Law School academic awarded funding from British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants Scheme

Dr Mary Neal of Strathclyde Law School (as Principal Investigator) and Dr Sara Fovargue of Lancaster Law School (as Co-Investigator) have been awarded funding under the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants Scheme for a two-year pilot study in which they will interview pharmacists working around the UK about personal values and beliefs in pharmacy practice. The study takes place against the background of the General Pharmaceutical Council’s recently-revised ethical guidance, which appears to de-prioritise the accommodation of individual conscience (‘conscientious objection’) at a time when pharmacists roles are being re-negotiated in ways that may bring them into increasing and more direct contact with practices that some members of the profession may regard as morally problematic or even impermissible.

The project team will interview up to 40 pharmacists in six locations across the UK (Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester, and Newcastle), asking participants about their perceptions of the revised guidance, their engagement with the processes by which such guidance is created, their sense of the role values have in their professional practice, and their experiences of – and views about – conflict between their personal ethical commitments and the expectations associated with their professional roles.

The team hopes that the pilot study will form the basis for a larger project exploring the authority of professional guidance, particularly when such guidance requires behaviour which would conflict with the individual consciences of professionals.

More information about the pilot study can be found on the project website.

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Further information and updates will be posted on the site as the project progresses.