Hazel McHaffie

Saving Sebastian

Problems in medical ethics are not just for doctors but for everyone. Hazel McHaffie has found a way to bring them before a wide public. You are gripped from the very beginning of her latest novel, but as you turn the pages, you are compelled to think about the issues. It is an excellent formula.

Baroness Mary Warnock

Saving Sebastian is a thought-provoking novel centred around two families struggling with medical conditions and the controversial responses and outcomes offered by modern medical technologies. It raises a range of the social, ethical, and regulatory issues that are thrown up by regenerative medicine, but does so in a very accessible way through believable characters with whom you, as a reader, really engage. While it is (intentionally) a challenging book, it is a darn good read!

Dr Shawn Harmon, ESRC Genomics Network

McHaffie has honed the formula for engaging with ethical issues in the narrative of her novels, particularly through her talent for telling the story from different perspectives and adding an element of mystery which makes her novels hard to put down. The novel is cleverly plotted especially in the intersection of the characters’ lives. Through fictionalised accounts of controversial cases she raises significant ethical issues for reproductive medicine; such as the role of the regulator and ethics committees, the uses of reproductive technologies and the justification of media interest in private reproductive choices. With her inclusion of reasonably sophisticated ethical debate in the story in the clinical ethics committee and the media, the ethical issues are well integrated into the narrative in a balanced manner.

Institute of Medical Ethics