Dr Cressida Auckland

Dr Cressida Auckland

Assistant Professor

LSE Law School

Room No
Cheng Kin Ku Building 7.15
Key Expertise
Medical law; mental capacity and end of life decision-making

About me

Cressida joined LSE Law School as an Assistant Professor in January 2019. Her research and teaching focuses on medical law, in particular on issues relating to mental capacity and end of life decision-making.

Before arriving at LSE, she was a lecturer at both Merton College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, as well as a guest teacher at LSE. She completed her doctorate, entitled 'The cusp of capacity’, at Merton College, Oxford, which considered the robustness of the concept of capacity in law, and the appropriate legal treatment of people who are found to lack legal capacity. Prior to this, Cressida read Law at Merton College, Oxford and completed a Masters in Medical Law and Ethics at King’s College, London. During her DPhil, she was also a Postgraduate Research Fellow at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. 

Cressida is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, and an Academic Fellow of the Middle Temple.

Administrative support: Law.Reception@lse.ac.uk

Research Interests

Medical law, and, in particular, issues relating to mental capacity and end of life decision-making. 



Values and Disorder in Mental Capacity Law (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)

This book draws on the disciplines of law, philosophy and psychiatry to interrogate the Mental Capacity Act 2005 - an Act the author believes to be unequal to the challenges posed by mental disorder to decision-making. It is often assumed that in order to allow space for individuality, any test for capacity must focus only on decision-making processes and not the substance of the values that underpin any given decision. Auckland challenges this assumption, arguing that far from helping to maintain a sphere of independence, the current law instead serves as a façade behind which judgments can be made about the nature of a person’s values, free from proper scrutiny. Her in-depth analysis of when and how a person’s disordered values should be relevant to the determination of their capacity informs original suggestions for reforming the capacity test to better reflect the impact of disorder on decision-making. She also explores the implications of this analysis for the treatment of those found to lack capacity, concluding that reforms to the best interest provisions are urgently needed to better reflect the complexity and fragility of capacity assessments.



Blackstone's Statutes in Medical Law (11th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2021)

click here for publisher's site



Medical Decision-Making on Behalf of Young Children: A Comparative Perspective (Hart Publishing, 2020) (with I. Goold and J. Herring)

In the wake of the Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans cases, a wide-ranging international conversation was started regarding alternative thresholds for intervention and the different balances that can be made in weighing up the rights and interests of the child, the parent's rights and responsibilities and the role of medical professionals and the courts. This collection provides a comparative perspective on these issues by bringing together analysis from a range of jurisdictions across Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia.

Contextualising the differences and similarities, and drawing out the cultural and social values that inform the approach in different countries, this volume is highly valuable to scholars across jurisdictions, not only to inform their own local debate on how best to navigate such cases, but also to foster inter-jurisdictional debate on the issues. The book brings together commentators from the fields of law, medical ethics, and clinical medicine across the world, actively drawing on the view from the clinic as well as philosophical, legal and sociological perspectives on the crucial question of who should decide about the fate of a child suffering from a serious illness. In doing so, the collection offers comprehensive treatment of the key questions around whether the current best interests approach is still appropriate, and if not, what the alternatives are. It engages head-on with the concerns seen in both the academic and popular literature that there is a need to reconsider the orthodoxy in this area.

click here for publisher's site



Parental Rights, Best Interests and Significant Harms: Medical Decision-Making on Behalf of Children Post-Great Ormond Street Hospital v Yates (Hart Publishing, 2019) (with I. Goold and J. Herring)

This timely collection brings together philosophical, legal and sociological perspectives on the crucial question of who should make decisions about the fate of a child suffering from a serious illness. In particular, the collection looks at whether the current 'best interests' threshold is the appropriate boundary for legal intervention, or whether it would be more appropriate to adopt the 'risk of significant harm' approach proposed in Gard. It explores the roles of parents, doctors and the courts in making decisions on behalf of children, actively drawing on perspectives from the clinic as well as academia and practice. In doing so, it teases out the potential risks of inappropriate state intrusion in parental decision-making, and considers how we might address them.

click here for publisher's site