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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Professionalism, or Prying?

“Professionalism” is a funny thing.  About this time last year, I was struggling to get a new course written for the coming semester; it was on professional ethics for lawyers.  A colleague made a comment along the lines that I must be spending a lot of time looking at the professional codes; I replied that […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Mature Content?

There’s an aisle at the supermarket that has a sign above it that reads “ADULT CEREALS”.  Every time I see it, I snigger inwardly at the thought of sexually explicit cornflakes.  (Pornflakes.  You’re welcome.)  It’s not big, and it’s not clever: I know that.  But all these years living in south Manchester have taught me to […]

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