Students Staff

27 November 2015

Essex Autonomy Project 'highly-commended' in national awards

Professor Wayne Martin at Essex Autonomy Project event

Professor Wayne Martin during an EAP training session with social care and health professionals

The Essex Autonomy Project (EAP) has been highly-commended in the Research Project of the Year category of the Times Higher Education Awards.

Established in 2010, the EAP has built an international reputation for its research, which applies resources from philosophy to the challenges associated with frontline practice in medicine, psychiatry, social work and the law.

Led by philosophers in the School of Philosophy and Art History at the University of Essex, the EAP involves massively multi-disciplinary collaborations – not only with other academic experts but also with practitioners, policy makers and activists in the broader community.

EAP researchers have published in numerous peer-reviewed venues including the British Medical Journal, European Journal of Philosophy, International Journal of Law in Context, Journal of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, and Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology.

The principal funder of the EAP's research and knowledge-exchange initiatives has been the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), with additional significant support from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Wellcome Trust and British Academy.

Professor Wayne Martin said: “The provision of care is as old as human civilization, but we are now living through an accelerating revolution in the structure and regulation of care relationships. One of the key concerns in our research has been to consider what it means to embed respect for patient autonomy into the structure of care-settings.

“In addition to the usual academic outputs, our team has completed green paper technical reports, expert guidance, CPD curricula, and reports for government bodies.”

Their work on autonomy in care-settings recently led to an invitation from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to study the contested issue of whether the Mental Capacity Act 2005 complies with the United Nations Convention on Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The EAP organised and chaired a series of high-level consultations at MoJ’s headquarters and produced a widely praised position paper. Key findings of the EAP report have been publically endorsed by the Senior Judge of the Court of Protection. The report’s impact led to the project being extended to cover legal arrangements in Scotland, invitations to give evidence in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and to visits to EAP by international delegates from China, Japan, Canada and Norway.

More information can be found on the Essex Autonomy Project website.

...more news releases