Heather studied Theology before completing her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Manchester. During and after her doctoral studies she worked as a tutor for the Open University. In 1989 she took up a post as Lecturer in Social Ethics at S Martin’s College in Lancaster, and moved to the Medical School at Liverpool University in 1991 as Lecturer in Healthcare Ethics. She joined the University of Birmingham in 1994 and was promoted to Chair of Biomedical Ethics in 2010.
As a result of her research activities, Heather has been invited to serve on several national policy bodies (UK Donation Committee, Human Genetics Commission (co opted), Unrelated Live Transplantation Regulatory Authority) as well as being active in clinical and research ethics locally.
Heather is currently the ethics consultant for the Royal Centre of Defence Medicine, and leading an ESRC funded project exploring the ethical challenges face by Defence Medical Service personnel who deployed to Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. She was actively involved in the pandemic influenza planning of two local hospitals and appointed as a consultant on ethics to the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority during the 2009 swine ‘flu pandemic. This appointment was a direct result of her work in pandemic ethics in 2008-9. She is Vice Chair of the COST Action Disaster Bioethics.
Heather is interested in supervising doctoral research students in any area of bioethics (employing conventional philosophical research methods or qualitative methods, or a combination of both), and in particular in on the ethical aspects of human reproduction and parenting, organ and tissue donation, military medical ethics, social robotics/care robots and telecare or telehealth.
If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Heather using the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: email@example.com or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.
For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.
Bioethics and in particular ethics issues in relation to tissue and organs transplantation and organ replacement therapies, social robotics, military medical ethics, public health ethics, research ethics and human reproduction and parenting.
Transplantation and organ replacement therapies: research on the ethics of the use of split livers funded by UHB Charities and conditional and directed donation funded by AHRC. Currently researching the recruitment of donors using social media funded by the ESRC and the ethics of unspecified kidney donation and the access to kidney transplantation on two different projects funded by the NIHR
Military medical ethics: currently research the ethical challenges faced by deployed medical military personnel during the Ebola outbreak (funded by ESRC) and recording and evaluating the ethical issues managed by medical personnel during the conflict in Afghanistan (funded by DMS RSG).Previous work evaluated the use of the four quadrant approach ethical decision-making in the role 3 unit in Camp Bastion (funded by RCDM).
Research ethics: work on patient reported outcomes (NIHR and NSPC) and how better to inform research participants (MRC)
Human reproduction and parenting: philosophical research on the meaning of parenthood and how this gives rise to parental responsibilities; parental separation (AHRC); grandparents’ responsibilities; gamete donation (AHRC)
Social robots and ethics: ethical framework to support the development of robots to support independent living (ACCOMPANY, FP7); consultant on TERESA and ehcoBUTLER
Moorlock G., Neuberger J., Bramhall .S and Draper H. An empirically informed analysis of the ethical issues surrounding split liver transplantation in the United Kingdom. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics ( in press)
Draper, H., Sorell, T., Bedaf, S., Syrdal, D.S., Gutierrez-Ruiz, C, Duclos, A., Amirabdollahian, F. Ethical Dimensions of Human-Robot Interactions in the Care of Older People: Insights from 21 Focus Groups Convened in UK, France and the Netherlands. In: Beetz, M.,Johnston, B., Williams, M.-A. (eds.) ICSR. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 8755, pp. 138–147. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)
Herington, J., Dawson, A. and Draper, H. Obesity, liberty and public health emergencies. Hastings Center Report 2014 44 (6): 26-35
Sorell, T., Draper, H. (corresponding author) Robot carers, ethics and older people. Ethics and Information Technology 2014; 16: 183-195 DOI: 10.1007/s10676-014-9344-7 (March 27)
Draper H, Grandparents' entitlements and obligations Bioethics 2013 27(6): 309-316 (published online 30th May: doi:10.1111/bioe.12028)
Moorlock, G., Ives J., and Draper, H. Altruism in Organ Donation - An Unnecessary Requirement? Journal of Medical Ethics 28th March 2013 doi:10.1136/medethics-2012-100528
Draper, H., Sorell, T. Telecare, remote monitoring and care. Bioethics 2013 27(7): 365-372 (first published online 2012 16th April doi:10.1111/j.1467-8519.2012.01961.x
Draper, H., Sorell, T., Ives, J., Damery, S., Greenfield, S., Parry, J., Petts J., Wilson, S. (2010) Non-professional health care workers and ethical obligations to work during pandemic influenza. Public Health Ethics, 3(1) 23-34