Balancing Costs and Benefits: A Clinical Perspective Does not Support a Harm Minimization Approach for Self-injury Outside of Community Settings

Guest Post: Hanna Pickard and Steve Pearce Responding to: Harm may sometimes be a good thing? Patrick Sullivan Sullivan’s emphasis on the importance of supporting autonomy and independence among vulnerable people who self-injure is fundamental to good clinical practice. This is why some forms of harm minimization, such as encouraging reflection, responsibility, safe cutting and where appropriate […]

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Bridging the Education-action Gap: A Near-peer Case-based Undergraduate Ethics Teaching Programme

Guest Post: Dr Selena Knight and Dr Wing May Kong Paper: Bridging the education-action gap – a near-peer case-based undergraduate ethics teaching programme Medical ethics and law is a compulsory part of the UK undergraduate medical school curriculum. By the time they qualify, new junior doctors will have been exposed to ethics teaching in lectures and […]

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Professional Codes and Diagnosis at a Distance

This is the second part of my response to Trish Greenhalgh’s post on the propriety of medics, psychiatrists in particular, offering diagnoses of Donald Trump’s mental health.  In the last post, I concentrated on some of the problems associated with making such a diagnosis (or, on reflection, what might be better called a “quasi-diagnosis”).  In […]

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Diagnosing Trump

It doesn’t take too much time on the internet to find people talking with some measure of incredulity about Donald Trump.  Some of this talk takes the tone of horrified fascination; some of it is mocking (and is accompanied by correspondingly mocking images); and some people are wondering aloud about his mental health.  In this […]

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Chappell on Midwives and Regulation

Richard Yetter Chappell has drawn my attention to this – a blog post in which he bemoans the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s rules about indemnity insurance, and the effects that they’ll have on independent midwives.  (I’d never heard of independent midwives – but an IM – according to Independent Midwives UK – is “a fully […]

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The Importance of Disambiguating Questions about Consent and Refusal

Guest Post: Rob Lawlor Re: Cake or death? Ending confusions about asymmetries between consent and refusal Imagine you have an adolescent patient who is in need of life saving treatment. You offer him the treatment, assuming that he would consent, but he refuses. As he is not yet a competent adult, you decide to treat […]

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HIV Cure Research and The Dual Aims of the Informed Consent Process

Guest Post: Danielle Bromwich and Joseph Millum Paper: Informed Consent to HIV Research  Special Issue: The benefit/risk ratio challenge in clinical research, and the case of HIV cure A cure for HIV would be tremendously valuable. Approximately 37 million people worldwide are HIV-positive and 15 million are currently on antiretroviral therapy. Until recently it was assumed […]

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A Matter of Life and Death

Guest Post by Professor Lynn Turner-Stokes Re: A matter of life and death – controversy at the interface between clinical and legal decision-making in prolonged disorders of consciousness In an article published in the JME, I highlight the confusion that exists amongst many clinicians, lawyers and members of the public about decisions with withdraw life-sustaining treatments […]

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Professionalism, or Prying?

“Professionalism” is a funny thing.  About this time last year, I was struggling to get a new course written for the coming semester; it was on professional ethics for lawyers.  A colleague made a comment along the lines that I must be spending a lot of time looking at the professional codes; I replied that […]

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Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trials of Surgery: Ethical Analysis and Guidelines

Guest Post by Karolina Wartolowska Re: Randomised placebo-controlled trials of surgery: ethical analysis and guidelines [open access] Surgical placebo-controlled randomised controlled trials are, in many ways, like placebo-controlled drug trials. Like in case of drug trials, sometimes, a placebo-controlled design is necessary so that the results are valid and unbiased. Placebo control is usually necessary when a […]

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