For more than 25 years I worked as a specialist in neonatology, the intensive medical care of newborn babies. I also led a multidisciplinary research team investigating the mechanisms, outcomes and prevention of brain injury in newborn infants. Our group has a special focus on the use of non-invasive brain monitoring techniques, including near infrared spectroscopy and magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

I was also involved in the development and introduction of hypothermia treatment for perinatal asphyxia (that is for infants who became deprived of oxygen during labour and delivery). I was co-chief investigator for the first major randomised international clinical trial of hypothermia for asphyxiated infants (the CoolCap trial). Hypothermia has now become a standard of care for asphyxiated infants in all countries with advanced healthcare systems, although there are still questions concerning its role in less developed countries.

In addition to my work in the field of perinatal brain injury, I have a special interest and concern for the palliative care of newborn infants with life-limiting conditions.

You can find some more of my material on neonatology below:


Article: Neonatal ethics

Historically, many societies were sure newborn children had significantly less value than adults. What do we think today?

Prenatal screening 1

Peering into the unknown, less than 1/150, blood tests over the internet, and disability doublethink

Prenatal screening 2

The prohibition on soothsaying, transcending genetic determinism, a client-technician relationship and Heidi Crowter’s joyful self-advocacy


There is also more material on the ethics of newborn care in my book Matters of Life and Deathin particular chapters six, seven and eight.

I also work part-time as a medicolegal expert witness in the field of neonatology. For professional enquiries about this, please contact my legal secretary at