Even by the Mail’s Standards, this is Low

The Liverpool Care Pathway provides a rubric for managing the care of the terminally ill as they approach death.  A helpful pamphlet explaining what it is and what it does is available here.  Ideally, I’d quote the lot; but for the sake of efficiency, I’ll make do with an edited quotation: What is the Liverpool […]

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Is Medical Equipment Halal? Kosher?

A recent intercalating student of mine got in touch with this query the other day: Total parenteral nutrition is given as a replacement for nutrition where the patient cannot or should not be digesting food: it is given intravenously so bypasses digestion.  Two patients have asked my current educational supervisor if the TPN solution is […]

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Neonatal Withdrawal of Treatment: A Doctor Writes…

There’s a great little article recently published in the BMJ about what it’s like to be the medic considering withdrawal of feeding from a neonate. Survival is often much longer than most physicians think; reflecting on my previous patients, the median time from withdrawal of hydration to death was 10 days. I had no idea it’d be that […]

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Modesty, Conscience, and What it Takes to be a Doctor (with a bit of Comedy)

Two apparently unrelated new and new-ish papers in the JME have caught my eye over the last few days.  One of them is this one: Salilah Saidun’s “Photographing Human Subjects in Biomedical Disciplines: An Islamic Perspective”.  We’ll come to the other in a little while. There’s a couple of puzzling things about the paper.  One is […]

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Religious Preferences and the Best Interests of the Child

So the JME has – finally – published the paper by Brierley et al concerning withholding and withdrawal of futile treatment from children in the face of doctrinally-informed objections by the parents.  It’s taken a while, but it’s there now. The essence of the paper’s claim is pretty simply put: if parental preferences run contrary to […]

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CONF & CFP: 9th International Conference on Clinical Ethics Consultation

From Ralf Jox (Munich) Call for Abstracts: “Clinical ethics: bridging clinical medicine and ethics”. The Ninth International Conference on Clinical Ethics Consultation (ICCEC) 2013 will take place in Munich, Germany. The conference’s intention is to strengthen the bridge between clinical medicine and ethics by providing a forum for the exchange of experience and discussions between clinicians, ethicists and ethics consultants. […]

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How Abortion Law Works in Texas

Remember a little while ago there was a rash of proposals in the US that’d force women to see a sonogram of the foetus, or to listen to detailed descriptions of it, before having an abortion? Yeah: them.  Well, via Ophelia, here’s an account of what really happens. Halfway through my pregnancy, I learned that […]

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A Conscience Clause with Claws

There’s a flurry of papers on conscientious objection in the latest JME: Giles Birchley argues, taking his cue from Arendt, that conscientious objection has a place in medicine here; Sophie Strickland’s paper on medical students’ attitude to conscientious objection (which I mentioned in July) is here; and Morten Magelssen wonders when conscientious objection should be accepted here. […]

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What can we Learn from “The Exorcist”?

When John Sentamu stood up in the House of Lords a couple of weeks ago and spoke about the need for the NHS to concern itself with “spiritual” needs – and illustrated his claim with an anecdote about something resembling an exorcism – the response from a lot of the blogosphere was, at its friendliest, one […]

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Exporting and Using Medical Equipment

A student writes: I am a 5th Year Medical Student involved in a charity organisation that collects medical goods that are recycled/past expiry dates but still in good condition for re-use/excess from stocks, and aims to provide more impoverished clinics and hospitals abroad with these goods through students’ electives. I have been trying to find […]

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