John Harrington

Dear Professor Foskett

It is with some dismay that I have learned of the decision of Keele University to close its centre for professional ethics.

PEAK has a well deserved reputation as a centre of international excellence in this field. Its scholarship is first rate, covering a range of both traditional and developing areas in ethics. Its teaching programmes are an outstanding example of interchange between the academy and practice.

PEAK makes a genuine, socially valuable contribution to critical reflection and humane practice in the health services and other areas. Given the major changes proposed for the NHS, this contribution becomes ever more important to patients, professionals and to all citizens.

Until recently I was Director of the Institute of Medicine, Law and Bioethics at the University of Liverpool. In developing our teaching and research programmes we looked to Keele as a role model given its status as one of the top three or four centres of excellence in professional ethics.

In particular through its close collaboration with the Law Department, PEAK has played a considerable role in shaping the development of my own discipline of medical law, both in terms of scholarship and as regards the creation of law by way of statute or common law decision.

I urge you strongly to reconsider this decision and to secure Keele's reputation for scholarship and social impact.

Yours sincerely

John Harrington
Professor of Law
University of Liverpool

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