The Real Problem With Human Head Transplantation

Guest Post: Michael S. Dauber, MA * Note: this article is being cross-posted at the Practical Ethics blog.  In 2015, Sergio Canavero announced that he would perform a therapeutic head transplant procedure on a human subject by December 2017. Since then, he has recruited the assistance of surgeon Xiaoping Ren and switched from Valery Spiridonov to an […]

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Pedophilia and Child Sexual Abuse Are Two Different Things — Confusing Them is Harmful to Children

By Brian D. Earp (@briandavidearp) Note: this post appeared first at the Practical Ethics blog and is being re-posted. Pedophilia and Child Sexual Abuse Are Two Different Things — Confusing Them is Harmful to Children Republican politician Roy Moore has been accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was in his early […]

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There’s a New Declaration of Geneva!

Contain your excitement if you can… The World Medical Association has issued its latest version of the Declaration of Geneva.  (h/t to Mark Rapa for bringing this to my attention.)  This is apparently something that it does every decade, tinkering with phrasing as it sees fit. So, then: what does it say?  Well, for my […]

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Does the Doctrine of Double Effect Apply to the Prescription of Barbiturates? Syme vs the Medical Board of Australia

Guest Post: Xavier Symons Paper: Does the doctrine of double effect apply to the prescription of barbiturates? Syme vs the Medical Board of Australia   My recently published article analyses the controversial Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hearing Syme vs The Medical Board of Australia. In that hearing, Dr Rodney Syme, an Australian urologist and euthanasia […]

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Does Female Genital Mutilation Have Health Benefits? The Problem with Medicalizing Morality

By Brian D. Earp (@briandavidearp) * Please note: this piece was originally published in Quillette Magazine.     Four members of the Dawoodi Bohra sect of Islam living in Detroit, Michigan have recently been indicted on charges of female genital mutilation (FGM). This is the first time the US government has prosecuted an “FGM” case since a federal law was passed in […]

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Charlie Gard: An Ethical Analysis of a Legal Non-Problem

(Cross-posted from EJIL: Talk!) For those with an internet connection and an interest in current affairs, the story of Charlie Gard been hard to avoid recently.  A decent précis is available here; but it’s worth rehearsing. Shortly after his birth, Charlie’s health began to deteriorate, and he was diagnosed with a terminal and incurable mitochondrial […]

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Is Hope a Virtue?

It’s perfectly understandable that hope should have featured so prominently in the coverage of the Charlie Gard case; each proposal is presented as offering fresh hope, each reversal presented as dashing hopes.  In either case, hope is something presented as desirable.  A bit more deeply, hope is one of the Theological Virtues, and so anyone […]

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Never Let an Ill Child Go to Waste

The Charlie Gard saga is one about which I’ve been reluctant to say anything, not least because plenty of other people have said plenty elsewhere.  Sometimes they add heat, and sometimes they add light. Beneath everything, the story is fairly simple: a small child is terribly ill; it is agreed by medical opinion that continued […]

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What’s the Point of Professional Ethical Codes?

For a few reasons, I’ve been thinking a bit over the last few months about professionalism and professional codes.  In fact, that’s the topic that’s attracted most of my attention here since… oooh, ages ago.  I find the idea of a code of professional ethics troubling in many ways, but also fascinating.  And one of […]

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The Unusual Case of Ian Paterson and Criminally Harmful Surgery

Guest post by Alex Mullock, University of Manchester On 28th April 2017 in the case of breast surgeon, Ian Paterson, the jury in Nottingham Crown Court agreed that in carrying out unnecessary and mutilating surgery the defendant had done what no reasonable surgeon would do.  Paterson was convicted of seventeen counts of wounding with intent […]

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