Free Labour and Quiet Doubts

Those of us on the academic side of things will almost certainly recognise the situation: you’re sitting in your school’s Teaching & Learning committee, or a staff/student committee meeting, or something like that, and you hear the complaint from students that they should get more contact time.  Academics should spend more time teaching rather than […]

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CFA/ Registration: Postgraduate Bioethics, 2016

“Oi, Iain,” says David.  “Could you put a shout out for the Postgraduate Ethics Conference?” Indeed I could.  The theme is “Bioethics in Theory: Bioethics in Practice”.  Details – including the call for abstracts (the deadline for which is the 8th July) and the registration form – are here. […]

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There’s Argument, and there’s Disputation.

Very well, then: let’s allow that the quality of argument in bioethics – and clinical ethics in particular – is not of high quality.  What should be done about it? That’s a hard question, though it’s predictable and wholly justifiable that it should be asked.  And, to be honest, I don’t know offhand.  I might […]

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Writers Whose Expertise is Deplorably Low

Something popped up on my twitter feed the other day: this document from Oxford’s philosophy department.  (I’m not sure quite what it is.  Brochure?  In-house magazine?  Dunno.  It doesn’t really matter, though.)  In it, there’s a striking passage from Jeff McMahan’s piece on practical ethics: Even though what is variously referred to as ‘practical ethics’ or […]

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Stop What You’re Doing: This is Important.

I’d not realised it, but the latest iteration of the erstwhile Medical Innovation Bill – colloquially known as the Saatchi Bill – is up for debate in the Commons on Friday.  This is it in its latest form: to all intents and purposes, though, it’s the same thing about which I’ve blogged before. In a […]

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How do Medical Students Learn Ethics?

Guest Post by Carolyn Johnston How interested are medical students in learning ethics and law? I have met students who have a genuine interest in the issues, who are engaged in teaching sessions and may go on to intercalate in ethics and law. On the other hand some consider that ethics is “just common sense”. […]

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On Being a Hypocrite

A piece appeared in The Atlantic a few days ago that aims to prick the perceived bubble of professional ethicists.  In fact, the headline is pretty hostile: THE HYPOCRISY OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICISTS.  Blimey.  The sub-headline doesn’t pull its punches either: “Even people who decide what’s right and wrong for a living don’t always behave well.” I […]

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Questions to which the Answer is Yes

Over at Practical Ethics, Charles Camosy asks a question: Can bioethics be done without theology? Yep.  It can. Well, that was quick and simple. But – oh, all right: I probably ought to say a bit more.  Now, Camosy’s post is quite long, and that means that if I want to scrutinise it in any detail, […]

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Consigned to the Index

There’re probably times when all of us have had a solution, and just had to find a problem for it.  It’s an easy trap; and it’s one into which I suspect Gretchen Goldman may have fallen in an article in Index on Censorship about scientific freedom and how it’s under threat from disputes about Federal funding in the […]

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