Alfie Evans: Please, just stop.

Last summer, as the Charlie Gard saga was unfolding, was a slightly strange time to be a bioethicist.  Perhaps fortuitously, I was out of the country as matters began to gather pace; I was able to post a couple of blog posts (like this and this), but could generally keep my head down until I’d […]

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Should Iceland Ban Circumcision? A Legal and Ethical Analysis

  By Lauren Notini and Brian D. Earp *Note: this article also appears on the Practical Ethics Blog, and a condensed version titled “Iceland’s Proposed Circumcision Ban” is being cross-published at Pursuit. For a small country, Iceland has had a big impact on global media coverage recently, following its proposed ban on male circumcision before […]

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Guest Post: Information Disclosure Post-Montgomery: Are English Courts Likely to use Causation as a “Control mechanism” to Limit Liability, like in Australia?

Authors: Malcolm K Smith and Tracey Carver, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Paper: Montgomery, informed consent and causation of harm: lessons from Australia or a uniquely English approach to patient autonomy? The UK Supreme Court decision of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] 1 AC 1430 establishes that a […]

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Guest Post: Who Calls the Shots?  Teens and the HPV Vaccine

Suchi Agrawal Paper: Who calls the shots? The ethics of adolescent self-consent for HPV vaccination  During my pediatric hospital medicine rotation, I stopped the team before we entered the room of our sixteen-year-old patient and her parents.  “Just a reminder, the patient does not want her parents to know she was tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia.”  […]

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Guest Post: The Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill: Some Objections Rebutted

David S. Oderberg, Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading On March 23rd 2018, the House of Lords will enter the Committee Stage of debate on the Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill, a Private Members’ Bill sponsored by Baroness O’Loan. It will be a time for line-by-line examination, with many amendments expected to be tabled both […]

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Guest Post: Philosophical Tradeoffs in Psychotherapy

Authors: Sahanika Ratnayake, David Merry. Paper: Forgetting ourselves: epistemic costs and ethical concerns in mindfulness exercises Unlike pharmaceuticals, psychotherapy is often presented as an effective treatment without any side effects. Mindfulness exercises, popularised by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 1970s and ‘80s, are seen as particularly gentle. According to Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is nothing more than ‘paying attention’. […]

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Medical Ethics Symposium on Health Care Rationing – Oxford June 20th. Registration Now Open

Practical medical ethics: Rationing responsibly in an age of austerity Date: June 20th 2018, 2-5pm, includes refreshments Location: Ship Street Centre, Jesus College, Oxford Health professionals face ever expanding possibilities for medical treatment, increasing patient expectations and at the same time intense pressures to reduce healthcare costs. This leads frequently to conflicts between obligations to current patients, and others who might […]

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Moving Towards a New Ethical Governance Framework for Research-Clinical Hybrid Genomic Medicine

Authors: Gabrielle Samuel, Sandi Dheensa, Anneke Lucassen, Bobbie Farsides Paper: Towards a national genomics medicine service: the challenges facing clinical-research hybrid practices and the case of the 100 000 genomes project [OPEN ACCESS] The Chief Medical Officers’ 2017 report Generation Genome calls for a move towards integrated research and clinical practice in genomic medicine (i.e., research-clinical […]

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Guest Post: Sentient Brains in a Dish? Potential Glimpses of Sentience Will Be Detectable in Future Cerebral Organoids

Authors, Andrea Lavazza *, Marcello Massimini ** (*Centro Universitario Internazionale, Arezzo, Italy; **Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences “Luigi Sacco”, University of Milan, Italy; Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, Milan, Italy). Paper: Cerebral organoids: ethical issues and consciousness assessment (http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2017-104555) Can we grow a sentient human organism in a dish? The answer may depend on how we evaluate […]

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Advance Euthanasia Directives in the Spotlight

Guest Post: David Gibbes Miller, Rebecca Dresser, Scott Y H Kim Paper: Advance euthanasia directives: a controversial case and its ethical implications Dutch law allows advance directives to authorize euthanasia for people who can no longer make a voluntary and well-considered choice to end their lives.  People make advance euthanasia directives (AEDs) with the goal of protecting themselves from […]

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