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Dr Mary Neal

Senior Lecturer


Personal statement

I am currently Senior Lecturer and Director of Teaching and Learning in the Law School, and have been at Strathclyde since 2006. I currently teach and co-ordinate two Honours classes - Law, Persons and Property (Honours) and Issues in Healthcare Law and Ethics (Honours). I obtained my LLB (Honours) and LLM (by research) from the University of Glasgow, before being awarded my PhD from Cardiff University in 2005. Before joining Strathclyde Law School, I held lectureships at the Universities of Nottingham (2004-2006) and Dundee (2003-2004).

My main research interests are in Healthcare Law, Bioethics, and Legal Theory, and my current research focuses on beginning and end of life issues, theories of property, and meta-disciplinary concepts such as dignity, sanctity, and love. I am currently writing several articles/chapters on conscientious objection, abortion, and assisted dying, and I am also working on a monograph on the concepts of personhood and property in the context of pregnancy, under contract with Routledge.

I supervise a number of doctoral research students, and I welcome applications in Healthcare Law and/or Ethics (particularly beginning and end of life issues, the nature of healthcare, and the professional/patient relationship), Legal Theory/Philosophy, Human Dignity, and theoretical aspects of Property.

I am currently a member of the BMA Medical Ethics Committee, and in February 2014 I was appointed as the Adviser to the Parliamentary Committee scrutinising the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill.


Some recent and forthcoming publications include:

Books & book chapters

  • The Jurisprudence of Pregnancy: Concepts of Conflict, Persons and Property (Routledge; forthcoming 2017)
  • Ethical Judgments: Re-writing Medical Law (Hart, 2016) (co-editor and contributor)
  • ‘Discovering dignity: unpacking the emotional content of killing narratives’ in H Conway and J Stannard (eds) The Emotional Dynamics of Law and Legal Discourse (Hart, 2016)
  •  ‘Locating Lawful Abortion on the Spectrum of Proper Medical Treatment’ in S Fovargue and A Mullock (eds.) The Legitimacy of Medical Treatment: What Role for the Medical Exception? (Routledge, 2015) 124-141

Peer-reviewed journal contributions

  •  ‘Death benefits: Physician-assisted dying, justification, and the problem of posthumous interests” (in progress)
  • ‘Conscience as Integrity: Defending Conscience Rights in the Healthcare Context’ (with Sara Fovargue) (in press, 2016)
  • ‘When Conscience Isn’t Clear: Greater Glasgow Health Board v Doogan and Another [2014] UKSC 68’ Medical Law Review (published online 30 August 2015)
  • ‘Commentary: The Scope of the Conscience-Based Exemption in Section 4(1) of the Abortion Act 1967: Doogan and Wood v NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board [2013] CSIH 36’  Medical Law Review,(Summer 2014) 22 (3): 409-421 (first published online January 20, 2014)
  • ‘In Good Conscience: Conscience-Based Exemptions and Proper Medical Treatment’ Medical Law Review (published online 5 May 2015) (with Sara Fovargue)
  • ‘Respect for human dignity as substantive basic norm’ (2014) International Journal of Law in Context, 41(1)



Conclusion : medical law re-written?
Smith Stephen W, Coggon John, Hobson Clark, Huxtable Richard , McGuinness Sheelagh, Miola José, Neal Mary
Ethical JudgmentsEthical Judgments, (2017)
Introduction - medicine in the courtroom : judges, ethics and the law
Smith Stephen W, Coggon John, Hobson Clark, Huxtable Richard , McGuinness Sheelagh, Miola José, Neal Mary
Ethical JudgmentsEthical Judgments, (2017)
Legal Commentary - R v. Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, ex parte Blood
Neal Mary
Ethical JudgmentsEthical Judgments, (2017)
Ethical Judgments : Re-Writing Medical Law
Smith Stephen W., Coggon John, Hobson Clark, Huxtable Richard , McGuinness Sheelagh, Miola José, Neal Mary
Conscience as agent-integrity : a defence of conscience-based exemptions in the health care context
Neal Mary, Fovargue Sara
Medical Law Review Vol 24, pp. 544-570, (2016)
Devolving abortion law
Neal Mary
Edinburgh Law Review Vol 20, pp. 399-404, (2016)

more publications


Healthcare Law


Legal Theory / Jurisprudence

Theories of Property

Research interests

Healthcare Law and Bioethics

Legal Theory / Legal Philosophy

Human Rights

Theories of Property

Professional activities

A Workshop on Vulnerability and Professionalism
Society of Legal Scholars' Annual Conference
External Examiner, University of Stirling
Abortion Law in Scotland: Past, Present, and Future
'The Vulnerable Subject(s) of Healthcare Law'
Doctors, Conscience, and Abortion Law and Practice

more professional activities


Pharmacists' perceptions of ethical conflict and professional guidance in light of the revised General Pharmaceutical Council Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Performance
Neal, Mary (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Sep-2017 - 31-Jul-2019
AHRC - Doctoral Training Partnership Scotland | Brown, Jonathan
Neal, Mary (Principal Investigator) Blackie, John (Co-investigator) Brown, Jonathan (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2014 - 01-Jan-2019
Digital Economy Hub | Harbinja, Edina
Neal, Mary (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jan-2012 - 18-Jul-2017

more projects