England’s Opt-Out Policy Consultation – Excluded Organs and Tissues

By Nicola Williams, Laura O’Donovan and Stephen Wilkinson England is about to follow Wales by moving to an ‘opt-out’ system for deceased organ donation. Under such policies individuals are presumed willing to become organ donors after their death unless they have explicitly refused. The new system, also known as ‘deemed’ or ‘presumed’ consent, is expected […]

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The bitter end: Which question matters most in disputes about treatment

By Dominic Wilkinson @Neonatalethics and Julian Savulescu @Juliansavulescu This week, doctors in France are reported to be withdrawing life-prolonging treatment from Vincent Lambert, a 42 year old French psychiatric nurse, who has been at the centre of a long-running legal battle over his medical treatment. Lambert was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in 2008, […]

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Responsibility Over Time and Across Agents

By Rebecca Brown and Julian Savulescu. There is a rich literature on the philosophy of responsibility: how agents come to be responsible for certain actions or consequences; what conditions excuse people from responsibility; who counts as an ‘apt candidate’ for responsibility; how responsibility links to blameworthiness; what follows from deciding that someone is blameworthy. These […]

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Physicians as public servants: why physicians have no business discussing religion with patients

By Jake Greenblum & Ryan Hubbard. It is generally agreed that healthy liberal democracies have a robust separation between church and state. However, controversy arises when interpreting the appropriate place of religion in the public sphere, including the proper role of religion in medicine. Just consider the current political debate in the US on medical […]

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The Truth Behind Conscientious Objection in Medicine

By Nir Ben-Moshe. Conscientious objection in medicine has become a topic of heated debate in recent years, but answers to the question of what justifies such objections in medicine have proven to be elusive. According to the two primary justifications found in the literature, conscientious objection in medicine is justified either out of respect for […]

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Can Rationing Ethics Foster Access to Scarce Specialists?

By Andrew Hantel, Gregory Abel, Mark Siegler Few people would consider rationing to be a positive concept. When confronted with restricted access to something we want or need, we inevitably react with negative feelings. Such a reaction belies the overall concept of allocating a scare resource and distracts from the good that can come from […]

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When ideology and physiology don’t align: transwomen in elite women’s sport

By Lynley C. Anderson, Alison Heather, Taryn Knox In recent years there has been a huge amount of media interest in the inclusion of elite transwomen athletes in the women’s division. Reasoned debate focuses on the delicate balance between the inclusion of transwomen based on “a fundamental human right for everyone to be recognized in […]

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Building bridges between the global south and north in research ethics

By Cory Goldstein, Tiwonge Mtande, and Charles Weijer. How does successful international collaboration in research ethics happen? We would like to share our experience. Tiwonge Mtande’s Perspective: I am a health researcher working at UNC-Project Malawi in Lilongwe, Malawi. In November 2017, while I was working on my Master’s degree, my supervisor, Prof. Doug Wassenaar, […]

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