How we can make better decisions in review and design of research using a simple ethics model

By Hugh Davies It’s right that all with a legitimate interest in research contribute to its design, review, conduct and dissemination. To thrive, research must be an honest partnership between ALL involved. Few would argue but, in accepting this, we need a process to allow us resolve differences when they arise. Here, in this blog, I […]

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Do we exaggerate expected benefits when we communicate with our patients?

By Ramy Sedhom As a first year oncology fellow, I am eager to help patients suffering from cancer. And although some cancer drugs offer large, definite benefit, many drugs improve outcomes only marginally. The medical community and laypersons recognize the need to develop therapeutics that is clinically meaningful. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) defines […]

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The best interest standard and the ethical work it does in making medical and public policy decisions for children

By Johan Bester For a while now, I’ve been interested in ethical questions in medicine and public policy concerning children. It started with my work on vaccination ethics, which continues to raise ethical questions of various kinds. Things like: What is the source and limits of parental authority over children? What do we do when […]

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In defence of participants buying their way onto drug trials

By Angela Ballantyne and Mike King Donor-funded research is research funded by private donors in exchange for research-related benefits, such as trial participation or access to the trial intervention. An example of this is the oncolytic virus trial for neuroendocrine cancer at Uppsala University, for which Alexander Masters procured £2 million in funding from a […]

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The fetishisation of clinical guidelines

By Charles Foster The Supreme Court has recently, in An NHS Trust v Y decided that adherence to guidelines produced by various medical organisations will safeguard adequately against inappropriate withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from patients in vegetative state/Minimally Conscious State. I have criticised that decision in detail in an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics […]

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Access to Primary Care in a ‘Hostile Environment’

By Rose Glennerster and Nathan Hodson Last month 20 British doctors returned the medals they received in recognition of their work during the Ebola crisis. They were protesting against the extensions of the government’s “hostile environment” policy into healthcare, highlighting the case of Albert Thompson, a Windrush migrant who had lived in the UK for […]

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We need more arguments in clinical ethics

By Melanie Jansen Ethics is a philosophical discipline. The bedrock of philosophical scholarship is the construction of arguments – a set of reasons that justify a particular position. Philosophers spend years cultivating critical reasoning skills and applying them to many and varied problems. While philosophy has universal application, it is often erroneously perceived as an […]

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Gross negligence manslaughter and doctors

By Jo Samanta and Ash Samanta The recent prosecution of a doctor for gross negligence manslaughter has led to grave concerns particularly among medical professionals.  The circumstances concerned the tragic death of a six-year-old child, who had been admitted to hospital. On the facts of the case Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba was charged with gross negligence […]

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“Harms of Formula” Vs “Benefits of Breastfeeding” : Why we don’t “know” how to talk about the effects of different ways of feeding babies

By Fiona Woollard I’m sitting in a room filled with people who care deeply about mothers and babies.  Many of them have dedicated their lives to improving support for new mothers to have the chance to feed their babies in the way they want.  Someone is talking about cuts to breastfeeding support or about information provided […]

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