Medical Drama That's Real Life for Ethics Guru; THE REAL CHARACTER BEHIND BBC SERIES
Byline: CHARLOTTE HARDING
AS a groundbreaking professor of law and ethics in medicine, she is increasingly in demand to offer impartial advice on the moral dilemmas faced by doctors and lawyers worldwide.
But last night the work of Glasgow University Professor Sheila McLean was given a national audience for the first time as BBC Scotland screened the first part of a powerful new drama based on her career.
Life Support, written around more than 20 years of her work, is the story of a clinical ethicist working in a busy Glasgow hospital and dealing with controversial issues including euthanasia, consent for children's surgery and forced caesareans.
It stars Aisling O'Sullivan in the lead role as Katherine Doone, alias Prof McLean, with Richard Wilson as criminal lawyer John Doone and Julie Graham as Katherine's best friend.
Yesterday the 48-year-old professor revealed she was delighted by the series and said she hoped it would provoke a wider and better informed public debate about the subjects involved.
'I am really proud of this drama,' she said. 'It has handled the issues in a very responsible manner and still keeps you on the edge of your seat. I would like to see the public being involved at a high level in these debates.
But that requires education, which this can help with.' The professor, who lives with her partner in Glasgow's West End, founded the first medical law degree in Britain in the 1970s, several years after graduating from Glasgow University with a law degree specialising in legal philosophy.
There are now four such courses at the university where she lectures students and postgraduates on her subject and answers regular queries from doctors and lawyers on the ethical dilemmas surrounding modern medicine and science. …