Skip to main content
Celia Kitzinger

Professor Celia Kitzinger

Honorary Professor

School of Law and Politics


 My current research and advocacy relates to matters in the Court of Protection. I'm  co-founder of the Open Justice Court of Protection Project (winner of a "Real Impact' Award from Emerald Publishing in 2021).

Since 2010 my research has focussed on coma and disorders of consciousness.   I'm  co-director of the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre

I'm an academic psychologist by background.  I studied Experimental Psychology at St Hilda's College, Oxford University (1975-1978) and then went on to research a PhD on lesbian identities and politics in the Psychology Department at the University of Reading (1985).  The book of my PhD was published as The Social Construction of Lesbianism (1980) and won a Distinguished Publication Award.

I am a Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of both the British Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association.   In 2016 I was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for my research on social justice issues from the British Psychological Society.

I am an experienced qualitative researcher, and my work has encompassed research on gender and sexuality, the structure of human communication (conversation analysis  - including medical interaction), and end-of-life decision making.  Various of my publications have won an Outstanding Research Award from the British Psychological Society, and both a Distinguished Book Award and a Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association.  A full list of publications (many open access) is available on my Google Scholar profile. 

My interest in law and its implications for human welfare developed over the last decade or so as it became increasingly apparent that human flourishing cannot be achieved by Psychology alone, but demands changes in law, social policy and social structure. I completed the Graduate Diploma in Law (with Distinction, 2012), qualified as a mediator with the London School of Mediation (2017), and focus my research on challenging areas of law and policy in relation to medico-legal issues. I've contributed to numerous policy development guideline groups and working parties including the British Medical Association core editorial group that produced the national guidance on clinically assisted nutrition and hydration, the Royal College of Physicians guidelines development group for national guidelines on prolonged disorders of consciousness and (currently) the Lancet Commission on the Value of Death.