Patient, Know Thyself: Ethical Complexities in Assessing a Patient’s Level of Insight

By Laura Guidry-Grimes Trust is a precious commodity in clinical settings. Not only do healthcare professionals request an enormous amount of trust from patients the second they walk into the door, but patients expect to be trusted as well. The clinical encounter usually begins with the patient’s explaining why they want medical assistance and any […]

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Convicting a doctor of gross negligence manslaughter without striking them off damages public confidence in the profession

By Nathan Hodson. In June 2017 The Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service (MPTS) suspended Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba from the medical register for 12 months. Following a GMC appeal to the High Court, the MPTS was found to have erred in failing to erase Dr Bawa-Garba. Yet, in July of that year, the Court of Appeal decided […]

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Advance directives, personal identity, and the body: what follows if dementia produces a different individual?

By Govind Persad. I recently published “Authority Without Identity: Defending Advance Directives via Posthumous Rights Over One’s Body” in JME. In the paper, I argue that even if the psychological changes caused by dementia mean that the individual who existed before dementia is a different individual from the individual who exists afterward, a pre-dementia advance […]

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When should a doctor’s behaviour be criminal?

By Suzanne Ost Two recent, controversial cases involving doctors and the criminal law have caught my attention because they could challenge our perceptions about when it is appropriate to criminalise doctors’ behaviour. We use the criminal law to hold people to account when they commit the most serious wrongs. The State acts in the name […]

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From Cochrane to Aquinas: Euthanasia, palliative opioid use and palliative sedation

By Thomas David Riisfeldt Having previously studied bioethics at university, I welcomed the recent opportunity to leave my comfortable philosopher’s armchair (albeit with some hesitation) and work as a junior doctor in a palliative care hospital.  My daily routine began with a ward round to check in on my patients.  In addition to exploring complex […]

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He Jiankui’s Genetic Misadventure: Why Him? Why China?

By Jing-Bao Nie This post first appeared on The Hastings Center Forum on 5 December, 2018. The birth of gene-edited twin girls was announced by a young Chinese scientist He Jiankui through one of four self-made promotional videos in English on YouTube (a website officially banned in China) on November 25. Three days later, at the Second […]

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Rogue scientist: the human CRISPR experiment

By Jeanne Snelling and Mike King Chinese researcher, He Jiankui, claims to have implanted CRISPR-cas9 gene-edited embryos into potentially six women resulting in at least one successful pregnancy (of twins). Given the unconventional and inadequate way information has been released by He, and the fact that the research has not had thorough oversight, the facts […]

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Claims over human genome editing: scientific irresponsibility at its worst

By Sarah Chan This post first appeared in The Motley Coat on 26 November 2018. The announcement made today, that the world’s first genome-edited babies have been born in China, is of grave ethical concern. In evaluating this news, we should first remember that these claims have not yet been scientifically validated through peer reviewed publication […]

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