About Us:

The Northern Ireland Forum for Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare exists to promote an awareness of the ethical issues which arise in the delivery of health and social care.You can get involved with the Forum’s activities by becoming a member, and you can keep up to date with our events by emailing a request to join our mailing list to contact@nief.org.uk or by joining our facebook group. Members come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds within healthcare and we encourage interested members of the public to join to Forum and participate in our activities. We organise an annual conference (usually in April) and hold 4 or 5 evening meetings every year.

Forthcoming Events: 

On 1800 Wednesday the 21st of February Professor Søren Holm will be giving a talk on ‘Nudging in health care‘. On Thursday the 8th of March Dr Alexis Paton (Leicester) will give a talk on her research into Oncofertility entitled ‘It’s not just about having babies.

This year we will have three events in the programme for Imagine: A Festival of Ideas, which runs from the 12th – the 18th of March. The first will be a play, Homeward Bound, that has been developed by the National Council for Palliative Care. The second will be a talk by Dr David Lawrence (Newcastle) entitled ‘More Human than Human‘, whilst the third will be from Professor Heather Widdows (Birmingham) on whether or not we have ‘A Duty to be Beautiful?

Following the Imagine festival we have talks planned on Culture, Childbirth & Ethical Decision-Making by Dr Lucy Frith (Liverpool), Family as a contested moral and political practice by Prof. dr Marian A. Verkerk (University Medical Centre Groningen).


Previous Events:

We recently held a day long event on  ethics and care at the end of life, whilst the topics addressed at our evening events have included The Role of the NI Public Services Ombudsman in Relation to Health and Social Care, The Mental Capacity Act (NI) 2016, The GMC’s 2017 Confidentiality GuidanceLetting Hunger Strikers and other Patients StarveAlienation in the Medical ProfessionEpistemic Injustice and Chronic Fatigue SyndromeWhy there can be no Moral Obligation to Eradicate Disability, the Duty to Disclose and the implication of the Montgomery-v-Lanarkshire caseuterus transplantation, and death in human beings. A full list can be found here.  

The Imagine Festival:

In March 2016 we curated three events as part of Imagine: A Festival of Ideas. These were Controversies about the Human Right to Health with Prof. Jo Wolff (UCL); An Opt-Out Organ Donor Register: What is it, and should NI have one?Dr Chris Hingston (CLOD South Wales), Dr Paul Glover (Regional CLOD, Belfast, NI) and Nathan Emmerich (QUB); and Editing the Genome: What do the Public think about Engineering Human Beings? with Silvia Camporesi (KCL). We did the same in 2017. Dr Duncan Wilson spoke about Modern Medical Ethics: Moral Support or Professional Challenge? and Professor Richard Ashcroft on Bioethical Utopias: What the Future of Medicine says about our Present.