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Vivienne Nathanson: An update on Cyril Karabus

19 Feb, 13 | by BMJ Group

Vivienne Nathanson In August 2012 the retired South African paediatrician, Professor Cyril Karabus, was detained as he passed through Dubai airport on his way home from a family wedding in Canada.  When I wrote an editorial on this in October last year, I outlined the charges against him. Around that time he was finally freed from the prison in which he had been held, and allowed instead to stay in a colleague’s home in the UAE. Having had to surrender his passport Professor Karabus has not been allowed to return to his family in South Africa, and his series of appearances in court bare a strong relationship to a farce. more…

Neil Chanchlani: Conscientious objection

2 Aug, 11 | by BMJ Group

Neil Chanchlani“See one, do one, teach one?”

Gone are the days when medical students did what they were told, learnt what was on the syllabus, and spoke when spoken to.

“See one, do one, teach one?” Not a chance.

Instead, they conscientiously object. more…

Julian Sheather: Should we help people self-harm?

5 Nov, 09 | by BMJ Group

Once in every while an ethical dilemma will swim across the horizon, a dilemma whose wake will induce in me a bout of moral seasickness. My compass spins, my bearings wheel and lurch. One such is the reappearance of “facilitated self-harm”. I am not over-fond of the word “facilitate”. It drips with the oil of evasion. It sits too easily on the smoothest tongues. What is meant here is helping people to hurt themselves. It refers to the practice of providing people who self-harm the sterile means to accomplish it. more…

Julian Sheather on playing God – again

21 Jul, 09 | by BMJ Group

So they’ve been at it again, the men in white coats. Putting on their grey beards and playing God, getting the jump on poor old mother nature. There are times when you could almost feel sorry for her. All those pipette-pushers forever tunnelling deeper and deeper into her mysteries. Leave her alone, I can almost hear myself saying, leave the poor old dame a few rags of the unknown to clothe herself in. And while you’re at it, leave us, leave poor bewildered modern us something to wonder at and to revere. But then I remember that this is a piece for the BMJ and it is scientists I am talking to, people who surely demand more from their arguments than soft-eyed sentiment. more…

Sara McCafferty on priority setting

20 Feb, 09 | by BMJ

Sarah McCafferty

In October last year we announced the UK Forum on Health Care Priority Setting at the 7th meeting of the International Society on Priorities in Health Care. The forum is funded by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement and is organised by the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. more…

Julian Sheather on hope and human rights in Zimbabawe

22 Dec, 08 | by BMJ Group

Last week I was in Uganda, speaking at a conference on monitoring the right to health. During the conference I met a fourth year medical student from Zimbabwe, Norman Matara. Norman is a tall, slim, gentle, slightly stooped young man. He does not talk much, but when he does he is thoughtful and softly spoken. He will say a few words, then lapse back into introspective silence. Although he is young, when he is not smiling his forehead creases easily with anxiety. Norman wants to be a paediatrician. more…

Cam Donaldson on managing the healthcare credit crunch

28 Oct, 08 | by BMJ Group

Cam Donaldson With NHS budget increases levelling off pre-credit crunch and now with the crunch itself, there has never been a more important time, in recent years at least, to be thinking about how to manage scarce healthcare resources for maximum gain to patients and the wider community. more…

Julian Sheather: Free NHS care for asylum seekers

5 Sep, 08 | by BMJ Group

It runs like an uneasy theme in the ethics of health care provision. How do we respond to the genuine health needs of individuals who do not have legal rights of residency and are unable to pay privately for their own health care? What obligations, if any, do we have to sick people who are here without legal status? Asylum seekers are entitled to the full panoply of NHS health care, but what of those whose claim has been refused? more…

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