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King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter

Antony Blackburn-Starza
Legal Editor

Antony Blackburn-Starza

Antony Blackburn-Starza is Legal Editor at BioNews and at the charity that publishes it, the Progress Educational Trust (PET). Together with his fellow BioNews editors James Brooks and Siobhan Chan, and PET's Founding Chair of Trustees Professor Marcus Pembrey, he runs the BioNews writing scheme which provides practical science writing training and experience for PhD students. He is currently studying for a PhD at at the University of Kent's Law School, where his research focuses on new forms of actionable harm arising from mishaps in assisted conception, and where he teaches Obligations. He is also a tutor at Bloomsbury Law Tutors and a Member of Lincoln's Inn.

Antony originally studied Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, went on to obtain an MA in Medical Law and Ethics at Queen Mary University of London, and completed the the Bar Professional Training Course at City University London's Law School. He has worked as a Policy Officer at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, an Events Organiser at Médecins Sans Frontières, a Researcher at the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, a Filing Clerk at Freeth Cartwright, and a Clerical Assistant at the University of Nottingham, and he has interned at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and Nelsons Solicitors. His BioNews article 'UK lags behind the rest of Europe in IVF' is reproduced in Reproductive Ethics (buy this book from Amazon UK or Amazon USA). He is particularly interested in medical ethics, patents and socio-legal approaches to new medical technologies.


 


BioNews Comment articles written by Antony Blackburn-Starza:

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Putting a 'kilt on Yearworth': Holdich v Lothian Health Board [2013]

27 January 2014 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The Outer House of the Court of Session in Scotland has allowed a claim for compensation brought by a man whose sperm may have been damaged by a failure of a storage vessel to proceed to a full trial.... [Read More]

The state provision of fertility treatment: 'NICE' idea

22 April 2013 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The Progress Educational Trust's debate, 'NICE Try… But is anyone listening?', considered the impact of the radical structural changes to the NHS on the state provision of IVF. At least two central critical themes emerged from the debate: a critique of method and a critique of measure... [Read More]

'Just' giving: PET's evening debate on gamete donation from the donor perspective

14 January 2013 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The image of the sperm donor nipping off between lectures to casually donate for a few quid of beer money was neatly set aside by this thought-provoking debate. In his place, in strode the complex male – knowledgeable, thoughtful, sensitive… and probably over 25... [Read More]

What's Your Poison? The Impact of Alcohol and Smoking

17 December 2012 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The fourth session the Progress Educational Trust's annual conference 2012 'Fertility Treatment: A Life-Changing Event?' continued the day's critical perspective looking at the evidential basis for the impact of lifestyle factors on the outcome of fertility treatment and resulting children. This time it was the impact of alcohol and smoking that came under scrutiny... [Read More]

Genetic medalling

13 June 2011 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

Are athletes born or built? Basketball star Michael Jordan's son plays college-level basketball and Muhammad Ali's daughter Laila was named Super MiddleWeight women's boxing champion in 2002. Famous footballer Zinedine Zidane's son Enzo, joined by his siblings Luca and Theo, are all promising young footballers among the Real Madrid cadets... [Read More]

Genetic susceptibility to common complex disorders

07 December 2009 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

As our understanding of genetics and associated disorders has developed, many genetic tests performing functions - from predicting certain genetic predispositions and identifying rare monogenetic disorders, to ancestry and other 'novelty' tests - have been introduced to the healthcare market. Many geneticists are concerned about the regulation of these tests, which are performed by the NHS, the private sector, or distributed directly to consumers. Experts are calling for more transparent eval... [Read More]

'Older Mothers': a report on the '21st century motherhood’ conference held at UCL, 18 September 2009

19 October 2009 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

Maria Bousada, 69, once the world's oldest mother, died in July this year leaving behind two young children born following IVF only two years earlier. Her death reignited the debate surrounding 'older mothers' - or more specifically, post-menopausal women who require fertility treatment to conceive. In response to media attention surrounding Ms Bousada's death, Professor Sammy Lee, an expert in medical ethics, embryology and biomedical sciences based at University College London... [Read More]

Banking crisis - what should be done about the sperm donor shortage?

06 July 2009 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

An acute shortage of donor sperm is diminishing the capacity of the UK's public and private health sectors to treat infertility, resulting in growing concern and lengthening waiting lists at clinics. The shortage is widely attributed to the removal, in 2005, of entitlement to donor anonymity. The Progress Educational Trust, with support from the Royal Society of Medicine and the British Fertility Society (BFS) staged a panel discussion on Thursday 25 June 2009 entitled 'Banking Crisis - what ... [Read More]

Registering concern: should anonymous gamete donors be encouraged to reregister and if so how?

15 June 2009 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The entitlement to anonymity of UK sperm and egg donors ended in 2005, a development that has been welcomed by those who spent long years campaigning for it, and criticised by those who blame it for a current shortage of donor sperm and eggs. Because this change in law applies only prospectively, it remains difficult - if not impossible - for previous generations of donor-conceived individuals to locate their genetic parents and other genetic relatives. Initiatives such as UK DonorLink and it... [Read More]

The future of IVF remains problematic

12 August 2008 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

Thirty years after the world's first IVF-baby was born commentators and reporters are assessing the gains made by the fertility treatment and the future that lies ahead. Although it seems IVF today has become the established and routine medical procedure its pioneers in 1978 probably hoped it would become, issues... [Read More]

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BioNews Review articles written by Antony Blackburn-Starza:


Event Review: New Families and Genetic Identities - Developments in Law, Policy and Research

08 July 2013 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

Families are complicated and no two are the same. It is often said that assisted reproductive technologies (ART) challenge traditional family models. But what has received less attention to date is how these 'new families' navigate a complex thicket of social, legal and policy norms... [Read More]

Report Review: Donor information sharing - Preservation of personal liberty or the indirect control over people's private lives?

29 April 2013 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

In its latest contribution to practical bioethics and policymaking, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics in its report on information sharing in donor conception recommends, among other things, that parents of donor-conceived children should not be mandated to inform them about their origins.... [Read More]

Report Review: Human Bodies - Donation for Medicine and Research

24 October 2011 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

It was the recommendations to pay for the funeral expenses of organ donors and to remove the cap on compensation for gamete donors that made the headlines. But it is not the specific recommendations of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' report 'Human bodies: donation for medicine and research' that it will be remembered for... [Read More]

Book Review: Bioequity

19 August 2010 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

In 2008 Exeter County Court put an end to claims brought by six men who on being diagnosed with cancer decided to store their sperm for potential future insemination before undergoing chemotherapy treatment should the effects of the treatment permanently impair their fertility... [Read More]

Book Review: Choosing Life, Choosing Death - The Tyranny of Autonomy in Medical Ethics and Law

05 January 2010 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

Autonomy is commonly thought of as a guiding ethical principle which promotes the ability of an individual to determine their own 'life path'. It is commonly translated in the legal area in positive terms of self-determinism and negative constraints of non-interference. But the term holds a special meaning in the ethics/rights discourse as an inalienable virtuous human quality which generates rights and warrants respect... [Read More]


BioNews News articles written by Antony Blackburn-Starza:

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HFEA and HTA announce new Chairs

07 April 2014 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human Tissue Authority have both announced new appointments as their Chair.... [Read More]

Intended parents using surrogacy granted rights to leave and pay

31 March 2014 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

Parents of children born through surrogacy arrangements will be entitled to paid leave, after new legislation is passed by the UK's Parliament... [Read More]

Genome entrepreneur Craig Venter launches 'healthy ageing' startup

10 March 2014 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

Dr Craig Venter, founder of Celera Genomics and one of the first to sequence the human genome, has teamed up with stem cell pioneer Dr Robert Hariri and X Prize Foundation founder, Dr Peter Diamandi... [Read More]

Future of the UK's bioscience advisory body in doubt

17 February 2014 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The future of the Government's advisory body on emerging scientific developments is in doubt after a decision has been made not to renew appointments when they come to an end in the coming months.... [Read More]

Ireland publishes draft surrogacy legislation

03 February 2014 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The Irish Government has agreed to put forward proposals for a wide-ranging bill that features provisions on surrogacy and parenthood for consultation... [Read More]

Australian fertility clinic ordered to pay damages in contract for unusable sperm

06 January 2014 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The High Court of Australia has awarded damages under contract law to a doctor who purchased assets of a fertility clinic, including a stock of cryopreserved sperm, after almost two thirds of straws provided were unusable... [Read More]

HFEA appoints interim chair

16 December 2013 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has announced the appointment of Sally Cheshire as its interim chair when Professor Lisa Jardine's term as chair comes to an end in January 2014.... [Read More]

Woman sues Irish Government over surrogacy maternity benefits

09 December 2013 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

A woman in Ireland whose child was born through surrogacy is challenging the Government's refusal to pay her maternity leave, alleging that it amounts to unlawful discrimination, reports the Irish Times... [Read More]

HFEA loses legal battle on enforcement of multiple birth quotas

15 November 2013 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

The UK's High Court has ruled against the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority saying its actions towards two clinics over a licence condition to impose a maximum multiple birth rate were unlawful. The HFEA has now decided to withdraw the condition from all UK fertility clinics' licences... [Read More]

Illinois courts consider embryo dispute

30 September 2013 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza

A woman in the USA is embroiled in a legal battle with her former partner over the use of cryopreserved embryos... [Read More]

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