Maeghan Toews Wins $10K Viscount Bennett Scholarship

Funds will support PhD student's research into organ donation and ownership

Staff Writer - 28 May 2019

A PhD student researching property law as it applies to the human body won a prestigious Viscount Bennett Scholarship for 2018.

Maeghan Toews, who is also a former research associate with the Health Law Institute at UAlberta, will receive up to $10,000, which is awarded by the Law Society of Alberta. It supports postgraduate studies by law graduates, articling students or lawyers practising in Alberta.

The award will help Toews continue her doctoral research in Canadian health law and policy, in which she's investigating the development of property law regarding the human body.

"The funds will be used to support my work examining ownership of human biological materials, with a specific focus on the organ donation and transplantation context, " said Toews.

"I think it is fantastic that the Law Society is supporting emerging legal scholars and I feel very honoured to have their support behind my doctoral research with this award," she said.

Before starting her PhD, Toews earned her JD from the University of Toronto and then graduated cum laude from the LLM advanced programme in Public International Law from Leiden University in the Netherlands.

When it was established in 1943, the purpose of the award was to "provide medals for meritorious students." Since then, the value of the original shares that created the fund have increased significantly.

What began as 100 shares of Royal Bank stock valued at $100 per share has now morphed into a large enough sum to support several scholars annually.