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EGA Institute for Women's Health

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Centre for Ethics

Our mission is to bring researchers and clinicians together to tackle the ethical issues that confront women in particular, as well as society in general, including the impact of new reproductive and genetic technologies. 

The EGA Centre for Ethics in Women’s Health was established in order to provide a forum for discussion, research and teaching on the ethical issues we all face as researchers and clinicians working in women’s health. Since 2015, we have created a new ethics curriculum for the MSc courses, hosted a number of public events, supported research and audit, and created dedicated teaching programmes on the topic of ethics.

Training for clinicians

In April 2015 we undertook an audit of the management of women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM). The audit involved a group of final-year medical students interviewing consultants, junior doctors and nurse practitioners at UCLH’s Emergency Department. They were asked about their communication, documentation and management of women with FGM, as well as safeguarding girls at risk. The audit led to new training sessions and improved paediatric management guidelines for staff, the introduction of posters and patient leaflets in the Emergency Department, as well as clearer referral pathways. 

The UCLH FGM training module, developed with Prof Sarah Creighton, was adopted by Health Education England and made part of national mandatory training. The audit was presented at the RCOG National Trainee Conference in December 2015, where it won a price for best audit in its category. 

Patients leaflet (UCLH FGM Clinic)

Free course of reproductive ethics

Following a competitive application process, an award was given by UCL to create a first-ever free, online open course in Reproductive Ethics. The six-week course, which launched in July 2016 has had over 8,000 learners signed up from over 50 countries. Learners can purchase a UCL Certificate at the end of the course. More information can be found on our Life learning pages.

Making babies

Improving relationships

Following the retirement of Mr Anthony Silverstone, after over three decades of clinical service at UCLH, the Silverstone Fellowship was established to encourage excellence in innovative research on the patient-provider relationship in order to support service improvement projects and training at the Division of Women’s Health, UCLH. Hilary Hewitt was appointed as the first Silverstone Fellow in March 2017 and will work with NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow Dan Reisel to create an e-learning package for patients in fetal medicine.