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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Can We Trust Research in Science and Medicine?

By Brian D. Earp  (@briandavidearp) Readers of the JME Blog might be interested in this series of short videos in which I discuss some of the major ongoing problems with research ethics and publication integrity in science and medicine. How much of the published literature is trustworthy? Why is peer review such a poor quality control mechanism? How can we judge […]

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No Pain, All Gain: The Case for Farming Organs in Brainless Humans

Guest post by Ruth Stirton, University of Sussex (@RuthStirton) and David Lawrence, Newcastle University (@Biojammer) It is widely acknowledged that there is a nationwide shortage of organs for transplantation purposes.  In 2016, 400 people died whilst on the organ waiting list.  Asking for donors is not working fast enough.  We should explore all avenues to […]

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Politicians, Delusional Managers and the Future of the NHS: Have NHS Leaders Failed to “Speak Truth unto Power”?

Guest Post by David Lock QC [NB: This is a slightly longer version of a post that appeared on the BMJ blog earlier today.] Politicians, delusional managers and the future of the NHS:  have NHS leaders failed to “speak truth unto power”? This blog is not a rant – well not too much of a […]

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Should Junior Doctors Still Strike?

Guest Post by Adam James Roberts In early July, the British Medical Association’s junior members voted by a 16-point margin to reject a new employment contract negotiated between the BMA’s leadership and the Government. The chair of the BMA’s junior doctors committee, Johann Malawana, stood down following the result, noting the “considerable anger and mistrust” […]

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Individualised and Personalised QALYs in Exceptional Treatment Decisions

Guest Post by Warwick Heale When NICE decides whether to make a treatment available on the NHS it considers both clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness.  Cost effectiveness is based on population-level QALY data, as is appropriate for a population-level policy.  However, this can cause problems for exceptional individual patients. When a doctor wants to offer an […]

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Event: Courting Controversy?

This might be of interest to some readers: Courting Controversy?  Recent Developments in Health Care Law 21 July 2016 Chancellors Hotel, Chancellors Way, Moseley Road, Fallowfield, Manchester M14 6NN This afternoon seminar examines some controversial recent developments in health care law and introduces two new books on law and medicine: Margaret Brazier and Emma Cave Medicine, […]

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Should Junior Doctors Strike?

Guest Post by Mark Toynbee, Adam Al-Diwani, Joe Clacey and Matthew Broome [Editor’s note: Events in the real world have moved more quickly than David or I have; the facts of the junior doctors’ strike have moved on since the paper was published and this post submitted.  Still, the matters of principle remain. – IB] A […]

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Here’s an intriguing letter from one John Doherty, published in the BMJ yesterday: Medical titles may well reinforce a clinical hierarchy and inculcate deference in Florida, as Kennedy writes, but such constructs are culture bound. When I worked in outback Australia the patients called me “Mate,” which is what I called them. They still wanted me to be in […]

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