by a discussion from the floor.

This seminar is particularly relevant to students with interests in Medical Ethics and Medical Jurisprudence, Family and Child Law, Gender Studies, International Law, Human Rights and Social Sciences.

Whose Body is it Anyway? The Human Body as a Commercial Commodity

Monday 3rd March 2014, 1.10-2pm (Ken Mason Suite, Old College, Edinburgh)

Scott Clair (4th Year LLB Undergraduate, University of Edinburgh)

Who owns bodies? The law of property considers the living human body to be ownerless and incapable of ownership. Philosophically this contrasts with the right to self-determination which now forms the cornerstone of contemporary medical law. Society also faces the question of whether it is ethical to consider a commercial aspect to human body parts – e.g. ought we to be able to sell our organs or other body parts? Moreover, ought the state to prohibit us from doing so? The central question focuses on: Whose body is it anyway?

This seminar (bring a packed lunch!) will be led by 4th Year Undergraduate LLB student, Scott Clair.

This seminar will be particularly relevant to  students from all disciplines with interests in Medical Ethics and Medical Jurisprudence, Property Law, Philosophy, IP Law, Human Rights, Commodification and Social Sciences.

NEW Student Events for 2013/14
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