Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Hazel Thornton: Archive

  • Hazel Thornton
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


This collection contains sensitive material which has been closed or restricted. The material includes records relating to the Consumers' Advisory Group for Clinical Trials (CAG-CT) such as minutes, papers and correspondence, correspondence with and material relating to collaborators and other contacts, material relating to published papers (drafts, background material and correspondence), papers given at meetings, conferences and seminars as well as records relating to conferences and meetings attended such as programmes and circulated papers.



Physical description

94 boxes


Acquisition note

Given as a gift by Hazel Thornton in December 2015.

Biographical note

In 1991 Hazel was called for routine breast-screening. She was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma in Situ and was invited to participate in a national randomised trial for its treatment. Hazel declined the offer after carrying out some rapid research. She wrote a carefully worded response explaining the patient perspective in being involved from a practical and ethical perspective. This article formed the basis of a landmark 'Viewpoint' article published in the Lancet in 1992.

The "hideous decision making process" gave Hazel a long-standing passionate interest in the issues of informed consent, patient information, patient and public involvement in research [PPI], shared decision-making in healthcare and the ethics of randomised control trials, with a focus on breast cancer screening and related matters. Following the article in the Lancet Hazel was asked to give a presentation at Green College Oxford, having never spoken in public before. The topic she chose was "Is there a moral obligation for patients to join randomised control trials?". Many more invitations to speak in the UK and abroad and to write papers and contribute to books followed. A select list of Hazel's publications can be found at

Professor Michael Baum also invited Hazel to participate in weekly staff meetings at the Breast Care Unit at the Royal Marsden. This was one of the first examples of direct citizen involvement in the healthcare team.

In 1994 Hazel co-founded, with Professor Baum, the Consumers' Advisory Group for Clinical Trials (CAG-CT), a joint professional/patient working group. She chaired the group for 5 years, stepping down in 1999.

Hazel has continued to write and speak. This included a series of 24 essays in the Lancet (2000 - 2002) under the psuedonym "Refractor". She has also participated in many research projects and initiatives as advisor or steering group member. In 1995 she gave evidence to the Select Committee on Breast Cancer Services. She became involved in medical education, offering seminars to students at Leicester University, where she became an Honorary Visiting Fellow in 2001 and was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science in 2002. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine from 2002 until 2015. She also tutored at courses offered to health professionals by the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) National Cancer Research network (NCRN) from 2004 until 2010.

A full publication list (correct as of 20/09/2018) can be found in file PP/HTH/C/5.

Finding aids

Wellcome Library online catalogue

Permanent link