Ethics Committees Should Have Standards in Preparing New Members

Guest Post: Danish Zaidi and Jennifer Kesselheim Paper: Assessment of orientation practices for ethics consultation at Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals Ethics advisory committees (EACs), or clinical ethics committees, fulfill an important role in hospitals, providing ethics consultation, contributing to hospital-wide policies, and educating staff on ethical dimensions of medical practice. Our study built upon a central […]

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Advances in Neuroscience Strengthen Ethical Opposition to Harmful Experiments on Dogs

Guest Post: Jarrod Bailey, Cruelty Free International, London, UK. Paper: Advances in Neuroscience Imply that Harmful Experiments in Dogs are Unethical More than 200,000 dogs are used in harmful experiments every year worldwide, in research into human and animal diseases and in the testing of new drugs and agrochemicals. This continues despite significant public opposition […]

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Pain After Cancer: A New Model for Pain Psychology?

Guest Post by Lauren Heathcote What if every headache, every slight twinge in your back, was potentially life threatening? What if you couldn’t tell a brain tumour from coffee-withdrawal? These can be constant, niggling worries for many people who have survived cancer, and we think their experiences can tell us something important about pain. If […]

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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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Re: Nudges in a Post-truth World 

Guest Post: Nathan Hodson  In a recent article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Neil Levy has developed a concept of “nudges to reason,” offering a new tool for those trying to reconcile medical ethics with the application of behavioural psychological research – a practice known as nudging. Very roughly, nudging means adjusting the way choices […]

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Guest Post: Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Treatment in the Patient’s Best Interests: The Implications of Briggs

Guest Post: Jenny Kitzinger, Celia Kitzinger and Jakki Cowley Paper:  When ‘Sanctity of Life’ and ‘Self-Determination’ clash In a recent landmark judgment in the Court of Protection (Briggs v Briggs [2016] EWCOP 53), a judge authorised withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment from a minimally conscious patient with potential for further recovery.  Our article in the Journal of […]

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Is Hope a Virtue?

It’s perfectly understandable that hope should have featured so prominently in the coverage of the Charlie Gard case; each proposal is presented as offering fresh hope, each reversal presented as dashing hopes.  In either case, hope is something presented as desirable.  A bit more deeply, hope is one of the Theological Virtues, and so anyone […]

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Never Let an Ill Child Go to Waste

The Charlie Gard saga is one about which I’ve been reluctant to say anything, not least because plenty of other people have said plenty elsewhere.  Sometimes they add heat, and sometimes they add light. Beneath everything, the story is fairly simple: a small child is terribly ill; it is agreed by medical opinion that continued […]

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