Bernadette began her professional life as an English and Drama teacher, then moved on to the RAAF where she served as an Education Officer for many years. Along the way, she studied law and decided to combine her interests in education and the law and move into an academic role.
Bernadette has worked at the University of Adelaide for a number of years and her research focus is in the area of tort law in general with a specific focus on medical law and ethics. Her current research focus sits at the nexus of ethics and the law in the context of medical treatment, with a particular emphasis on consent to medical treatment. Bernadette is an active member of the Ethics Centre of South Australia and was recently holder of an Australian Research Discovery Grant (along with other members of the Ethics Centre) entitled: ‘Consent in the void: moral, legal and community values in decisions about human biological donations.’
Bernadette recently completed her PhD which challenged the existing legal framework around ‘consent’ to medical treatment (commonly referred to as informed consent). The thesis is entitled: Informed Choice not Informed Consent: Towards a meaningful consideration of pre-treatment advice).
Bernadette currently serves on the Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee and is a past member of the University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee and the South Australian Council on Reproductive Technology.
Bernadette is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (JBI) and a committee member of Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law (AABHL).
Café Scientifique: Xenotransplantation – the solution to our organ shortage? (10 October 2012)
Organ donation: Your questions answered in Mount Gambier (20 February 2012)
When are you dead? Brain death and organ donation (14 June 2011)