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Dr Gareth S Owen  BSc PhD MBBS MRCPsych
Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow
Honorary Consultant, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

emailcontact this person
tel020 7848 5479
fax0207 848 5408
addressDepartment of Psychological Medicine,
Institute of Psychiatry,
Weston Education Centre,
Cutcombe Rd,
London SE5 9RJ
location Weston Education Centre
departmentsPsychological Medicine


Gareth took a first in physics and philosophy at King’s College London and then studied medicine at the Royal Free and University College Medical School qualifying in 1999. He subsequently trained in general medicine and clinical neuroscience at Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge before starting clinical and research training in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry in 2002.

His PhD was on decision-making capacity in psychiatric inpatients supervised by Professors Matthew Hotopf (psychiatric epidemiology), Genevra Richardson (mental health law) and Anthony David (neuropsychiatry). He is now working on a phenomenological study of decision making capacity in people with schizophrenia, severe depression and frontal brain injury. This work is supported by the Wellcome Trust and links to a broader investigation of the ideal of autonomous judgment in history, theory and practice supported by the Arts and Humanities Reseach Council of Great Britain (

He is on the organising committee for the Maudsley Grand Rounds and works a day a week for the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. He has long standing interests in the interface between medicine and philosophy and chairs the Maudsley Philosophy Group (Reg. charity No 1120868).

activities and interests

Decision-making capacity
Mental health law and ethics

teaching activities

Lecturer: IoP summer schools, MRCPsych Maudsley training programme, MSc (Psychiatric Research, Philosophy of Mental Disorders)
Supervisor: Medical student SSC Psychiatry Research

Psychiatric Research » Masters (MSc)
Maudsley Training Programme » MRCPsych


Empirical papers:
1) Owen, G., Richardson, G., David, A., Szmukler, G., Hayward, P., & Hotopf M. 2008. Mental capacity to make decisions on treatment in people admitted to psychiatric hospitals: a cross sectional study. BMJ. 337: a448.
2) Owen, G.S, Szmukler, G., Richardson, G., David, A, Hayward, P., Hotopf, M. 2009. Mental capacity and psychiatric inpatients: some implications for the new mental health law. British Journal of Psychiatry. 195:257-263.
3) Owen, G. S., David, A. S., Richardson, G., Szmukler, G., Hayward, P., & Hotopf M. 2009. Mental Capacity, Diagnosis and Insight. Psychological Medicine. 39; 1389-98.
4) Owen, G.S, Richardson, G., David, A. Szmukler, G., Hayward, P., Hotopf, M. 2009. Retrospective views of psychiatric in-patients regaining mental capacity. British Journal of Psychiatry. Nov, 195(5).
5) Owen, G.S. Chis Ster, I., David, A.S., Szmukler, G., Richardson, G., Hotopf, M. 2009. Regaining capacity following inpatient treatment : a clinico-ethical study. Psychological Medicine 2010 Mar 29:1-10. [Epub ahead of print.
6) Harland, R. Antonova, E., Owen, G.S, Broome, M., Landau, S., Deeley, Q, Murray, R. 2009. Psychiatrists’ concepts of mental illness using the Maudsley Attitudes Questionnaire. Psychological Medicine. 39; 967-76.
7) Okai, D., Owen, G., McGuire, H., Singh, S., Churchill, R., & Hotopf, M. (2007). Mental capacity in psychiatric patients: Systematic review. British Journal of Psychiatry. 191: 291-297.
8) Hotopf, M., Okai, D., Owen, G., Singh, S, Churchill, R. (2005). Mental Capacity: a systematic review of empirical research (Report for the Department of Health UK).
9) Owen, G.S., Cutting, J., & David, A.S. (2007). Are people with schizophrenia more logical than healthy volunteers? British Journal of Psychiatry. 191; 453-454.
10) Churchill, R., Owen, G., Singh, S., Hotopf, M. (2007). International Experiences of using Community Treatment Orders. Department of Health, Institute of Psychiatry UK.
11) Owen, G. S., Okai, D., Hotopf, M. (2007). Mental Capacity. Psychiatry. 6(2), 69-72.
12) Owen G, Menon-Johannsen, A, Warburton, E. (2002). ‘Acute micrographia following a lacunar stroke’. Age and Aging. 31: 1-2.
13) Owen G.S., and Halliwell J.V.(2001) Electrophysiological characterisation of laminar synaptic inputs to the olfactory tubercle of the rat studied in vitro: modulation of glutamatergic transmission by cholinergic agents is pathway specific’ European Journal of Neuroscience. 13; 1767-1780.

Conceptual papers:
14) Owen, G.S., Freyenhagen, F., Richardson, G., & Hotopf, M. 2009. Mental Capacity and Decisional Autonomy: An Interdisciplinary Challenge. Inquiry. 52 (1); 79-10
15) Owen G.S. Kanaan R. A. A. (2008) The Ethical and Legal Framework in psychiatry. Medicine. 36:8, 391-392
16) Owen, G. (2008). Karl Jasper’s methodological pluralism and its exclusion of philosophy. Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology. 14(1), 67-70.
17) Owen, G., Harland, R. (2007). Taking Phenomenology Seriously. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 33(1), 105-7.
18) Owen G. (2002). ‘Keeping close to the bedside’ Newsletter of the British Medical Informatics Society. No 35, 3-5.
19) Owen G. (1998). ‘Fallibility in healthcare’ Bulletin of Medical Ethics. 137:22-23.
20) Owen G. (1996) ‘When medicine becomes philosophy’ Student BMJ. 4;212.

21) Hotopf, M, Dunn, G., Owen, G, Churchill, R. Flawed analysis of North Carolina Trial. (2007). [Letter] British Journal of Psychiatry. 191, 358.
22) Owen G, Harland R, Antonova E, Broome M. ‘Jaspers’ concept of primary delusion’. (2004). British Journal of Psychiatry. 185, 77-78.
23) Harland R, Owen G, Broome M. ‘Humanity and biology in psychiatry’ (2004). British Journal of Psychiatry. 184, 363.
24) Owen G, Harland R, Tulloch A, Broome M. ‘Scientific Psychiatry?’ (2003) British Journal of Psychiatry. 183, 564.

25) The Maudsley Reader in Phenomenological Psychiatry. Eds. Broome, M., Harland, R., Owen, G.S., Stringaris, A. Cambridge University Press. (In preparation)

last updated: Tuesday, May 18, 2010