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Dr Carolyn Johnston

Senior Lecturer
Law School

KH-415 Law School
Kingston University
Kingston Hill
Kingston Upon Thames

020 8417 5399 Ext: 65324


Carolyn Johnston originally trained as a solicitor. She has been senior lecturer in law at Kingston (on a fractional contract) since 1992. She completed the MA in Medical Law and Ethics at King's College London in 1997 and has specialised in medical law since then.

Carolyn is module leader for two level 6 modules; Medical Law & Ethics I and II.

She has recently co-authored 100 Cases in Clinical Ethics and Law (Johnston and Bradbury, Hodder Arnold, 2008). Between 2002 and 2005 she worked at the Ethox Centre, University of Oxford, as Project Officer for the UK Clinical Ethics Network and as Education and Training Coordinator for the Education for Ethics Support Project. Carolyn is Adviser in Medical Law & Ethics, King's College London, School of Medicine.

She has also recently been jointly appointed by the Institute of Medical Ethics as project development manager and assistant for the medical ethics and law education project. This 3 year project will undertake a review of ethics and law in the medical undergraduate curriculum and provide support to those involved in teaching the core curriculum. Carolyn is a member of the Clinical Ethics Committees at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London and also at Central and North West London Mental Health Trust.

In 2005 Carolyn was awarded a Promising Researcher Fellowship through Kingston University.Research was carried out in collaboration with University of Oxford to evaluate the range of legal, ethical and social issues arising in cases where the refusal of medical treatment by a competent teenager is overridden.

Research Interest(s)

Childhood immunisation and parental rights/responsibilities Refusal of treatment by adolescents Advance decisions and the Mental Capacity Act 2005


Medical Law & Ethics I and II


Carolyn is a member of the Clinical Ethics Committees at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London and also at Central and North West London Mental Health Trust.

Recent Publications

Number of items: 33.


Johnston, Carolyn, Baty, Michael and Liu, Sky (2016) Kings College London Student Clinical Ethics Committee case discussion : A family requests that their grandmother, who does not speak English, is not informed of her terminal diagnosis. Clinical Ethics, 11(1), pp. 38-41. ISSN (print) 1477-7509

Johnston, Carolyn, Baty, Michael and Kelly, Patricia (2016) Kings College London Student Clinical Ethics Committee case discussion : An elderly patient wants to go home following inpatient treatment, but it is thought she may be at risk in her own home and her discharge is delayed. Clinical Ethics, 11(4), pp. 210-213. ISSN (print) 1477-7509

Johnston, Carolyn, Banner, Natalie and Fenwick, Angela (2016) Patient narrative : an 'on-switch' for evaluating best interests. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 38(3), pp. 249-262. ISSN (print) 0964-9069

Johnston, Carolyn (2016) Roles of student ethics committees in preparing future physicians. AMA Journal of Ethics, 18(5), pp. 501-505. ISSN (online) 2376-6980

Johnston, Carolyn and Mok, Jonathan (2015) How medical students learn ethics: an online log of their learning experiences. Journal of Medical Ethics, 41(10), pp. 854-858. ISSN (print) 0306-6800

Johnston, Carolyn, Baty, Michael and Adewole, Comfort (2015) King's College London Student Clinical Ethics Committee case discussion: a patient changes her mind about surgery - should her later refusal be respected? Clinical Ethics, 10(1-2), pp. 34-36. ISSN (print) 1477-7509

Johnston, Carolyn, Baty, Michael and Dollman, Greg (2015) King's College London Student Clinical Ethics Committee case discussion: is it appropriate to insert a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy for an elderly man who has already pulled out a naso-gastric tube? Clinical Ethics, 10(1-2), pp. 37-40. ISSN (print) 1477-7509

Johnston, Carolyn (2014) Advance decision making – rhetoric or reality? Legal Studies, 34(3), pp. 497-514. ISSN (print) 0261-3875

Johnston, Carolyn, Baty, Michael and Elnaiem, Azza (2014) King’s College London Student Clinical Ethics Committee case discussion: should a homeless, potentially suicidal man, be admitted to hospital overnight for the purpose of addressing a short-term shelter problem? Clinical Ethics, 9(2-3), pp. 104-107. ISSN (print) 1477-7509

Johnston, Carolyn (2013) The weight attributed to patient values in determining best interests. Journal of Medical Ethics, 39(9), pp. 562-564. ISSN (print) 0306-6800

Johnston, Carolyn and Chan, Mark (2012) Making film vignettes to teach medical ethics. Medical Education, 46(11), pp. 1133-1134. ISSN (online) 1365-2923

Johnston, Carolyn, Williams, Christopher, Dias, Charlotte, Lapraik, Amelia, Marvdashti, Leila and Norcross, Claire (2012) Setting up a student clinical ethics committee. Clinical Ethics, 7(2), pp. 51-53. ISSN (print) 1477-7509

Stirrat, G.M., Johnston, Carolyn, Gillon, R. and Boyd, K. (2010) Medical ethics and law for doctors of tomorrow: the 1998 Consensus Statement updated. Journal of Medical Ethics, 36(1), pp. 55-60. ISSN (print) 0306-6800

Johnston, Carolyn (2010) Online survey of the perceived need for ethics support in a large NHS Foundation Trust. Clinical Ethics, 5(4), pp. 201-206. ISSN (print) 1477-7509

Johnston, Carolyn (2009) Overriding competent medical treatment refusal by adolescents: when "no" means "no". Archives of Disease in Childhood, 94(7), pp. 487-491. ISSN (print) 0003-9888

Johnston, Carolyn and Haughton, Peter (2007) Medical students' perceptions of their ethics teaching. Journal of Medical Ethics, 33(7), pp. 418-422. ISSN (print) 0306-6800

Johnston, Carolyn (2007) The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and advance decisions. Clinical Ethics, 2(2), pp. 80-84. ISSN (print) 1477-7509

Johnston, Carolyn and Liddle, Jane (2007) The Mental Capacity Act 2005: a new framework for healthcare decision making. Journal of Medical Ethics, 33(2), pp. 94-97. ISSN (print) 0306-6800

Johnston, Carolyn and Holt, Genevieve (2006) The legal and ethical implications of therapeutic privilege - is it ever justified to withhold treatment information from a competent patient? Clinical Ethics, 1(3), pp. 146-151. ISSN (print) 1477-7509

Johnston, Carolyn (2005) Does the statutory regulation of advance decision-making provide adequate respect for patient autonomy? Liverpool Law Review, 26(2), pp. 189-203. ISSN (print) 0144-932X

Johnston, Carolyn (2005) End-of-life decisions. New Law Journal, 155(7174), pp. 666-668. ISSN (print) 0306-6479

Slowther, Anne, Johnston, Carolyn, Goodall, Jane and Hope, Tony (2004) Development of clinical ethics committees. British Medical Journal, 328(7445), pp. 950-952. ISSN (print) 0959-535X

Johnston, Carolyn and Kaye, Jane (2004) Does the UK Biobank have a legal obligation to feedback individual findings to participants? Medical Law Review, 12(3), pp. 239-267. ISSN (print) 0967-0742

Johnston, Carolyn (2002) Parental autonomy and immunisation: a true choice? Bulletin of Medical Ethics(175), pp. 13-18. ISSN (print) 0962-9564


Johnston, Carolyn and Bradbury, Penelope (2016) 100 cases in clinical ethics and law. Boca Raton, U.S. : CRC Press. 288p. ISBN 9781498739337

Johnston, Carolyn and Bradbury, Penelope (2008) 100 cases in clinical ethics and law. London, U.K. : Hodder Arnold. 259p. (100 Cases) ISBN 9780340945759

Book Section

Johnston, Carolyn (2013) Lessons from medical ethics. In: Wathes, Christopher M. , Corr, Sandra A. , May, Stephen A. , McCulloch, Steven P. and Whiting, Martin C., (eds.) Veterinary and animal ethics: proceedings of the First International Conference on Veterinary and Animal Ethics, September 2011. Chichester, U.K. : Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 32-43. (UFAW Animal Welfare Series) ISBN 9781118314807

d'Agincourt-Canning, Lori and Johnston, Carolyn (2008) Disclosure. In: Singer, Peter A. and Viens, A.M., (eds.) The Cambridge textbook of bioethics. Cambridge, U.K. : Cambridge University Press. pp. 24-30. ISBN 9780521872843

Johnston, Carolyn (2004) How effective is the Human Rights Act 1998 in protecting genetic information? In: Tingle, John , Foster, Charles and Wheat, Kay, (eds.) Regulating healthcare quality: legal and professional issues. London, U.K. : Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 121-142. ISBN 9780750687843

Conference or Workshop Item

Johnston, Carolyn (2016) The relationship between legal and ethical issues. In: Difficult Decisions in Clinical Practice: A Practical Guide to Clinical Ethics for Clinicians, Managers and Clinical Ethics Committee Members; 27 Jan 2016, London, U.K.. (In Press)

Johnston, Carolyn (2008) The Mental Capacity Act and research ethics. In: Ethical Review of Clinical Research 17th Annual Training Conference 2008; 2008, Cambridge, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Johnston, Carolyn (2007) Competence, consent and best interests: the extent to which adolescents are considered competent to make healthcare decisions which conflict with an objective view of their best interests. In: XXXth International Congress on Law & Mental Health; 25-30 Jun 2007, Padua, Italy. (Unpublished)


Johnston, Carolyn (2011) Divergence in healthcare decision-making: seeking a consensus on the meaning and application of 'best interests'. (PhD thesis), Kingston University.

This list was generated on Fri May 26 04:37:03 2017 BST.

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