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Jordan Parsons, MScR student at University of Bristol received an IME Conference Grant to present orally at the Australasian Association of Bioethics & Health Law & the New Zealand Bioethics Conference, NZ, Nov 2019. Read his report below:

 Thanks to the generosity of the Institute of Medical Ethics, I was able to attend the 2019 Australasian Association of Bioethics & Health Law and New Zealand Bioethics Conference in Dunedin, New Zealand. The opportunity to present my work to an audience I would not usually find myself in front of was extremely valuable as allowed me to engage in discussion about my work from the perspective of its applicability to different jurisdictions. Whist my work primarily concerns the UK, it is interesting to consider the differences internationally and what might be learned from other countries both in terms of successes and failures. Discussions following my presentation provided this interesting perspective and I have already started to incorporate it into my work.

In addition to benefitting my own work, attending this conference gave me an insight into the research priorities in both Australia and New Zealand. I was especially keen to hear about research concerning indigenous populations as this is something that is not part of UK bioethics. One topic that received a lot of attention was voluntary assisted dying as it is very topical in Australia at the moment with the recent introduction of legislation permitting it in Victoria. As the UK euthanasia debate is relatively quite currently, it was interesting to discover how things are progressing elsewhere and in particular to hear about the sorts of patients seeking voluntary assisted dying.

Owing to the location of this conference, it was a chance for me to network with academics I would not likely have met otherwise and to catch up with those I already know in Australia. It is hugely important to develop and maintain international networks in academia and thanks to the IME I have been able to do so. I met people at the conference with similar research interests and with whom I may end up collaborating on research.

Thank you again to the Institute of Medical Ethics for such generous support. I am hugely grateful.