Past Events and Resources

State and Professional Autonomy: Conflicting Rights and Obligations in the State-Profession Relationship
Category : Seminars
Date : 30 Apr, 2020
Time : 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm (Hong Kong Time)
Venue : Online talk (ZOOM Link:

This talk considers the ethical and legal relationship between healthcare professions and the state in the context of the Hong Kong response to COVID-19. In particular, it queries the extent that nurses and doctors, as members of state-sanctioned professions, are able (and perhaps even under obligation) to challenge the decisions of the state on the control and treatment of the infectious disease. In this respect, the talk seeks to broaden the discussions in the ethical and legal literature on the state-professional relationship in healthcare, which has primarily focused on appropriate health workforce regulation for the purposes of ensuring patient safety and quality of care. Although nurses and doctors are neither trained nor equipped to mobilise an all-of-society response that is needed for a pandemic, it is envisaged that they could have a greater role in addressing collection action problems that relate to public health and in the shaping of a response to the next pandemic.


  1. Dr Calvin Ho
    Associate Professor of Law, The University of Hong Kong

    Dr Calvin Ho's
    research is primarily on the governance of health- and biomedical technologies, and more generally on medical law and ethics, as well as the normative aspects of health systems (especially on health insurance and access to health) and global health. He is currently an Ethics Board member of Mèdecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), and was the Co-Head of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Bioethics in Singapore (2014-2019).

  2. Ms Daisy Cheung
    Assistant Professor
    of Law, The University of Hong Kong

    Ms Daisy Cheung's research interests are in the field of medical law, primarily mental health law and ethics. She is also interested in issues in assisted reproduction. Daisy is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Medical Ethics & Law and currently teaches on the LLM for Medical Ethics and Law programme.

Please register ONLINE (or via to reserve a place.

Please attend this talk via ZOOM at

Enquiries: Ms Shelby Chan

The Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong has launched a webinar series on the legal challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. This talk is one of the webinars in the series. 


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