Clive Seale (born 1955) is a British sociologist. He is Professor of Sociology at Brunel University. Until 2012, he was Professor of Medical Sociology in the Institute of Health Sciences Education at Queen Mary, University of London, England.


Seale was educated at Bryanston School in Dorset. He then studied for BEd, MSc, and PhD degrees at the University of Southampton, Royal Holloway, University of London and from the UK Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA). He has been a professor at Goldsmiths College in east London (until 2003),[1] Queen Mary, University of London (2008–12), and Brunel University in west London (2003–8, 2012 onwards).

Seale does research into communication in health care settings, end-of-life care, mass media and health, and social research methods.[2] He is Managing Editor of the journal Sociology of Health and Illness.[3]

End of life decision making

Clive Seale's research has investigated the prevalence of euthanasia and assisted suicide in the UK. Although some members of the public were surprised at the number of accelerated deaths and cases of continuous deep sedation[4] in the UK,[5] the rate is lower than in many other countries.[6] He has found that UK doctors are more likely to have an open discussion about decisions which may hasten patient's death than in other countries. His research into attitudes towards euthanasia has found doctors to be less in favour of legalising euthanasia or forms of assisted dying than the general public.[7]

He has also investigated the role of religion in end of life decision making, finding that a doctor's faith influences whether they are likely to take decisions which hasten death, and whether they discuss making such decisions with their patients.[8][9] Non-religious doctors were more likely to take medical decisions which may have hastened death than religious ones, however when religious doctors took such decisions they were less likely to have discussed them with their patients first.[10][11] It appears therefore[original research?] that doctor's religious values are strongly linked to ethically controversial decision making,[12] against the advice of the British Medical Association, which instructs doctors to not to let their religious views interfere with treatment of patients.[13]


Clive Seale has authored many research papers and books.[2][14] His books include:[15]


  1. ^ Medical Knowledge 2/E, Clive Seale (Goldsmiths College), McGraw-Hill, UK.
  2. ^ a b Professor Clive Seale, Institute of Health Sciences Education, Queen Mary, University of London, UK.
  3. ^ Editorial Information, Sociology of Health and Illness, Blackwell Publishing, UK.
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Womack, Sarah (18 January 2006). "Doctors 'involved in eight euthanasia deaths a day'". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Health UK cautious about 'ending lives'". BBC News. 14 October 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Devlin, Kate (25 March 2009). "One in three doctors support euthanasia". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  8. ^ Clive Seale. "The role of doctors' religious faith and ethnicity in taking ethically controversial decisions during end-of-life care – Seale – Journal of Medical Ethics". Jme.bmj.com. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Today – Is your doctor's religion relevant?". BBC News. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  10. ^ Logged in as click here to log out (8 November 2010). "The relevance of a doctor's religion Evan Harris Comment is free guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Sarah Boseley, health editor (26 August 2010). "Atheist doctors 'more likely to hasten death' Society". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Doctor's Faith May Affect End-of-Life Care – ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ Publications from Clive Seale Archived 23 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Institute of Health Sciences Education, Queen Mary, University of London, UK.
  15. ^ Books: "Clive Seale", Amazon.co.uk.

External links