How to Keep HIV Cure-Related Trials Ethical: The Benefit/Risk Ratio Challenge

Guest Post by Nir Eyal Re: Special Issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics on the ethics and challenges of an HIV cure For most patients with HIV who have access to antiretroviral treatment and use it properly, that treatment works well. But the holy grail of HIV research remains finding a cure. Sometimes that […]

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Chappell on Midwives and Regulation

Richard Yetter Chappell has drawn my attention to this – a blog post in which he bemoans the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s rules about indemnity insurance, and the effects that they’ll have on independent midwives.  (I’d never heard of independent midwives – but an IM – according to Independent Midwives UK – is “a fully […]

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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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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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A Hot Take on a Cold Body

It’s good to see Nils’ post about the recent UK cryonics ruling getting shared around quite a bit – so it should.  I thought I’d throw in my own voice, too. About 18 months ago, Imogen Jones and I wrote a paper musing on some of the ethical and legal dimensions of Christopher Priest’s The Prestige. […]

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Justice Cryogenically Delayed is Justice Denied?

Guest Post by Nils Hoppe Re JS (Disposal of Body) [2016] EWHC 2859 (Fam) This unusual and sad case concerns a court application by a 14 year old girl, JS.  In 2015 she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer which proved terminal and, at the time of her application, she was receiving palliative […]

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Victims, Vectors and Villains? Are Those Who Opt Out of Vaccination Morally Responsible for the Deaths of Others?

Guest Post by Euzebiusz Jamrozik, Toby Handfield, Michael J Selgelid Re: Victims, vectors and villains: are those who opt out of vaccination morally responsible for the deaths of others? Who is responsible for the harms caused by an outbreak for vaccine preventable disease? Are those who opt out of vaccination and transmit disease responsible for the resultant harms […]

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We’re all Gonna Die… Eventually

It might just be a product of the turnover of people with whom I have much professional contact, but I’ve not heard as much about human enhancement in the past couple of years as I had in, say, 2010.  In particular, there seems to be less being said about radical life extension.  Remember Aubrey de […]

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Our Special Treatment of Patients in a Vegetative State is a Form of Cruel and Unusual Punishment

by Professor Dominic Wilkinson, @Neonatalethics Professor of Medical Ethics, Consultant Neonatologist Our society has good reason to provide special treatment to people with severe brain injuries and their families. But our current “special treatment” for a group of the most severely affected people with brain injuries leads to devastating, agonising, protracted and totally preventable suffering. […]

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Letter from Iraq: Ethical Dilemmas in an Iraqi Burn Centre

Guest Post by Mustafa AL-Shamsi Health requires a multidisciplinary approach.  In the absence of proper support, facilities and literate people, there is little that a physician can do to cure his patient regardless his proficiency.  The following is not a story; it comes from what I experienced when I was an intern at the burn […]

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