Further Clarity on Co-operation and Morality

Guest Post by David S. Oderberg, University of Reading Re: Further clarity on co-operation and morality The 2014 US Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby was a landmark case on freedom of religion and conscience in the USA. The so-called ‘contraceptive mandate’ of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) requires employers to provide health insurance […]

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Should Junior Doctors Still Strike?

Guest Post by Adam James Roberts In early July, the British Medical Association’s junior members voted by a 16-point margin to reject a new employment contract negotiated between the BMA’s leadership and the Government. The chair of the BMA’s junior doctors committee, Johann Malawana, stood down following the result, noting the “considerable anger and mistrust” […]

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Making Humans Morally Better Won’t Fix the Problems of Climate Change

Guest Post by Bob Simpson, Monash University Re: Climate change, cooperation and moral bioenhancement The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has repeatedly said that greenhouse gas emissions increase the likelihood of severe and irreversible harm for people and ecosystems. And in his State of the Union address in 2015, Barack Obama emphasised these problems, saying that climate change […]

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What is a Moral Epigenetic Responsibility?

Guest Post by Charles Dupras & Vardit Ravitsky Re: The ambiguous nature of epigenetic responsibility Epigenetics is a recent yet promising field of scientific research. It explores the influence of the biochemical environment (food, toxic pollutants) and the social environment (stress, child abuse, socio-economic status) on the expression of genes, i.e. on whether and how they […]

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Are Doctors Who Know the Law More Likely to Follow it?

Guest Post by Ben White and Lindy Willmott, Australian Centre for Health Law Research This was the question we considered in a recent JME article about the role of law in decisions to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment from adults who lack capacity. The short answer is ‘yes’. The longer answer is also ‘yes’ – although […]

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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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