North regional group

The North regional group of ethics and law leads is made up of representatives from the following medical schools:

  • Durham
  • Hull York
  • Lancaster
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Sheffield

View Regional groups in a larger map

About the group's work

IME North has held a couple of meetings to share the “Really Good Stuff” which we teach as well as the areas which we find harder to teach. We have also contributed to the IME Core Content of Learning and supplied material which we have road-tested.

To contact the regional group please email:

About the group members

Durham - Dr Judith Donkin

Judith Donkin photo 2011Judith started her career in the health service at Hartlepool General Hospital as a student nurse in the mid 1980s, becoming a registered general nurse in 1989. She worked as a staff nurse in acute medical admissions and coronary care in hospitals around the north east. With a change of career in mind she enrolled on the first Access to Medicine course based in King’s Lynn. She was successful in achieving the essential distinction grade to move onto undergraduate medicine at the University of Leicester- graduating in 1999.

Judith moved back to the North East for junior and senior house officer general medicine training at Sunderland Royal Hospital. She then went onto train as GP with the Northumbria Vocational Training. In 2005 she became a GP principal joining a GP partnership at a local practice in Billingham. Her remit at that time was to develop undergraduate teaching in the practice. The practice now teaches 3rd and 5th year medical students. Also at that time she became small group tutor for phase 1 medical students on the Personal Professional Development Strand at the University of Durham.

She has been lucky enough to further develop her interest in medical education and in February 2009 was appointed as a teaching fellow for the phase 1 Person Professional Development strand.

View Judith's full profile - on Durham University's website

Contact Judith:

Hull York - Dr Demian Whiting

Dr Demian Whiting has been Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics and Professionalism at Hull York Medical School (HYMS)  since April 2011. Previously he was Lecturer in Health Care Ethics at Liverpool University. Demian is involved in organising and delivering plenaries, workshops, and Student Selected Components (SSCs), curriculum design and development, and the setting and marking of assessment. He has written on various topics in medical ethics and professionalism, including the role and regulation of attitudes, apologies and conscientious objections in medical practice. He is a member of a number of committees, including the HYMS Ethics Committee.

View Demian's full profile - on the University of Hull website

View Demian's full profile - on the Hull York Medical School website

Contact Demian:

Lancaster - Dr Laura Machin

Laura MachinDr Laura Machin is social science trained, and has always been interested in medical ethics. In 2008, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Leeds on the Social and Ethical Context of Embryo Donation, funded by a Wellcome Trust Biomedical Ethics grant. Laura went on to act as a research fellow at the University of York on the ESRC funded project exploring the Political and Moral Economy of Cord Blood Banking, and the NIHR funded project on the Implications for the NHS of Inward and Outward Medical Tourism. A particular highlight for Laura was being invited to speak on the matter of cord clamping and cord blood banking at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

In May 2011, Laura took up a Lectureship in Medical Ethics at Lancaster Medical School. She has plans to establish a Social Seminar Programme on Medical Ethics involving colleagues at the local Hospitals and the University, as well as a setting up a Debating Society for students from across the University. She is the School’s representative on the Faculty Research Ethics Committee.

Laura currently offers modules on the social and ethical aspects of the donation of body parts, blood and tissues, as well as assisted conception. Since coming to Lancaster, she has become the Co-Convenor for the British Sociological Association Human Reproduction Study Group, and has been awarded funding from the National Gamete Donation Trust to carry out research examining egg and sperm donor satisfaction. Laura wishes to expand her research and teaching interests to incorporate the social and ethical issues involved in transplantation.

Laura has a growing publication record in predominately medical practitioner journals, with articles on how the needs of IVF patients and embryo donors are perceived by those working within clinics, and how the roles of those working within assisted conception clinics or maternity units have responded to the introduction of embryo donation or cord blood banking respectively.

View Laura's full profile - on the University of Lancaster website

Conatct Laura:

Leeds - Professor Chris Megone

CM 2Chris Megone is Professor of Interdisciplinary Applied Ethics at the University of Leeds. He has been the Director of Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied, a national Centre for Excellence, since its inception in 2005. The Centre was awarded to Leeds on the basis of its excellence in the teaching of medical ethics. He was a leader of the development of the undergraduate medical ethics curriculum, together with colleagues in the Medical School, for a period of 12 years up to that time. Professor Megone is also Course Director for the MA in Health Care Ethics, and for the new Online MA in Applied and Professional Ethics. He has supervised a number of PhDs in medical ethics. In addition he was Faculty of Arts KT Director from 2006-2011.

Professor Megone holds a bachelor’s degree in Classics and a BPhil and doctoral degree in Philosophy all from the University of Oxford. He has particular expertise in Ancient Philosophy (Plato and Aristotle), Ethics and Applied Ethics. In 2006, Professor Megone was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship, and is one of the only three philosophers in the UK to have received such an award.

View Chris's full profile - on the University of Leeds website

Contact Chris:

Leeds - Georgia Testageorgia testa_340x200

Lecturer - applied ethics and normative ethics

I am the lead for medical ethics and law in Leeds Medical School, and also teach on both the BA and MA in Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics. Within the Philosophy department I have taught a number of different courses in applied ethics (Environmental Ethics, Ethics of War, and the Ethics of Life and Death). External activity includes involvement in the Journal of Research Ethics as case studies editor, and membership of the IME's Education Group.

View Georgia's full profile - on the University of Leeds website

Contact Georgia:

Liverpool - Dr Lucy Frith

Frith picture 2

Dr Lucy Frith is Senior Lecturer in Bioethics and Social Science in the University of Liverpool's Medical School. Her research focuses on the social and ethical aspects of health-care decision-making, policy and regulation, with a particular interest in empirical ethics and socio-legal approaches. She has carried out research on pregnancy and childbirth; reproductive technologies (gamete and embryo donation); research ethics (clinical trials and public involvement and cross-cultural issues in consent); and the use of evidence in practice and policy. She has held visiting fellowships at the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Science and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge and the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law at the University of Hong Kong.

View Lucy's full profile - on the University of Liverpool website

Contact Lucy:


Dr Stuart Oultram

View Stuart's full profile here  - on the University of Liverpool website


Manchester - Dr Ruth Bromley

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Ruth Bromley is the Lead for Ethics and Law at Manchester Medical School. She is also Clinical Fellow in Ethics, Law and Communication Skills at University Hospital South Manchester, a GP Trainer and a GP Appraiser.

Ruth has been involved in undergraduate teaching at Manchester Medical School for over a decade and has gradually reformed the Ethics and Law curriculum and teaching programme, starting with Year 5 and working backwards! Her efforts are currently concentrated on Years 1 & 2 (Phase 1), working closely with colleagues at The Centre for Social Ethics and Policy (CSEP), particularly Professor Soren Holm. She chairs a 'Hub' of clinical teachers, who support the delivery of Ethics & Law teaching sessions in the clinical years.

Ruth's professional qualifications include MBChB, MRCGP and a PGCE in General Practice Education. Her areas of clinical interest include Child Health and Safeguarding. She is a fierce advocate for her patients and their life experiences greatly influence her teaching. She has an MA in Ethics of Cancer and Palliative Care from Keele University and retains a close interest in End of Life issues, particularly the continued debate around Active Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide. Her dissertation looked at the limitations to patient choice in state-funded healthcare, which is perhaps even more pertinent in the 'age of GP Commissioning' than it was when finished in 2006.

When she is not teaching, she is a GP Principal in a busy urban practice in Wythenshawe, Manchester and she also sits on the Greater Manchester Police Commissioner's Ethics Committee, the first of it's kind in the country.

Contact Ruth -


Newcastle - Rev Bryan Vernon

BV2Ordained as an Anglican priest, I am the "Product champion" for Ethics Teaching and Learning in Newcastle MBBS: since 1991 I have pioneered seminar-based ethics teaching throughout the course in an accessible form as part of the integrated curriculum. I organise a six week fourth year option in Medical Law. I am also Ethics module leader in the world’s first online MSc in Oncology and Palliative Care.

I am an honorary University and Hospital Chaplain and Honorary Treasurer of the Institute of Medical Ethics.  I am a member of the Newcastle Hospitals Clinical Ethics Committee. My major interest is to engage students with attractive and stimulating medical ethics and law teaching and to build a network of medical ethics and law teachers with enthusiasm for their subject who are committed to sharing good practice.

View Bryan's full profile - on the Newcastle University website

Contact Bryan:

Sheffield - Dr Pirashanthie Vivekananda-Schmidt

Vivekananda-SchmidtI have worked in Medical Education since 2002 and at Sheffield medical school since 2005. I am a chartered psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (since July 2014). I completed my Postdoctoral research (funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign) with the Primary Care Sciences Research Centre at Keele University.

I developed a new programme in Medical Ethics and Law for the Sheffield MBChB programme which was first rolled out in 2009/2010. I am curriculum lead for the Personal and Professional Development theme and development of competencies in Ethics and law is a part of this. My research interests are technology enhanced learning, application of ethics, assessment and supporting student learning.

View Pirashanthie's full profile- on the Sheffield University website

Contact Pirashanthie: