Professor Ann Gallagher

Professor of Ethics and Care, Director International Care Ethics Observatory, Fulbright Scholar, Editor-in-Chief Nursing Ethics, Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and Fellow Ad Eundem of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland

Academic and research departments

The International Care Ethics (ICE) Observatory.



Ann Gallagher is Professor of Ethics and Care, International Care Ethics Observatory, School of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

Ann's journey to a career in applied/practical ethics - philosophical and empirical - has been unconventional.

Ann trained as a general nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, during 'The Troubles'. In the context of political and sectarian conflict. She became absorbed by questions of freewill, determinism, care ethics and social justice. Ann moved to England to train as a mental health nurse and went on to manage a day psychiatric unit for troubled adolescents. Inspired by her experience in Belfast and in mental health, She became the first in her extended Irish family to go to university. She completed a BA (Hons) degree in philosophy and health studies in London and then an MA in medical and social ethics at the University of Wales College of Cardiff. Ann's PhD, on the theme of 'Virtue Ethics and Professional Education', was supervised by Professor Ruth Chadwick.

Experience of, and expertise in, applied ethics has enabled Ann to be an effective Chairperson of the University Ethics Committee, the Animal Welfare and Ethics Board and a local hospice Clinical Ethics Committee.  Ann is Editor-in-Chief of the international journal 'Nursing Ethics' (which was recently rated top bioethics journal). She also served two terms as a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics (2013-2019). 

During Ann's sabbatical (2017-2017) she was Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Healthcare at the University of Tuskegee in Alabama, USA. She also spent time at University Californina San Francisco, University of Cork (Ireland) and at universities in Xiamen (China) and in Kyoto (Japan). Her sabbatical blog can be accessed at Ann has taken up a visiting position at the University of Tuskegee.

Ann has been at the University of Surrey for 10 years and has previously worked at the Open University, Kingston University and St George's Hospital Medical School London. 


Ann has over 50 peer-reviewed articles, some co-authored with scholars in different disciplines from Europe, the USA, Brazil and Japan. She has authored and co-authored over 80 Editorials, Blogs and commentaries. She has also co-authored 3 books (on human rights, on virtue ethics and on nursing ethics) and co-edited 2 books (on ethics and law and on ethics, faith and care). Ann is currently completing a single authored book on 'Slow Ethics and the Art of Care', which will be published by Emerald in 2020.

The focus of Ann's scholarship and research relates to philosophical and empirical ethics aspects of relational practices (for example, care, medicine and veterinary practice). The topics and ethical perspectives she has explored are wide-ranging with applicability across cultures. Ann has, most recently, worked with Mikey Dunn at the University of Oxford and Professors Yonghui Ma, Ya Fang and Xu at the University of Xiamen in China. The Wellcome Trust funded project on the theme of 'Roles, Responsibilities and the Future of Care for Older Adults: Building a Cross-Cultural and Interdisciplinary Network”. The project brought together experts from 11 countries (also including the USA, Canada, Singapore and Japan) to interrogate issues relating to philosophy, policy and practice (see ). 

Ann is also embarking on a new scoping project to examine ethical aspects of care in Tanzania and a project to improve the experience of parents with learning disabilities.

Recent projects


Ann is passionate about learning and teaching She teaches practical ethics - across a range of undergraduate and post-graduate courses, for example, health and social care professionals and medical engineers. 

Recent innovative approaches to education have included:

The development of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on 'Ethical Decision-making in Care' which will be launched with FutureLearn in October 2019;

The implementation of a 6 week online course entitled: 'Introduction to Ethics in Health and Social Care' for undergraduate health and social care professionals;

Contributing to an online 'research ethics toolkit' at the University of Surrey, which included an interview with Professor Rueben Warren who provided expert input on the US Public Health Department Syphillis Study at Tuskegee;

Pioneering an immersive simulation experience for care-givers, managers and regulators in the UK to enable reflection on ethical aspects of their practices. An experience that participants described as 'epiphanous'; and

Utilising skills from TED Talk training which was part of my Fulbright Scholar experience.

Departmental duties:

  • Leading the work of the International Care Ethics Observatory and journal which includes the organisation of an annual international conference;
  • Developing research proposals, applying for funding and conducting empirical research relating to health and social care ethics;
  • Leading the organisation of monthly cross-faculty ethics conversations;
  • Leading research projects with local and international co-researchers;
  • Writing and publishing philosophical and empirical ethics peer-reviewed articles in peer-reviewed journals;
  • Leading staff development in relation to teaching health and social care ethics;
  • Developing international research and scholarship collaborations through the International Care Ethics (ICE) Observatory;
  • Editor-in-Chief of international journal Nursing Ethics (see );
  • Teaching ethics to undergraduate and post-graduate students; and
  • Supervising MSc, DCP and PhD students undertaking ethics-related research

Supervision of PhD students

Current PhD Students

Ali Haddad - The Good Nurse in Kuwait

Olivia Luijnenburg - Ethics, spirituality and care

Hanna Groothuizen - The evolution of student nurses' values

Completed PhDs

Wendy Grosvenor - Students' experience of a Time for Dementia Project

Andrew McKie, University of Aberdeen - Exploring the relationship between the expressive arts and ethical nursing practice 

Iris Gault, Kingston University and St George's University of London - Therapeutic coercion and supervised community orders

Julia Woods, Kingston University and St George's University of London - Decision-making and dementia care

Ruth Jackson, University of Surrey - Midwives' experience of obstetric emergencies

Kit Tapson - The perspectives of counsellors and of young people who bully on the counselling process

Maggie Davies - The perspectives of Directors of Nursing on UK care practices

Vince Mitchell - An Ethical Framework for Dementia Care

Davis Mpavaenda - Investigating the impact of a new intervention for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Tiziana Sala Defilippis - Moral resilience in healthcare practice

External examiner of PhD theses:

2019 - University of Leuven, Belgium - Forthcoming

2018 - University of Birmingham - Georgina Morley - Moral Distress and ITU Nurses

2016 - University of Salford - Julie Winifred Morton - Mapping Ethical Regulation: The Work of Research Ethics Committees

2012 - University of Dundee - Gordon McLaren - Ethical decision making in the NHS: a theoretical analysis of clinical negligence with reference to the existentialist writings of Kierkegaard, Levinas and Sartre

2011 - University of Sao Paulo, Brazil - Maria Cristina Paganini - Professional autonomy of nurses in the intensive care unit

2010 - University of Hertfordshire - Jennifer Susan Beckwith - Uncovering complexity in everyday practice: A post-modern study of community nursing assessment


Research projects

Indicators of esteem

  • In 2017/2018 Ann received the following awards:

    • Fulbright Scholar in Residence, Tuskegee University, Alabama, USA;
    • Fellow Ad Eundem of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland; and
    • Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing, UK



My publications


Marsh W., Robinson A., Gallagher A. & Shawe J. (2019 - in press) Removing babies at birth: ethical discourse Nursing Ethics

Gallagher A., Peacock M., and Cox A. (2019 – in press) Exploring the experiences of care-givers assuming the role of domiciliary care-recipients  Nursing Standard

Tranvåg O., Nåden O. & Gallagher A. (2019) Dignity Work of Older Women Caring for a Husband with Dementia at Home Health Care for Women International

Miyama T., Gallagher A., Numoto K., Kawahara N., Tanabe M. & Takenaka Y. (2019) Philosophical perspectives on the care of elderly people from the viewpoint of advanced practice nurses in Japan Bulletin of Kyoto Tachibana University 45 (15): 209-221

Ota K., Maeda J., Niimi Y., Gallagher A., Fai Chan M., Yahiro M. & Matsuda M. (2019) Development of an inpatient dignity scale through studies in Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom Asian Nursing Research (see )

Sala Defilippis T.M.L., Curtis K. & Gallagher A. (2019) Conceptualising Moral Resilience Nursing Inquiry (see

Austin Z., van der Gaag A., Gallagher A., Jago R., Banks S., Lucas G. & Zasada M. (2018) Understanding Complaints to Regulators about Paramedics in the UK and Social Workers in England: Findings from a Multi-Method Study  Journal of Medical Regulation 104(3): 19-28

Gallagher A., Watson F. & Fitzpatrick N. (2018) Love as a core value in veterinary and medical practice: Towards a humanimal ethics Clinical Ethics ( )

Lucas G., Gallagher A., Austin Z., Jago R., Banks S., & van der Gaag A. (2018) Understanding complaints about paramedics: a qualitative exploration in a UK context Australian Journal of Paramedicine (

Gallagher A., Zasada M., Jago R., Austin Z., Banks S., Lucas G. & van der Gaag A. (2018) Fitness-to-practise concerns and preventative strategies Journal of Paramedic Practice 10 (4) pp.163-169

van der Gaag A., Jago R. Austin Z., Zasada M., Banks S., Lucas G. & Gallagher A. (2018) Why do paramedics have a high rate of self-referral Journal of Paramedic Practice 5 (10): 205-210

Gallagher A. (2018) Commentary: Intersectionality, Dignity and the Value of Stories Journal for Healthcare, Science and the Humanities VII (2): 81-87 

Groothuizen J.E., Callwood A. & Gallagher A. (April 2018) The NHS Constitution Values for Values Based Recruitment: a Virtue Ethics Perspective Journal of Medical Ethics (online doi:10.1136/medethics-2017-104503

Gallagher A. (2017) Commentary: Intersectionality, Dignity and the Value of Stories Journal of Healthcare, Science and the Humanities Volume VII, Number 2:81-87

Groothuizen J.E., Callwood A. & Gallagher A. (2017) What is the value of Values Based Recruitment for nurse education programmes? Journal of Advanced Nursing (published online - - doi: 10.1111/jan.12512)

Ramage C., Curtis K., Glynn A., Montgomery J., Hoover E., Leng J., Martin C., Theodosius C. & Gallagher A., (2017) Developing and Using a Toolkit for Cultivating Compassion in Healthcare: An Appreciative Inquiry Approach International Journal of Practice-based Learning in Health and Social Care 5 (1): 42-64

Curtis K., Gallagher A., Ramage C., Montgomery J., Martin C., Leng J., Theodosius C., Glynn A., Anderson J. and Wrigley M. (2017) Using Appreciative Inquiry to develop, implement and evaluate a multi-organisational ‘Cultivating Compassion’ programme for health professionals and support staff Journal of Research in Nursing 22(1-2): 150-165 [*Judged paper of the year by the journal]

Gallagher A. & Leng J. (2017) Care assistants’ experiences of an ethics-in-care simulation project: letters to a friend British Journal of Healthcare Assistants 11(04): 180-184

Cox, AC, Arber, A, Gallagher, A, MacKenzie, M and Ream, E (2017) Establishing priorities for UK cancer nursing research: Nurse and patient collaboration in a UK Oncology Nursing Society Delphi survey Oncology Nursing Forum 44(2): 192-203

Gallagher A., Peacock M., Zasada M., Coucke T. Cox A. & Janssens N. (2016 published online) Care-givers’ reflections on an Ethics Education Immersive Simulation Care Experience: A Series of Epiphanous Events Nursing Inquiry (See )

Gallagher A., Curtis K., Dunn M. & Baillie L. (2016 published online) Realising Dignity in Care Home Practice: An Action Research Project International Journal of Older People Nursing (See )

Gallagher A. & Vanlaere L. (2016) Care-givers' Perspectives on Ethical Aspects of Residential and Domiciliary Social Care for Older People: Towards skilled companionship? Nursing Older People 28 (10): 33-37 (See

 Gallagher A., Snook V., Horsfield C., Rutland S., Vyvyan E., Juniper J. & Collen  A. (2016) Experts’ perspectives on professionalism in paramedic practice: findings from a Delphi process British Paramedic Journal 1 (2): 9-17

Gallagher A., Vyvyan E., Juniper J., Snook V., Horsfield C., Collen  A. & Rutland S., (2016) Professionalism in paramedic practice: the views of paramedics and paramedic students British Paramedic Journal 1 (2): 1-8

Gallagher A. & Members of International Research Group (2015) Nurses’ Involvement in End of Life Decision-Making in ICE: A Five Country Qualitative Study International Journal of Nursing Studies 52 (4): 794-803

Olsen D. & Gallagher A. (2014) Ethics, force-feeding and military nurses’ values conflict American Journal of Nursing (See )

Gallagher A. (2013) Slow ethics: A sustainable approach to ethical care practice? Clinical Ethics vol. 8, 4: pp. 98-104

Ventura C., Gallagher A., Jago R. & Mendes I. Assisted Dying: the view from solidarity Medicine and Law (accepted – publication 2013) - 'Assisted Dying: The View from Solidarity'. Michigan State University College of Law Journal of Medicine and Law

Gault I., Gallagher A. & Chambers M. (2013) Perspectives on medicine adherence in service users and carers with experience of legally sanctioned detention and medication: a qualitative study Patient Preference and Adherence 7, 787-799

Gallagher A., Jago R. Ventura C. & Mendes I. (2013) Transcultural research ethics: impossibility or panacea?  Health and Society/Salute E Societá 12 (3) pp.67-82

Hunt G., Gannon C. & Gallagher A. (2013) Elements of an engaged clinical ethics: a qualitative analysis of hospice clinical ethics committee discussion Clinical Ethics 7 (4) pp. 175-182

Gallagher A., Wainwright P, Tompsett H. & Atkins C. (2012) Findings from a Delphi Exercise regarding Conflicts of Interests, General Practitioners and Safeguarding Children: ‘Listen carefully, judge slowly’ Journal of Medical Ethics 38, pp. 87-92

Wainwright P., Gallagher A., Tompsett H. & Atkins C. (2010) The use of vignettes within a Delphi exercise – a useful  approach in empirical ethics? Journal of Medical Ethics 36, pp.656-660

Wainwright P. & Gallagher A (2010) Understanding general practitioners’  conflicts of interest and the paramountcy principle in safeguarding children Journal of Medical Ethics 36 pp.302-305

Gallagher A., Arber A., Chaplin R. & Quirk A. (2010) Service users’ experience of receiving bad news about their mental health Journal of Mental Health 19 (1) 34-41

Baillie, L., Gallagher, A. (2010) The RCN Dignity campaign: exploring enablers and challenges. Journal of Research in Nursing 15:1, 15-28.

Urwin S., Stanley R., Jones M., Gallagher A., Wainwright P. & Perkins A. (2010) Understanding student nurse attrition: learning from the literature Nurse Education Today 30 pp.202-207

Gallagher A. & Tschudin V. (2010) Education for ethical leadership Nurse Education Today 30 pp.224-227

King L.A., Jackson M.T., Gallagher A., Wainwright P. & Lindsay J. (2009) Towards a model of the expert practice educator – interpreting multi-professional perspectives in the literature Learning in Health and Social Care Vol. 8, Issue 2, pp.135-144

Arber A. & Gallagher A. (2009) Generosity and the moral imagination in the practice of teamwork Nursing Ethics 16 (6) pp. 775-785

Gallagher A., Li S., Wainwright P., Rees Jones I. and Lee D. (2008) Dignity in the Care of Older People - A Review of the Theoretical and Empirical Literature BMC Nursing 2008, 7:11 (11 July 2008)

Baillie L., Ford P., Gallagher A. & Wainwright P. (2009) Dignified care for children and young people Paediatric Nursing 21(2): 24

Wainwright P. and Gallagher A. (2008) ‘On different types of dignity in nursing care: a critique of Nordenfelt’ Nursing Philosophy 9. pp.46-54

Gallagher A. (2007) ‘The Respectful Nurse’ Nursing Ethics Vol.14, No.3, pp. 360-371

Gallagher A. (2004) ‘Dignity and Respect for Dignity – Two Key Health Professional Values: Implications for Everyday Nursing Practice’ in Nursing Ethics 11 (6) pp.587-599.

Arber A. & Gallagher A. (2003) ‘Breaking bad news revisited: the push for negotiated disclosure and changing practice implications’ International Journal of Palliative Nursing Volume 9. No.4, pp.166-172

Seedhouse D. & Gallagher A. (2002) ‘Undignifying Institutions’ Journal of Medical Ethics 28: 368-372

McHale J., Gallagher A. & Mason I. (2001) ‘The Human Rights Act 1998: Implications for Nurses’ Nursing Ethics, 8 (3), pp. 223-233

Gallagher A. (1995) ‘Medical and Nursing Ethics; Never the Twain?’ Nursing Ethics 2 (2) pp. 95-101

Books published

Chadwick C. & Gallagher A. (2016) Ethics and Nursing Practice 2nd Edition, Palgrave/MacMillan, Basingstoke

Banks S. & Gallagher A. (2009) Ethics in Professional Life: Virtues for Health and Social Care Palgrave/MacMillan, Basingstoke

McHale J. & Gallagher A. (2003) Human Rights and Nursing Butterworth Heinemann/Elsevier, Edinburgh

Books edited

In press – Gallagher A. & Herbert C. Faith in Care: 11 Worldviews on Ethics, Spirituality and Care

Gallagher A. & Hodge S. (Editors) (2012) Ethical, legal and professional aspects in healthcare: a practice-based approach Palgrave/MacMillan

 Book chapters in press and published

Gallagher A. & Warren R. ‘Ethical Aspects of Individualised Care’ (2018 in press) in Suhonen R., Stolt M., & Papastravrou E. (Eds) Individualised Care – Theory, measurement, Research and Practice Springer

Gallagher A. ‘Mental Health Ethics’ in Norman I. & Ryrie I. (2018) The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing, 2nd Edition (in press), Open University Press, Maidenhead

Gallagher A. (2017) ‘Care Ethics and Nursing Practice’ (Chapter 15) in Scott A. Key Concepts and Issues in Nursing Ethics, Springer

Gallagher A. (2014) ‘Moral Boundaries and Nursing Ethics’ in Kohlen H. et al Marking 20th Anniversary of Joan Tronto’s ‘Moral Boundaries’, Peeters, Leuven

Gallagher A. (2013) ‘Ann Gallagher’ Chapter 8 in: Forss A, Ceci C. & Drummond J. (Eds) Philosophy of Nursing: 5 Questions Automatic Press/VIP, Copenhagen

Gallagher A. ‘Preparing students for ethical practice’ in Higgs J., Sheehan D., Baldry Currens J., Letts W. & Jensen G.M.(Eds) (2013) Realising Exemplary Practice-Based Education Sense Publications, Rotterdam

Gallagher A. (2012) ‘Nursing Ethics’ entry in Chadwick R.(Editor-in-Chief) Encyclopaedia of Applied Ethics Second Edition, Elsevier, Edinburgh

Gallagher A. ‘Care environments which support dignity in care’ in Matiti M. & Baille L. (Eds) (2011) Dignity in Care: A Practical Approach Radcliffe Publishing, London

Gallagher A. and McKie A. ‘The potential of literature and poetry’ in Warne T.and McAndrew S. (Editors)  (2010) Creative Approaches in Health and Social Care Education and Practice: Knowing Me, Understanding You Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke

Gallagher A ‘Ethics and Culturally Competent Care’ in Papadopolous R. (Ed.) (2006) Transcultural Health and Social care: The Development of Culturally Competent Practitioners Elsevier, Edinburgh

Gallagher A. ‘Promoting Ethical Competence’ in Davis A.J., Tschudin V. and De Raeve (eds) (2006) The Teaching of Nursing Ethics: content and methods Elsevier, Edinburgh

Gallagher A. Chapter ‘Do virtues have a role in the practice of counselling?’ in Robb M., Barrett S, Komaromy C. and Rogers A. (2004) Communication, Relationships and Care: A Reader Routledge, London

Baxter C. & Gallagher A. ‘Blowing the Whistle on Racism in Services: Ethical Professional and Legal Aspects’ in Baxter C. (ed.) (2001)  Diversity & Equality in Health Care, Bailliere Tindall/ Harcourt,

Gallagher A. ‘Negotiating the Dilemmas of Antenatal Testing for Genetic Disorders  What is the Virtuous Person to Do?’ Chapter published in Genetic Information: Acquisition, Access and Control (Chapter 25) in Thompson A.K. & Chadwick R. (Eds) (1999) Publisher Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York

Hodder P. & Gallagher A. ‘Ethics & Standard-Setting’ (Chapter 6) in Chadwick R. (ed.) (1998) Ethical Issues in Community Health Care Edward Arnold Ltd., London.

Examples of media opinion pieces

Gallagher A. (2017) Blog: Learning from the case of Charlie Gard: How a hard case can make bad ethics (see )

Gallagher A. (2017) Let's tackle 'careism' and give workers the respect they deserve The Guardian 22/02/2017 (See )

Gallagher A. (2015) Ethical Responses to Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Inquiries - Why We Need a Slow Approach The Huffington Post (see

Gallagher A. (2013) 'Proposal for hidden cameras in care homes is misguided' The Conversation 15th October (See )

Gallagher A. (2013) 'Dignitas case raises tough questions over right to die and duty to protect' The Conversation 20th August (see

Gallagher A (2013) 'Should Brady be kept alive? The ethics of force feeding' The Conversation 19th June (see

Gallagher A. (2013) The Ethics of Force-Feeding Inmates New York Times 1st May (see

Gallagher A. (2013) 'Care: A higher calling' Times Higher Education 28th February (see

Gallagher A. (2013) 'Slow ethics will tackle moral winter' Times Higher Education 10th January (see

Gallagher A. (2012) The key to improving nursing lies with nurses themselves The Times 04/05/12 p.61 (Public Sector section)

Gallagher A. (2012) How nursing should tackle its image problem The Guardian 10/05/2012 (See

Editorials in Nursing Ethics

  • Gallagher A. & Gannon C. (2018) Learning from Gosport: Deterring Institutional Deafness Nursing Ethics 25(6): 687-689
  • Gallagher A. & Jago R. (2018) Understanding professional misconduct: Snowflakes, stoics or organisational culture? 25(4): 415-417
  • Gallagher A. & Hodge D.A. (2018)  Gun Violence: Care Ethicists Making the Invisible Visible Nursing Ethics 25(1)
  • Gallagher A. (2017) What can we learn from the case of Charlie Gard? Perspectives from an inter-disciplinary panel discussion Nursing Ethics 24(7): 775-776
  • Gallagher A. (2017) What can we learn from the case of Charlie Gard (24)7:
  • Gallagher A. & Tschudin V. (2017) Celebrating exemplary ethical care: The Human Rights and Nursing Awards 24(6): 637-639
  • Gallagher A. (2017) Ethical leadership revisited: The value of sharing diverse perspective 24(5): 515-516
  • Gallagher A. & Christie I. (2017) Towards a Sustainable Care Utopia Nursing Ethics 24(4): 389-391
  • Gallagher A. (2017) The Good Enough Doctor Nursing Ethics 24(2): 123-4
  • Gallagher A, (2016) Highlights from the 2016 Conference Nursing Ethics 23 (7): 727-728
  • Gallagher A. (2016) Mindfulness, Moral Distress and Dementia Care Nursing Ethics 23 (6): 599-600
  • Gallagher A., Naden D. & Karterud D. (2016) Ethical aspects of Robots in Care Nursing Ethics 23 (4) 369-371
  • Gallagher A. (2016) The 'good' professional regulator: Superhero or adversary? Nursing Ethics 23 (3) 251-153
  • Gallagher A. (2016) What counts as 'ethics education?' Nursing Ethics 23 (2) 131
  • Gallagher A. (2016) The Nursing Ethics Heritage Project Nursing Ethics 23 (1) 3