Search type

School of Law

Disruptive healthcare banner.

Healthcare disparities: Disruptive healthcare technologies and the patient

This event took place on 13-14 June 2019, organised in association with the School of Law, University of Manchester and the School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London.

The event 'Healthcare Disparities: Disruptive healthcare technologies and the patient' successfully took place on 13-14 June 2019. Organisers extend their thanks to delegates and to presenters. Slides from the presentations and information about the event are available below.

About the event

An elderly woman in a digital appointment with a doctor.

Health inequalities and how to effectively respond to them is a challenging subject, and a growing number of researchers from various disciplines are exploring the matter. This conference brought these people together for the first meeting of what will hopefully become a global academic network, squaring up to the healthcare disparities between patients of differing backgrounds and how disruptive technologies could level the playing field.

The conference wassponsored by the Hallsworth Endowment and the School of Law at the University of Manchester. Collaborative institutional support wasprovided by Queen Mary, University of London with further support from the European Association of Health Law and the World Association of Medical Law. 

Select presentation slides in full:

Confirmed plenary speakers

Professor Nicolas Terry

Professor Nicolas Terry, Professor of Law, University of Indiana, USA 

Keynote: 'How disruptive healthcare technologies should reduce health inequalities but probably will not: A transatlantic perspective on the regulation of healthcare AI'.

Nicolas Terry is the Hall Render Professor of Law at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he serves as the Executive Director of the Hall Center for Law and Health and teaches various healthcare and health policy courses. His recent scholarship has dealt with health privacy, mobile health, the Internet of Things, Big Data, AI, and the opioid overdose epidemic. Terry has served on the Board of Advisors for the non-profit Patient Privacy Rights and was a member of the US Department of Health and Human Services Health IT Policy Committee’s Consumer Workgroup. In 2016, he testified before Congress on the regulation of mobile health apps. Currently, he is serving on Indiana University’s Grand Challenges Scientific Leadership Team, working on the addictions crisis and is the PI on addictions law and policy Grand Challenge grants. In that capacity he recently testified on opioids policy before the Senate Committee on Aging. He is one of the permanent bloggers at Harvard Law School’s Bill of Health. His recent publications are at, you can find “The Week in Health Law” podcast at, and he is @nicolasterry on twitter.

Professor Ian Freckleton QC

Professor Ian Freckleton QC, Professor of Law, Melbourne Law School, Australia

Keynote: 'Changing dynamics in health practitioner patient relationships and litigaton'.

Professor Ian Freckelton QC is an experienced Queen’s Counsel with a national practice in Melbourne, Australia. He is a member of the Victorian, Northern Territory and Tasmanian Bars. He was appointed a Professorial Fellow in Law and Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne on 2013 and prior to this he was a Professor of Law, Forensic Medicine and Forensic Psychology at Monash University. He is also currently an Adjunct Professor of Law and Forensic Medicine at Monash University and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Science at the Auckland University of Technology.

In 2015 Professor Freckelton was appointed a Commissioner at the Victorian Law Reform Commission to run its reference on Medicinal Cannabis. He is the Editor of the Journal of Law and Medicine and the Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. He is the author of many books on health law.   

Professor Tamara Hervey

Professor Tamara Hervey, Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law, University of Sheffield, UK

Keynote: 'Brexit and health law: Disruption and disparities'.

Professor Hervey is a Member of the Centre for the Study of Law in Society, Sheffield Centre for International and European Law and Sheffield Institute of Biotechnology Law and Ethics.

Her research considers transnational, global and comparative health law and she is currently collaborating with UK, R-EU and North America-based scholars, policy-makers and practitioners across disciplines. She is co-editor (with Calum Young and Louise Bishop) of a Research Handbook in EU Health Law and Policy (Edward Elgar 2017) and she is part of Sally Sheldon’s AHRC-funded project, working on patient and professional autonomy, human rights, and trans-national law on cross-border trade with Laura Robinson (student intern), and Rebecca Gomperts (‘Women on Web’). David Orentlicher (William S Boyd School of Law, Las Vegas, USA) and Professor Hervey are working on a major project on comparative health law, to be published by OUP.

Professor Hervey is also working on the implications for health law and policy, both within the UK and within the remainder of the EU following BREXIT. She is a Special Adviser to the House of Commons Health Committee.

Professor Mette Hartlev

Professor Mette Hartlev , University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Keynote: 'Precision medicine, big data and health disparities - a patient's rights perspective'.

Professor Hartlev is Director of the Centre for Legal Studies in Welfare and Market at the University of Copenhagen. Her primary fields of research are focused on legal issues related to th

e healthcare services and patients' rights, and to new health technologies such as gene technology. Her current research is especially targeting the following issues: Health law and patient' rights in an integrated Europe; Legal aspects of public health issues; Health and human rights; Biolaw and biotechnology; Law, science and technology studies; Law and ethics.


Professor Richard Ashcroft

Professor Richard Ashcroft, Queen Mary, University of London

Keynote: 'Does disruptive have to mean unfair? Reflections on innovation, regulation and justice in healthcare technologies'.

Professor Richard Ashcroft teaches medical law and ethics at the Department of Law at Queen Mary University of London. Previously he was Professor of Biomedical Ethics in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and before that he worked at Imperial College London, Bristol University and Liverpool University.

He is Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Incentives in Health, funded by the Wellcome Trust, with partners at Kings College London and the London School of Economics. He is also working on the role of human rights theory, law and practice in bioethics policy, and on ethical challenges in public health. He has a longstanding interest in biomedical research ethics.

In 2005 he held an Australian Bicentennial Fellowship, visiting the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He is an honorary research fellow at the Centre for Ethics in Medicine, Bristol University and a fellow of the ETHOX Centre, Oxford University.

He is a Deputy Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, and serves on the editorial boards of a number of other journals, including Bioethics, Developing World Bioethics, Biosocieties, Health Care Analysis and Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.  He is a member of the Ethics and Policy Advisory Committee of the Medical Research Council, Director of the Appointing Authority for Phase I Ethics Committees and a member of the Royal College of Physicians working party on tobacco.

Dr Mark Flear

Dr Mark Flear, Queens University Belfast

Dr Flear is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast. His expertise lies primarily in the interdisciplinary investigation of the global dimensions of the relationships between European law and health, with a particular focus on new and emerging technologies and their public health implications. He is the lead editor of the field defining European Law and New Health Technologies (OUP 2013) and the highly original monograph Governing Public Health (Hart 2015; paperback 2018).

Dr Flear’s research has informed regulatory discussion on citizen participation in new technologies at the European Union (EU) level, as has his role as a regulator (NI DNA Governance Board) and as Chief Editor of the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly. He sits on an ethics advisory committee on an international research project looking at innovative medicines for respiratory diseases (RESCEU). He is currently working at the forefront of discussion on Brexit as a Co-I on an ESRC funded project looking at the immediate, intermediate and long-term impacts of Brexit on UK health law so as to ensure the arrangements put in place post-Brexit maximise health.

Event sponsors

This event was sponsored by the European Association of Health Law, the Queen Mary University of London, the Society of Legal Scholars and the World Association for Medical Law