Obituary – Dr Jennifer Gunning

It is with great sorrow that I bring you news of the death of Dr Jennifer Gunning last week. Jenny was my colleague for more than 5 years at Cardiff University and was instrumental in setting up the Cardiff Centre for Ethics, Law and Society (CCELS).

Jenny was educated as a structural biologist and later went to work for the research councils. It was while working there that she became involved in bioethics. In the long period between the publication of the Warnock Report and the enactment of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990) assisted reproductive technology was ‘regulated’ by the Voluntary Licensing Authority for Human in vitro Fertilisation and Embryology set up by the MRC and the RCOG. Jenny became the secretary to this committee and was instrumental in developing the UK approach to regulation combining fairly liberal regulation with meticulous enforcement.

She started writing on bioethical issues and produced a number of insightful books and papers.

Jenny was a joy to work with. She had a razor sharp intellect and an ability to get to the heart of the matter in seconds; and her years in the research councils had taught her how to get things done in bureaucratic organisations.

Her death is a great loss to UK bioethics.

She leaves her husband Peter, two sons and daughters in law; and four grandchildren.



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