Are the World Medical Association’s Ethical Standards for Placebos Ethical?

  Guest post by Jeremy Howick  Trials show that drugs called ‘interferon alpha’ can extend life in people with advanced skin cancer by a bit. If we invented a new drug to treat advanced skin cancer, most patients would want to know whether the new drug was better than interferon alpha. It wouldn’t matter much […]

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More on Conscientious Objection: a Repy to a Reply

Guest post by Divine Banyubala A couple of days ago, Iain raised an interesting question about the draft Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill, and its compatibility with existing law (both civil and criminal) in respect of withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.  In an insightful reply, Mary Neal made the points that “in key areas of practice […]

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Conscientious Objection: A Quick(ish) Answer

Guest post by Mary Neal, Law School, University of Strathclyde The Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) [HL] Bill, introduced by the crossbench peer Baroness O’Loan, received its second reading in the House of Lords on Friday 26th January and successfully proceeded to the committee stage.  In a post on this blog the following day, Iain posed […]

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A Quick Question about Conscientious Objection

Baroness O’Loan’s Conscientious Objection Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords yesterday.  It’s only short, but there’s a part of it that I find a little perplexing. Section 1(1) says that No medical practitioner with a conscientious objection to participating in— (a)  the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment; (b)  any activity under the […]

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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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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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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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Guest Post: Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Treatment in the Patient’s Best Interests: The Implications of Briggs

Guest Post: Jenny Kitzinger, Celia Kitzinger and Jakki Cowley Paper:  When ‘Sanctity of Life’ and ‘Self-Determination’ clash In a recent landmark judgment in the Court of Protection (Briggs v Briggs [2016] EWCOP 53), a judge authorised withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment from a minimally conscious patient with potential for further recovery.  Our article in the Journal of […]

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