It takes a village to build a good algorithm – particularly in a field as sensitive as patient preferences

By Nikola Biller-Andorno, Andrea Ferrario, Sophie Gloeckler Recently, there has been a lot of talk about how artificial intelligence (AI) is going to boost personalized medicine. And, indeed, the field is developing with amazing speed: Digital twins help predict treatment outcomes based on genomic data, AIs can automatically classify lesions from images of the skin […]

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Troubles with trust

By Edwin Jesudason Our doctor says it’s something major, citing deadly-sounding results. We’re panicked. They talk about treatment options and evidence for each; about cherished benefits and gut-churning harms. They calmly seek our choice of treatment and our consent to proceed. Frozen, we don’t know which option to trust. A recent paper by philosophers at […]

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Prescribing growth hormone in pediatrics: The collision of history and medical ethics

By Rohan Henry In a 1958 editorial, the first case of growth hormone used as treatment for a medical condition was reported. Since that time, the administered product has changed from being pituitary derived specifically, cadaveric in origin, to recombinant human growth hormone in the United States which occurred in 1985.  With this practice shift, […]

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The discriminatory consequences of the Dobbs decision

By Claire Gothreau, Joona Räsänen, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion has sparked intense backlash and condemnation from the American public. In the 100 days since the Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade, total abortion bans that criminalize the […]

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Collateral damage of the Queen’s funeral: The unethical effects of a snap bank holiday

By David Shaw. The Queen’s funeral took place on 19th September 2022, which was declared a bank holiday. As a result, many NHS services were scaled back: hospital appointments were cancelled, operations were delayed, and GP surgeries closed, with several serious effects on patient care. Many NHS trusts cancelled non-emergency operations on the day of […]

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Making sense of value conflicts at the margins of the medical profession

By Henk Jasper van Gils-Schmidt and Sabine Salloch In our paper, “Taking a Moral Holiday? Physicians’ practical identities at the margins of professional ethics”, we discuss value conflicts that physicians come across at the margins of their professional practice. For example, the conflict one may experience as a psychiatrist when considering to speak out against a […]

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Culpability in healthcare failures: shifting away from the individual

By Daniel Taylor and Dawn Goodwin Why do we still search for individuals to blame when things go wrong in healthcare? Decades of research, healthcare ‘scandals’ and their inquiries, and current guidance on patient safety tell us to focus less on the individual and more on the organisational factors that predispose practitioners to error or […]

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