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Professor Shaun D Pattinson, LLB, MA, PhD, FRSA

Professor in Durham Law School
Director of Postgraduate Studies, Durham Law School
Director of PG Research, Durham Law School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 46863
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 46865
Room number: PCL222
Member of the Human Rights Centre

(email at


Shaun Pattinson is Professor of Medical Law and Ethics. He joined the Law School as Reader in Law in 2006 and was previously Lecturer (2000-2005) and Senior Lecturer (2005-2006) at the University of Sheffield. Shaun has been the founding Director of Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences) since December 2011. He has been a visiting scholar at the universities of Helsinki (2004) and Maastricht (2012 to present).

Shaun has a law degree from the University of Hull, and a Master's degree (in Biotechnological Law and Ethics) and Ph.D from the University of Sheffield.


Shaun's research interests are primarily in the area of medical law and ethics. His principal publications are Influencing Traits Before Birth (2002) and Medical Law and Ethics (3rd ed, 2011). The second edition of Medical Law and Ethics was awarded the 2010 Minty Medico-Legal Society Prize for best medico-legal book.

Shaun has participated in many research projects and external committees. Currently these include being an Ethical Expert on the TREAT-NMD Advisory Committee for Therapeutics (TACT) (since 2012); and a member of the External Advisory Board for the Canadian National Transplant Research Program (CNTRP) (since 2013).

Shaun has given papers at many UK universities and in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the US. He edited Medical Law International from July 2005 to July 2011.

Research students

Professor Pattinson is happy to advise those interested in studying for an MJur or PhD in any area of medical law and ethics. Please read the information here and contact to arrange for advice on your draft proposal.

Successful research students

  • Rebecca Blackburn: 'Ending One's Own Life: Unjustifiable Injustice'
  • Chantell Burrows: 'Deconstructing Motherhood: A critique of the regulation of surrogacy'
  • Benedict Douglas: 'The Necessity and Possibility of the Use of the Principle of Generic Consistency by the UK Courts to Answer Fundamental Questions of Convention Rights Interpretation' (PhD)
  • Daniel Fenwick: 'Recognition of the Violation of Women's Human Rights Under the European Convention of Human Rights in the Context of Restrictive Abortion Regimes'

Teaching Areas

Law and Medicine

Research Groups

Durham Law School

Research Projects

Durham Law School

Research Interests

  • Medical Law
  • Moral Theory (especially applied ethics)

Selected Publications

Books: authored

Essays in edited volumes

  • Pattinson, Shaun D. & Beyleveld, Deryck (2010). Confidentiality and Data Protection. In Principles of Medical Law. Grubb, Andrew, Laing, Judith, McHale, Jean & Professor Sir Ian Kennedy (consultant editor) Oxford: Oxford University Press. 651-723.

Journal papers: academic

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Ethics: Medical ethics
  • English Law: Medical law


Selected Grants

  • 2014: £29,961 from Wellcome Trust. 'Human Cloning and Stem Cell Research Through the Medium of Law’. Principal investigator. Co-investigators: Dr Vanessa Kind & Dr Benedict Douglas
  • 2004: £14,013 from AHRC. ‘Medical Law and Ethics: moral and legal aspects of medical practice’
  • 2004: British Academy overseas conference grant
  • 2004: SLS academic purposes fund award
  • 1998: AHRC PhD studentship award