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Bevan Commissioner

Professor Vivienne Harpwood

Viv Harpwood is an Emerita Professor of Law at Cardiff University where she founded the LLM (Legal Aspects of Medical Practice degree), the first of its kind, and of which she was course director for more than twenty years. She has delivered lectures and seminars to law students drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, also to members of the healthcare professions, nationally and internationally. She has researched and published articles and books on many aspects of personal injury law, international human rights, medical law and bioethics, and was the founding editor of two highly regarded and now well-established publications – Butterworths Medico-Legal Reports and the journal Medical Law International.

As a member of several UK Government Committees, among them the NHS Complaints Review Committee and the Silicone Gel Breast Implant Review Group, Viv gained very valuable experience in researching, evaluating data, deliberating on issues of topical concern, influencing policy and making recommendations for reform. In Wales, Viv chaired the NHS Wales Equality & Human Rights Advisory Group, the governance board of the Cancer Research UK Centre for Wales, and was a member of the Wales DNAR (CPR) Advisory Group and Information Governance Advisory Board. In her role on the implementation advisory Group for the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013, she travelled across the Principality to consult with members of the public and explain the purpose of the legislation. She has served on clinical ethics committees nationally and internationally, and more recently, she was appointed to the NICE Guideline Committee on Cannabis for Medicinal Use.

Following her University career, Viv was Chair of Powys Teaching Health Board for eight years, working collaboratively with other public service leaders and agencies to improve the lives of people across a large area of Mid-Wales. During this period, Viv did voluntary work in Newport as a trustee of two charities and assisting with the local night shelter. She also chaired the Welsh NHS Confederation, representing Welsh interests and participating as a trustee of the central NHS Confederation. During COVID, she served on the Covid-19 Moral and Ethical Advisory Group for Wales, and the Wales Clinical Vaccination Advisory Group. Viv continues to contribute to public life as Lead Governor of Royal United Hospitals, Bath, and is progressing her work for UNESCO as a UK member of the UNESCO South Asia Education Department’s International Research Committee on Health Law and Bioethics.