Dr Ruth Stirton

Ruth StirtonOrganisation

University of Sussex

Job Title

Lecturer in Healthcare Law

Ruth is a Lecturer in Healthcare Law at the University of Sussex. Ruth's approach to healthcare law is to see it in light of the social and political context. Her work explores the gap between law and policy as written and the way in which it is implemented on the ground. Her recent article, 'In search of a father: Legal challenges surrounding posthumous paternity testing', showed the inconsistencies in the Human Tissue Act 2004 in relation to DNA testing on retained tissue, and how those inconsistencies make things difficult for the pathologists and mortuary staff on the front line trying to work within the law.

Her interest in healthcare regulation is focused on issues of significance to individual NHS patients: the quality of hospital food, and how regulation might be used to improve the nutrition of hospital patients; the impact of the Mid Staffordshire fiasco and the Francis Report, especially in relation to the duty of candour and the obligation to discuss errors with patients; the nature of infant feeding policy in the UK, and its chilling effect on mothers' infant feeding choices. Her research project "My Infant Feeding Journey" is asking women to write their stories about their infant feeding experiences.

She is interested in the limits of healthcare law. How do social and scientific developments affect the application of the law? How should law apply to new scenarios? What do future technologies tell us about the nature of our legal framework? Could our law cope with cryogenically frozen persons; genetically engineered brainless animals for growing organs for transplantation; head, or whole body transplantation?

Ruth has a husband, two children (Thomas, 4 and Daniel 1), no animals, and an untidy house.

Twitter: @Ruth Stirton