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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The Challenge of Futile Treatment

Guest Post by Lindy Willmott and Ben White For decades, researchers from around the world have found evidence that doctors provide futile treatment to adult patients who are dying.  Some discussion of this topic has turned on matters of definition (see our recent contribution to this debate), with a broader concept of “perceived inappropriate treatment” […]

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Individualised and Personalised QALYs in Exceptional Treatment Decisions

Guest Post by Warwick Heale When NICE decides whether to make a treatment available on the NHS it considers both clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness.  Cost effectiveness is based on population-level QALY data, as is appropriate for a population-level policy.  However, this can cause problems for exceptional individual patients. When a doctor wants to offer an […]

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