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Feature: MA Bioethics and Medical Law, Anna’s Story

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With the start of the new academic year, St Mary’s University, Twickenham MA Bioethics and Medical Law graduate Anna Westin talks about her experiences at the University. Anna, who is now studying for a PhD at St Mary’s said, “I was initially interested in the course because it provided a wider selection of topics and platforms for discussion than most other bioethics courses. I was interested in how a person’s belief system could be interwoven into a discussion on bioethics, as well as how medical law and philosophy were linked in questions surrounding life and death issues. “I think that the breadth of module options and the possibility for discussion sets the programme apart. The course content of the Masters in Bioethics, combined with the availability and excellence of the lecturers and the flexibility of the course, creates a unique and rewarding programme. “Coming from a philosophy background, I enjoyed the overview of ethics from a philosophical perspective. I also enjoyed the discussion and challenges that emerged in the Beginning of Life and the Religious Perspectives modules. Having no law background, I found the Medical Law module the most difficult, but also very rewarding in that I was able to learn about the legal system through questions that I was already familiar with from the other modules. “I received a great deal of support from my lecturers, Dr Matthews and Dr Altorf are now my PhD supervisors, and I am co-convening a conference with Dr Stammers. My lecturers showed me how to get involved with internships and publications. They have also provided numerous references and have suggested conferences and organisations that I have found hugely beneficial to my work.” Whilst studying, Anna immersed herself in some of the work of St Mary’s Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies (CBET) in addition to her studies. She added, "I am currently helping to plan the conference called ‘Autonomy and the Other’ in November, which will include an exciting assortment of speakers, including Prof Neil Messer, Professor of Theology at University of Winchester. CBET is an excellent point of exchange that moves the theoretical study of bioethics into the practical reality of what this looks like in the world around us.” After all of Anna’s great experiences at St Mary’s she stated, “I would be happy to recommend the MA program”. After graduating, Anna has continued lecturing and hopes to use her MA to move into policy work on addiction. St Mary’s offers a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses within a rich and varied research environment and culture.
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