Our research projects

Children's Medical Treatment and the Law: table of reported judgments

Children’s Medical Treatment Cases (PDF)

This table of reported judgments first appeared as an appendix to Jo Bridgeman, Medical Treatment of Children and the Law: Beyond Parental Responsibilities, (Routledge, 2020). It lists all reported cases concerning the medical treatment of children from the first case of Re D in 1976 and is updated monthly. In addition to the case citation and judge, the table includes: age and medical condition of the child, the treatment at issue, the process by which the case was referred to court, the decision of the court and identifies important issues raised by the case. It is available for download as a resource for anyone working on, or interested in the issues raised by, the law concerning the medical treatment of children.

The book, Medical Treatment of Children and the Law: Beyond Parental Responsibilities, undertakes a critical analysis of the case law concerned with the provision of medical treatment to children since the first reported cases over forty years ago. It argues that understanding of the cases only as disputes over, and judicial resolution of, the best interests of the child fails to recognise professional duties and public responsibilities for the welfare and protection of children that exist alongside parental responsibilities and which justify public, or state, intervention into family life and parental decision-making. Whilst the principles, and approach, of the court established in the early cases endures, the nature, and balance, of these responsibilities to children in their care need to be understood in the social, legal, political context in which they are exercised and enforced by the court.

If you identify cases concerning the medical treatment of children that you think should be included, please email Jo Bridgeman:


My infant feeding journey – women’s experiences of infant feeding in the UK

We are researching women’s experiences of infant feeding in the UK. We want to find out about the impact that central government policy has on individual people’s lives.

We are seeking stories from women to help us find out more about women’s experiences of infant feeding. We would like to involve all women in this project, whatever method of feeding was chosen (eg bottle, breast, formula, supplementary nursing system, expressed breast milk, donor breast milk, wet nursing, cross nursing, milk sharing, exclusive pumping, combination/mixed feeding, tube feeding).

What will I need to do?

We would like you to write about your infant feeding journey. It can be as long or short as you like, it is your story. You might want to consider things such as how and why you decided to feed your child in a particular way, what support you had, what support you would have liked, whether you had any problems and challenges, how you felt throughout the journey. Please include anything and everything that you feel is important.
Please read the full participant information sheet. Contact Ruth Stirton, if you have any questions.

Please download and complete the consent form, and send it to with your story.

Ruth Stirton presented some preliminary findings at the University of Tasmania on 8 November 2018. You can download the slides here. 

Get involved and stay connected

Join the research project page on Facebook or search @myinfantfeedingjourney on Facebook to find the page.

If you would like materials to advertise this project, please download:


Former Research Projects

Managing 'Medical Manslaugher' cases: Improving Efficiency and Transparency

Danielle Griffiths (University of Sussex) and Oliver Quick (University of Bristol) began a project ‘Managing ‘Medical Manslaughter’ Cases: Improving Efficiency and Transparency’ in Summer 2018. They are working with senior lawyers and policy officials at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in order to improve the management of medical manslaughter cases.

Despite being relatively rare, cases of medical manslaughter have generated disquiet among health care professionals, the judiciary and criminal justice agencies. In particular, there are problems in terms of the efficiency and transparency of the decision-making process in such cases. Delay can be a major problem in that it can take years before a decision is made over whether or not to prosecute, putting stress on all the parties involved, and increasing financial costs. Agencies such as the police often have little experience of these cases. They should refer all cases to the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit (SCCTD) within the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) early on for assistance but compliance with this is patchy which causes further delay and increases the risk of poor decision making. Furthermore, the test for gross negligence manslaughter has long been the subject of academic criticism for its vague, circular nature which relies on prosecutorial discretion which itself defers to expert assessment (Quick, 2006; 2011; Griffiths and Sanders 2013).

The project will provide new empirical data on this difficult area. In particular we are looking at the following areas:

1. Instructing experts. We will examine how experts are instructed, how they interpret the relevant tests and whether a set terms of reference would assist in these cases.

2. Reducing delay. We will explore the most common reasons for why these cases can take so long and draft recommendations for how such delay can be reduced.

3. Designing policy. We are exploring how the development of a specific and transparent prosecution policy for the management of these cases within the criminal justice system would help to reduce some of the current problems. Alongside this we aim to write a draft such a policy and circulate it among all interested parties.