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BMA Award for ‘coma’ researcher

8 September 2015

BMA Award Photo JK
Professor Jenny Kitzinger with sister Celia, and members of the Patient/Family Advisory Group.

A Cardiff professor whose innovative research has helped families of severely brain injured patients has won an award from the British Medical Association

The work of Professor Jenny Kitzinger, from the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, topped the ‘Information on Ethical Issues’ category in the 2015 BMA Patient Information Awards.

Professor Kitzinger and her sister, Professor Celia Kitzinger of the University of York, have developed an online resource drawing on 65 interviews with relatives of patients in vegetative or minimally conscious states. It was developed with the help of family members and clinicians who worked as part of the project’s advisory group.

Professor Jenny Kitzinger, co-director of the Cardiff-York Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre, said: "I am delighted with the recognition from the BMA, and hope the  resource will support families, healthcare and legal professionals, as well as  policy makers, to address complex ethical issues about the treatment of these patients  under extremely difficult  circumstances."

The  reviewer for the BMA praised the team for creating: ‘a profoundly honest and singular  resource which will offer wisdom, empathy, insight and support to others… of great value to both families and clinicians.' The reviewer added: "In over five years of reviewing for the awards this is the best resource I have  seen.”

The resource was used by over 4000 people within months of launch and has already  won awards for its impact on policy and society.