Professor Emily  Jackson

Professor Emily Jackson

Professor of Law

LSE Law School

Room No
Cheng Kin Ku Building 6.12
Key Expertise
Medical law and ethics; assisted conception; end of life decision-making

About me

Professor Emily Jackson, first joined the LSE in 1998. After graduating from Oxford University, she worked as a research officer at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies in Oxford. Her first teaching position was at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and she has also taught at Birkbeck College and Queen Mary, University of London. Emily’s research interests are in the field of medical law. She has served as a member of the British Medical Association Medical Ethics Committee (2005-2022), Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (2008-2012) and a Judicial Appointments Commissioner (2014-2017).  She is a Fellow of the British Academy, and in 2017 was awarded an OBE for services to higher education.

Administrative support:

Research interests

Emily’s research interests are in the field of medical law and ethics, with particular emphasis upon reproductive issues, end of life decision-making and the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry.

REF Impact Case Study

External activities

  • Judicial Appointments Commissioner (2014-17)
  • Member of Department of Health Independent Panel to review Liverpool Care Pathway (2013)
  • Member of British Medical Association Medical Ethics Committee (2005-)
  • Member of Medical Research Council Ethics and Public Involvement Committee (2011-)
  • Member of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Ethics Committee (2012-)
  • Expert Advisor to the Ethics Review procedure of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development at the European Commission (2008-)
  • Health Economics, Policy and Law, Editorial Board
  • Medical Law Internmational, Editorial Board
  • Biosocieties, Editorial Board
  • Journal of Law and Society, Advisory Board



Medical Law : Text, Cases and Materials (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022) 6th edition 

Medical Law : Text, Cases, and Materials offers all of the explanation, commentary, and extracts from cases and key materials that students need to gain a thorough understanding of this complex topic.

Medical Law was awarded first prize in the British Medical Association's ‘Basis of Medicine’ Book Awards, 2017.

click here for publisher's site


Law and the Regulation of Medicines (Hart 2012)

The principal purpose of this book is to tell the story of a medicine's journey through the regulatory system in the UK, from defining what counts as a medicine, through clinical trials, licensing, pharmacovigilance, marketing and funding. The question of global access to medicines is addressed because of its political importance, and because it offers a particularly stark illustration of the consequences of classifying medicines as a private rather than a public good. Two further specific challenges to the future of medicine's regulation are examined separately: first, pharmacogenetics, or the genetic targeting of medicines to subgroups of patients, and second, the possibility of using medicines to enhance well-being or performance, rather than treat disease. Throughout, the emphasis is on the role of regulation in shaping and influencing the operation of the medicines industry, an issue that is of central importance to the promotion of public health and the fair and equitable distribution of healthcare resources.

click here for publisher's site


Debating Euthanasia (Hart 2011) (with John Keown)

In this new addition to the Debating Law series, Emily Jackson and John Keown re-examine the legal and ethical parameters of the debate about euthanasia and assisted-dying. Emily Jackson argues that we owe it to everyone in society to do all that we can to ensure that they experience a 'good death'. For a small minority of patients who experience intolerable and unrelievable suffering, this may mean helping them to have an assisted death. In a liberal society, where people's moral views differ, we should not force individuals to experience deaths they find intolerable. This is not an argument in favour of dying. On the contrary, Jackson argues that legalisation could extend and enhance the lives of people whose present fear of the dying process causes them overwhelming distress. John Keown argues that voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are gravely unethical and he defends their continued prohibition by law. He analyses the main arguments for relaxation of the law - including those which invoke the experience of jurisdictions which permit these practices - and finds them wanting. Relaxing the law would, he concludes, be both wrong in principle and dangerous in practice, not least for the dying, the disabled and the disadvantaged.

click here for publisher's site


Regulating Autonomy: Sex, Reproduction and the Family - co-editor, with Fatemeh Ebtehaj, Martin Richards and Shelley Day Sclater (Hart 2009)

These essays explore the nature and limits of individual autonomy in law, policy and the work of regulatory agencies. Authors ask searching questions about the nature and scope of the regulation of 'private' lives, from intimacies, personal relationships and domestic lives to reproduction. They question the extent to which the law does, or should, protect individual autonomy. Recent rapid advances in the development of new technologies - particularly those concerned with human genetics and assisted reproduction - have generated new questions (practical, social, legal and ethical) about how far the state should intervene in individual decision making. Is there an inevitable tension between individual liberty and the common good? How might a workable balance between the public and the private be struck? How, indeed, should we think about 'autonomy'?

click here for publisher's site


Regulating Reproduction (Oxford: Hart Publishing 2001)

Provides a clear and accessible analysis of the various ways in which human reproduction is regulated. A comprehensive exposition of the law relating to birth control, abortion, pregnancy, childbirth, surrogacy and assisted conception is accompanied by an exploration of some of the complex ethical dilemmas that emerge when one of the most intimate areas of human life is subjected to regulatory control. Throughout the book, two principal themes recur. First, particular emphasis is placed upon the special difficulties that arise in regulating new technological intervention in all aspects of the reproductive process. Second, the concept of reproductive autonomy is both interrogated and defended.  Winner of the 2002 Society of Legal Scholars’ Annual Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship by a Young Legal Scholar.

click here for publisher's site