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Sir Patrick Nairne, who has died aged 91 years, was a distinguished senior civil servant and academic, who among many other accomplishments and achievements, made a significant contribution to the development of medical ethics in the UK. Sir Patrick is perhaps best known in this context as the founding chairman, from 1991 to 1996, of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the independent ethics advisory body cofunded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council, which is deservedly regarded as the closest British equivalent to a national ethics committee. Two or three years prior to the creation of the Nuffield Council however, Sir Patrick had chaired an Institute of Medical Ethics working party on the ethical implications of HIV infection and AIDS, one of a series of enquiries …
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