Enhancement as Nothing More than Advantageous Bodily and Mental States

Guest Post by Hazem Zohny Some bodily and mental states are advantageous: a strong immune system, a sharp mind, strength.  These are advantageous precisely because, in most contexts, they are likely to increase your chances of leading a good life.  In contrast, disadvantageous states – e.g. the loss of a limb, a sense, or the […]

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Why Brits? Why India?

Julie Bindel had a piece in The Guardian the other day about India’s surrogate mothers.  It makes for pretty grim reading.  Even if the surrogates are paid, and are paid more than they might otherwise have earned, there’s still a range of problems that the piece makes clear. For one thing, the background of the surrogates is […]

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Nurses Cannot be Good Catholics

Guest Post by John Olusegun Adenitire It seems that if you are a nurse you cannot be a good Catholic.  Or, better: if you want to work as a nurse then you might have to give up some of your religious beliefs.  A relatively recent decision of the UK Supreme Court, the highest court in the […]

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Thumbs Up for Privacy

“Hey, Iain,” says Fran, a Manchester alumna, “What do you make of this?”  I won’t bother rehearsing the whole scenario described in the post, but the dilemma it describes – set out by one Simon Carley – is fairly easily summarised: you work in A&E; a patient is rolled in who’s unconscious; there’s no ID, […]

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Autism, Mental Illness, Euthanasia and the WaPo

There was a piece in the Washington Post the other day with a striking headline: Where the Prescription for Autism can be Death. Normally, if we’re saying that the prescription for x is y, we mean to say that y is being suggested as a treatment for x.  Painkillers are the prescription for a bad back, a steroid cream the prescription […]

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Should Doctors Perform “Minor” Forms of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a Compromise to Respect Culture?

by Brian D. Earp / (@briandavidearp), with a separate guest post by Robert Darby A small surgical “nick” to a girl’s clitoris or other purportedly minimalist procedures on the vulvae of young women and girls should be legally permitted, argue two gynecologists this week in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Their proposal is offered as a “compromise” […]

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The Unbearable Asymmetry of Bullshit

By Brian D. Earp (@briandavidearp) * Note: this article was first published online at Quillette magazine. The official version is forthcoming in the HealthWatch Newsletter; see http://www.healthwatch-uk.org/. Introduction Science and medicine have done a lot for the world. Diseases have been eradicated, rockets have been sent to the moon, and convincing, causal explanations have been given for a whole range […]

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Pro-Lifers’ Arguments Might be their Greatest Gift to Pro-Choicers

Abortion is always going to be a controversial topic.  For what it’s worth, I hold that there’s nothing wrong with it.  That’s me speaking from my habitual non-consequentialist position.  From a more utilitarian perspective, I’m willing to concede that, given the choice between world A, in which abortions happen, and world B, in which they don’t because […]

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Homeopathy, Blacklisting, and the Misuse of Choice

It seems that homeopathy might at last be facing some serious opposition from within the NHS, with the prospect of its being blacklisted being considered. There’s any number of people who’ll be entirely on board with that. Homeopathy doesn’t work.  Of course, a lot of medicines turn out not to work, or not to work […]

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