Charles Foster | University of Oxford

Charles Foster

Senior Research Associate at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics; Fellow of Green Templeton College


Charles Foster is a Fellow of Green Templeton College, a Senior Research Associate at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, a Research Associate at the Ethox and HeLEX Centres, University of Oxford, and a practising barrister specialising in medical law. His current research interests concern human enhancement, theories of dignity, the limits of autonomy and problems of personalization in dementia. His practice at the Bar is entirely in medical law. He has been involved in many of the key cases in recent years, including Purdy in the House of Lords and Tony Nicklinson's attempt to invoke the defence of necessity as a defence to medical murder.

He is also Legal Adviser to the Committee for Ethics in Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and sits as a part time judge in the Crown Court and the County Court.


  • Medical law and medical ethics
  • Abortion
  • Status of the embryo
  • Reproductive technology
  • Cloning
  • Consent to medical treatment
  • Withdrawal of medical treatment
  • Assisted suicide
  • Euthanasia
  • Clinical negligence
  • Regulation of the healthcare professions
  • End of life decision-making
  • Advance directives (living wills)
  • Organ donation, ownership and use of body parts
  • Transhumanism, human enhancement
  • Medical murder, medical manslaughter
  • Medical treatment of children and incapacitate adults
  • Mental capacity
  • Persistent (Permanent) Vegetative State
  • Allocation of healthcare resources
  • Clinical confidentiality
  • Legal and ethical regulation of medical research

Media experience

Mr Foster has extensive media experience in the UK and US and is a regular commentator on medical law and ethics in many newspapers and magazines.