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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…

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.


Abortion, human rights, professionals duties, and moral values: discuss.

11 Dec, 09 | by Deborah Kirklin

Yesterday, three women from the Republic of Ireland took a case to the European Court of Human Rights. The women argued that Ireland’s abortion law-whereby abortion is permitted only if the woman’ life is endangered-violates their human rights. Although this story only made it to page 54 of The Times newspaper I’m guessing it will be of higher interest to many of Ireland’s women, 6,000 of whom make expensive, secretive, and potentially hazardous journeys to the UK each year in search of the abortion which potentially makes them subject to life imprisonment back home in Ireland.

Finding this story, for the second time, in The Times took me a while as I vainly searched in the ‘News” section only to realise I needed to look instead in the “World News”. An indication perhaps of how close the people of the UK and Ireland are in so many ways despite our shared and troubled history. A reminder also of how illusory that sense of closeness is, reflected all too starkly in the different approaches adopted by the UK and Ireland to the issue of abortion. And timely, as, by sheer coincidence, I facilitated, on the same day that the case came to court, a discussion amongst eleven first year medical students about legal, professional and moral rights and duties. more…

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