Organ Donation and Transplantation (ODT) Workshop

On 25 November 2022, a closed workshop took place at Pembroke College, organised by Dr Farrah Raza. Frances Hand, DPhil in Law Candidate and Research Assistant, gives us her impressions.


An image of the participants who took part in the ODT workshop

The closed workshop addressed the challenges of different forms of consent in organ donation and transplantation in Germany and the UK, as well as the practical issues experienced by clinicians in practice. The discussions that took place between academics, clinicians, donor family members and legal practitioners from both the UK and Germany will inform a number of upcoming joint papers. 

The workshop was split into four sessions. The first started by comparing the law in Germany and the UK, in addition to a discussion about the core values that informed consent in particular seeks to protect. Dr Raza then presented her provisional argument on disaggregating consent which focusses on the need to understand the various dimensions of informed consent process in practice.

A really stimulating day where professionals in different areas and from different jurisdictions got together and everyone contributed freely!
James Neuberger
Consultant Physician

The second session examined the challenges that arise from the need to obtain informed consent from the clinician’s perspective. The third session covered the specific issues arising from cultural, religious, and ethical diversity in practice, and delved into the disparities in rates of organ donation amongst specific groups. The final session provided a much-needed family donor perspective. Mr David Nix spoke passionately and informatively about the Donor Family Network, an organisation which provides hands-on, empathetic care to donor families. The workshop concluded with a discussion of what next steps were needed in order to facilitate effective change within the context of organ donation and transplantation in clinical practice. We look forward to sharing our Report and findings in the near future.

It was an honour to be sat at the table with such accomplished and articulate individuals. We all had so much to learn from each other and I think we have gone away with a greater idea of how the doctrine of informed consent can be improved, both in law and practice. I look forward to seeing how this closed workshop manifests in written publication.
Frances Hand
DPhil Candidate in Law

The full participant list is included below:


1. Dr. Farrah Raza (Head of Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology & Pembroke College, Oxford)

2. Prof. Marie Claire Foblets (Director, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale)

3. Sir Ernest Ryder (Master of Pembroke College, University of Oxford)

4. Prof. Jonathan Herring (Faculty of Law, University of Oxford); DM Wolfe-Clarendon Fellow in Law, Vice Dean and Professor of Law, Faculty of Law

5. Prof. Imogen Goold (Faculty of Law, University of Oxford); Professor of Medical Law and Tutorial Fellow

6. Dr. Maja Beisenherz (Lawyer, Germany)

7. Revd Dr Simon Taylor KC (Cloisters Chambers, London)

8. Mr Nicholas Kennan (Barrister, Cornerstone Chambers, Oxford)


9. Prof. James Neuberger (Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS FT); consultant physician

10. Dr Isabel Quiroga, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

11. Prof. Christopher Watson (Cambridge University Hospitals NHS FT); Professor of Transplantation and Honorary Consultant Surgeon.

12. Prof. Dr. (med.) Thomas Berg (Universitätsklinikum Leipzig), Head of Hepatology and the Secretary General of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL)

13. Prof. Dr. (med.) Daniel Seehofer (Leipzig), Head of the Hepatobiliary Surgery and Visceral Transplantation

14. Dr. (med.) Adam Herber (Leipzig); Oberarzt

15. Dr. (med.) David Holstein (Leipzig), surgeon in training

16. PD Dr. (med.) Cornelius Engelmann (The Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin); Head of Research Group and Oberarzt

17. Dr. Jenny Prüfe (Universitätsmedizin Essen); Head of Psychosocial Service Psychologist (MPhil, PhD) Dipl. Reha-Päd.

18. Prof. Justin Jones (Pembroke, Oxford) – Associate Professor in Study of Religion

19. Mr David Nix (Patient Representative, UK)

20. Prof. David Albert Jones, Director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, Oxford.

Research Assistant

Frances Hand (DPhil in Law Candidate)