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Dr Carolyn Johnston LLB, LLM, MA, PhD

JohnstonCarolyn140x180Adviser in Medical Law & Ethics

Telephone: 0207 848 6994
Location: 4.18 Shepherd’s House, Guy’s Campus London SE1 1UL




Areas of responsibility

    • Module leader for Medical law module (6BBY3002) Intercalated BSc Medical Ethics and Law
    • Coordinator Student Clinical Ethics Committee
    • Coordinator Online Ethics Audit
    • Personal Tutor


Carolyn Johnston is a qualified solicitor. She is also senior lecturer at Kingston University teaching Medical Law and Ethics. She has an MA in Medical Ethics and Law from King’s College, London. Between 2002 and 2005 she worked at the Ethox Centre, University of Oxford, as Project Officer for the UK Clinical Ethics Network. Carolyn has published in the field of clinical ethics support and is a member of the Clinical Ethics Committees at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and Central and North West London Mental Health Trust and is Vice Chair GSTT Clinical Ethics Advisory Group.

Carolyn is also involved with the Institute of Medical Ethics Project on Teaching, Learning and Assessment of Medical Ethics and Law in UK Medical Schools. She is co author of ‘Medical ethics and law for doctors of tomorrow: the 1998 Consensus Statement updated’ (2010).

Carolyn is particularly interested in the use of film in teaching and assessing ethics and law in the undergraduate medical curriculum. She is an Independent Assessor for the Human Tissue Authority and is a member of the KCLSM Professionalism Working Group.

Recent publications

Johnston C., Chan M. (2012) ‘Making film vignettes to teach medical ethics’ Medical Education; 46: 1133

Johnston C., Williams C., Dias C., Lapraik A., Marvdashti L. and Norcross C. (2012) ‘Setting up a student clinical ethics committee’ Clin Ethics  7: 51–53

Johnston, C. (2010) ‘Online survey of the perceived need for ethics support in a large National Health Service Foundation Trust,’ Clin Ethics 5:201-206

Stirrat, G., Johnston, C., Gillon, R. and Boyd, K. (2010) ‘Medical ethics and law for doctors of tomorrow: the 1998 Consensus Statement updated,’ J Med Ethics 36: 55-60

Johnston, C. (2009) ‘Overriding competent medical treatment refusal by adolescents: when “no” means “no”,’ Arch Dis Child 94:487-491

Johnston, C. and Bradbury, P. (2008) 100 cases in clinical ethics and law. London, U.K, Hodder Arnold

Johnston, C. (2007) ‘The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and advance decisions,’ Clin Ethics 2: 80–84

Johnston, C. and Kaye, J. (2004) ‘Does the UK Biobank have a legal obligation to feedback individual findings to participants?’ Med L. Rev 12(3): 239-267

Media Contributions

  • BBC Radio Four, ‘Inside the Ethics Committee’, Panel Presenter, May 2005
  • Meeting of Minds, European Citizen’s Deliberation on Brain Science, Expert panel Member, The Dana Centre, London, October 2005
  • Discussing the case of Neon Roberts whose mother was refusing to consent to him receiving radiotherapy:
      • BBC News at 5 with Huw Edwards, BBC News at 6 and BBC News at 10 (19th December 2012)
      • BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC News Channel, BBC Radio London Drive time (20th December 2012)

Research interests

  • Advance decisions
  • Adolescent autonomy
  • Clinical ethics support
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