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ethics

Feel yourself slipping down that slippery moral slope? Then take our online poll!

26 Jun, 11 | by Deborah Kirklin

The Editor’s Choice for the June issue of Medical Humanities is an original article by medical student Jason Leiboqwitz entitled “Moral erosion: how can medical professionals safeguard against the slippery slope?” Following his participation in a Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics program, Jason concludes that physicians are as vulnerable to corruption of their guiding principles today as they have ever been, and he poses an important question, asking what, if anything, they can do to stop themselves sliding down their own morally eroded slippery slope.

http://mh.bmj.com/

Do read his article. Its free to download. And then please take part in our online poll about any slippery slopes of your own. As always we’d love to hear you thoughts.

Medicine Unboxed 2011: Medicine and Values, Cheltenham UK 15 October 2011

5 Apr, 11 | by Deborah Kirklin

Good medicine is more than a set of technical decisions and interventions involving drugs, operations or tests. It demands more of the practitioner – professionalism, empathetic care, moral consideration, insight, an understanding of human suffering and necessarily, wisdom. These attributes are not always prioritised in selecting for or training healthcare professionals, and there is little time or attention given to their authentic development within busy working environments. Further, there is a widening hiatus of trust, understanding and expectation between medicine and society around what constitutes good medicine. This pressingly requires real engagement around medicine’s role and society’s values. A purely scientific answer will never prove sufficient here.

Medicine Unboxed is a unique project and conference programme that engages both the public and front-line NHS staff with a view of medicine that is infused and elaborated by the humanities. Contributors include artists, writers, the clergy, poets, philosophers, lawyers, linguists, musicians, theatre, ethicists, academics and doctors. The results are thought-provoking, inspiring, sometimes funny and often
moving.

Our theme this year is Medicine and Values.

We think of medicine as simply fact-based, efficient and scientifically robust. These arbiters can become the measures of good medicine. However, medicine is infused with judgments of value – individually for doctors and patients but also in medical science, for society, for policy-makers and health economists. Ethics, law and religion inform duties and rights in medicine, through principles and values. The values that define good medicine are not always apparent or agreed upon and there remains the potential for tension between them.

We’d like to invite you to come along to Medicine Unboxed 2011 and join us in uncovering the values that pertain to medical care and debating the ambivalences around the arbiters of good medicine. Our speakers this year include the Rev. John Bell, John Carey, Lionel Shriver, Jo Shapcott, Ray Tallis, Paul Bailey, Michael
Arditti and Havi Carel.

Come to the debate – be inspired.

Sam Guglani, Consultant Clinical Oncologist.

http://medicineunboxed.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=040c885489432f9ea79fbd23b&id=f00835b9f4&e=1767bdcee5

Oncologist Sam Guglani wonders what medical care really means

30 Mar, 11 | by Deborah Kirklin

Care infuses medicine. Well, the word ‘care’ infuses the language of medicine – Healthcare, Intensive Care, Palliative Care, Standard care, Standard of care, Best supportive care, Care Quality Commission. But what actually is medical care? more…

’21st Century Medicine, Aristotle And The Church’ by Dr. Andrew R. J. Tillyard

23 Nov, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

I recently attended the funeral of the local parish priest and this led me to consider many of the similarities between what I do in medicine and the role of the ‘Parish Priest’ as well as the ‘misrepresentation’ of 21st medicine. I work in intensive care, a setting of immense emotional stress for patients and relatives, and not infrequently for staff as well. Intensive care can appear more like the cockpit of an aeroplane – full of machines that bleep and flash as they keep patients alive. This, however, can belie the true meaning of what we do. There is an evolving mis-interpretation of what medicine is: that good medicine in the 21st century is skill based technical wizardry, where ‘good’ doctors are people, who can diagnose, treat and cure using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI’s), gene therapy, or laser guided scalpels and the like.

more…

Hearing Voices

1 Oct, 10 | by Ayesha Ahmad

Perhaps, one form of illness where telling a story of the body is most evident is in respect to mental health.

Yesterday’s ruling by the High Court’s Court of Protection, that a 69 year old lady with severe schizophrenia must receive the medical treatment for a prolapsed womb, which she has been strongly refusing and protesting against, reveals the battle that one person’s voice can hold.

Is it pathology to not fight the presence of pathology in the body?

more…

Fasting: Unto Life and Until Death

9 Sep, 10 | by Ayesha Ahmad

The month of Ramadan is drawing to a close. During this time, Muslims from every terrain, from the hottest countries, to the most Westernised societies, have been involved in a shared yet equally an exclusive passage of religious rites.

Ramadan is a unique time in the Islamic year. For a period of one month, the spiritual attire of a pious Muslim is found in the exercise of fasting. With the exception of the sick, a Muslim is forbidden to eat or drink during the hours between sunrise and sundown.

The routine is one that involves the highest degrees of self-discipline and control. Through such rituals, there becomes a higher degree and awareness of spirituality. With the removal of a conscious acknowledgement of bodily needs, there is space for reflection and prayer. However, the object of effect is the human body. Awareness of the soul can be attained only through the regulation of the human body. Thus, there is almost a paradoxical relationship between the body and the soul during fasting.

more…

Institute of Medical Ethics Grants and Awards

2 Sep, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

For information on generous grants offered by the Institute of Medical Ethics for medical student electives, internships and related intercalated degree courses, as well as institutional grants see below. more…

Clinical Ethics Conference: London 8-9th July 2010

13 Jun, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

On the 8th and 9th of July 2010 the Faculty of Health and Social Care at London South Bank University will be hosting a pioneering conference focusing on Best Practices in Clinical Ethics Consultation and Decision Making. For the first time in the UK, this conference will bring together an international and inter-professional dialogue between different stakeholders with the aim of fostering and developing best practice in clinical ethics consultation and decision-making across all sectors of healthcare. more…

The Landscape of Lesotho

10 Apr, 10 | by Ayesha Ahmad

Lesotho is one of the highest countries and is entirely landlocked by South Africa. 40% of Lesotho’s population survives on less than $1.25 a day. In centuries gone by, the people of Lesotho were driven high up into the mountains by the Xhosa and Zulu people and have repeated a solitary and isolated life, mainly farming, ever since. However, Lesotho is also experiencing one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDs infection rates in the world. This is their modern day crisis. What does survival mean in this situation? How can we conform to a meaning of being human when our human situations differ so dramatically?

more…

Why David’s Gray death was predictable

5 Feb, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

A lot has been written recently about the 2004 contract that allowed GPs to opt out of  providing care to their patients at night or on the weekend. And about the fact that GPs are now paid more for doing less than ever before. I’m old enough to remember doing nights and weekends on-call and visiting elderly patients on a regular basis in their own homes with the aim of keeping them well.  And then I had a few children, and worked part-time for a while, and then the new contract came in, and GPs no longer did their own on-call, and the requirement to provide enough appointments in surgery, along with the obligation to ensure that every action and thought was entered on the computer meant there was less and less time to do other things. Things like visiting elderly people who weren’t ill as a means of keeping them well and providing them with the human contact we all need to thrive.

more…

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