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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Should Doctors Strike?

  Should doctors strike? Is it ethical for doctors to go on strike, potentially putting their patients at risk of getting inadequate treatment? As the BBC reports, ministers and junior doctors are currently “locked in a dispute.” One possible outcome of this disagreement is a physicians’ strike, which raises a number of tricky ethical questions. […]

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Flibanserin and Regulatory Failure

Guest Post by Adriane Fugh-Berman On August 18th, 2015, the FDA approved flibanserin (brand name Addyi), a purported aphrodisiac that can drop blood pressure so precipitously that users sometimes pass out and require medical intervention to regain consciousness.  The labelling for flibanserin indicates that it is for: the treatment of premenopausal women with acquired, generalized hypoactive […]

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Jeremy Hunt and Costs to the Taxpayer

“Personal responsibility” is a strange phrase: while not as slippery as some, it can mean any number of things, and be put to use in any number of political contexts.  It was the title of the speech that the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, gave yesterday.  In that, he spoke of three aspects to the concept. First […]

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Is Age a Determinant Variable in Forgoing Treatment Decisions at the End of Life?

Guest post by Sandra Martins Pereira, Roeline Pasman and Bregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen Decisions to forgo treatment are embedded in clinical, socio-cultural, philosophical, religious, legal and ethical contexts and beliefs, and they cannot be considered as representing good or poor quality care. Particularly for older people, it is sometimes argued that treatment is aggressive, and that there may […]

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Incentives, Penalties, and Vaccination.

This popped up on my FB feed yesterday: a proposal from the Australian government that certain child welfare payments should be withheld from parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids based on “conscientious objection”. Parents who do not vaccinate their children will lose welfare payments of up to $2100 per child under a federal government […]

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Does Religion Deserve a Place in Secular Medicine?

By Brian D. Earp The latest issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics is out, and in it, Professor Nigel Biggar—an Oxford theologian—argues that “religion” should have a place in secular medicine (click here for a link to the article). Some people will feel a shiver go down their spines—and not only the non-religious. After […]

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