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Research Associate, HeLEX , Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics and Humanities, University of London; Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol Research Interests: Commodification of the human body, genetic patenting, reproductive ethics and law, personalised genetic testing and biobanks.

Donna Dickenson

Professor Donna Dickenson

Donna Dickenson, BA, MSc, PhD, is Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics and Humanities at the University of London and honorary senior research fellow at the Centre for Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol. In 2006 she became the first woman to win the International Spinoza Lens Award for contribution to public debate on ethics; the first winner was Edward Said.

Her popular science book Body Shopping, an explanation of how gaps in the law have permitted the commodification of the body from BC (before conception) to AD (after death), was called 'essential reading for those who work in the medical profession' by The Lancet. The Financial Times termed it 'a thoughtful, intelligent, highly readable book written by someone with impeccable credentials,' and New Scientist noted that 'the book could not be more timely'.

And her most recent book, Bioethics: All That Matters, shows how new developments in biotechnology – like genetics, stem cell research and artificial reproduction – arouse both our greatest hopes and our greatest fears.  Healthwatch described it as "an ideal introductory guide to topics such as stem cell technology, reproductive tourism, patent law and cognitive enhancement."

Professor Dickenson has also written or edited another twenty books and over sixty articles on topics ranging from death and dying to feminist medical ethics. She is a frequent contributor to radio and television and has been a member of ethics committees at the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Her main research interests are: commodification of the human body, genetic patenting, reproductive ethics and law, personalised genetic testing and biobanks.

Selected Publications

  • Dickenson Donna (2012) Bioethics: All That Matters Hodder Education . (ISBN: 1444155806 ).
  • Dickenson Donna L (2011) Regulating (or not) reproductive medicine: an alternative to letting the market decide. Indian J Med Ethics, 8(3):175-9.
  • Dickenson Donna (2009) Good Science and Good Ethics: Why We Should Discourage Payment for Eggs in Stem Cell Research Nature Reviews Genetics, 10(11):743.
  • Dickenson Donna (2008) Body Shopping: the Economy Fuelled by Flesh and Blood Oneworld, Oxford.
  • Dickenson Donna (2007) Property in the Body: Feminist Approaches` Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.