Research

Jo’s research is at the intersection of the fields of Healthcare Law, Family Law and the Law of Tort. The focus of her work is upon responsibilities for children's healthcare, with respect to which she has published on the healthcare of babies, infants and young children; the care of disabled children; parental responsibilities; compassionate killings; teenagers and health. In this work she has applied moral and legal theories of responsibility to private, or personal, law, informed by, and developing, the feminist ethic of care through the concept of relational responsibilities. 

Her monograph, Parental responsibility, young children and healthcare law, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007). critically examines the moral, social and legal responsibilities of parents, professionals and the state for the healthcare of babies, infants and young children. More recently, she has written on the law and the responsibilities of parents, professionals and public authorities in the care of seriously ill children, focused upon the recent case of Ashya King, http://blog.oup.com/2015/05/parent-child-medical-law-ashya-king.  

In her work, she seeks to challenge the focus within law upon individualism and autonomy by arguing that the law should acknowledge the connections between individuals, dependency as a norm and the centrality of relationships to the provision of care.  Jo is also particularly concerned to refute the criticism that the feminist ethic of care  valorises care and in doing so confines women to this undervalued realm of work by examining the role of the law in relation to difficult, demanding, intensive aspects of care.

Within the Centre for Responsibilities, Rights and the Law, Jo works with colleagues in the 'Family Responsibilites' research group and is co-editor, with Heather Keating and Craig Lind, of three edited collections which examine 'family responsibilites'. Responsibility, Law and the Family (2008), Taking Responsibility, Law and the Changing Family (2011) and Regulating Family Responsibility (2011).