Getting libertarians on board with mandatory vaccination

By Charlie T. Blunden Non-vaccination is causing serious problems worldwide. Take measles as an example. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control say that 95% of a population must receive two doses of a measles vaccine in order to prevent transmission of the disease through the population. However, many nations are falling below this […]

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Advance decisions in dementia: when the past conflicts with the present

By George Gillett Last month, the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee wrote an article in support of assisted dying. She wrote about Katherine Whitehorn, her former colleague at the Observer. Describing Whitehorn, Toynbee writes: She is not herself. Her old self would not recognise herself in this other being who sits in the care home. What […]

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A sales rep and a doctor walk into a theatre – why this is no joke

By Quinn Grundy, Katrina Hutchison, Jane Johnson, Brette Blakely, Robyn Clay-Wlliams, Bernadette Richards, Wendy A Rogers Imagine that your elderly mother undergoes a hip replacement. During the post-operative appointment, the surgeon informs your mother that an error has been made: the two parts of the joint implant, a ball and socket, are mismatched. He explains that […]

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A Moral Framework for Living Donor Transplantation

By Lainie Friedman Ross and J. Richard Thistlethwaite Living donor transplantation has been controversial since its inception because it exposes donors to medical risks for the medical benefit of their intended recipients. The usual bioethics argument about the moral permissibility of living kidney donation focuses on the concept of respect for persons which is often […]

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Organismal death, the dead donor rule and the ethics of vital organ procurement

Guest Authors:  Xavier Symons, Institute for Ethics and Society, University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Reginald Mary Chua, Philosophy, Catholic Theological College, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Paper: Organismal death, the dead donor rule and the ethics of vital organ procurement The brain death criterion for death (as it is currently understood in medical practice) was first propounded in 1968 by an […]

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First principles: The need for ethical guidance for pragmatic trials

Post authors: Dean Fergusson, Monica Taljaard and Charles Weijer [authors listed alphabetically] Paper: Thinking clearly about the FIRST trial: addressing ethical challenges in cluster randomised trials of policy interventions involving health providers Recently, members of our research team published an ethical analysis of the Flexibility in Duty Hour Requirements for Surgical Trainees (FIRST) trial in the Journal […]

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Impact Factors and Ethics

The news that the Journal of Medical Ethics now has an impact factor of 1.889 is a commendation for those who have contributed to the journal’s success over recent years. It reflects the efforts of the editorial team led by Julian Savulescu, Tom Douglas and Dominic Wilkinson to maintain consistently high editorial standards and ensure the journal covered […]

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Conflicts of duty: What do they mean?

Guest Post Author: Andreas Eriksen, ARENA, Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; SPS, Centre for the Study of Professions, Oslo and Akershus University College, Oslo, Norway Paper: Conflicting duties and restitution of the trusting relationship Medical professionals constantly face hard cases in their interaction with patients, colleagues, and the public. They are torn between different considerations and exposed to seemingly […]

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What Makes an Emergency?

Stanley Cavell died a few days ago.  He is, I suspect, not widely known among medical ethicists, and is cited less.  Fair enough: medical ethics wasn’t his thing.  It’s a shame, though, because his work did strike me as being worth getting to know.  This is not to say that I was familiar with it […]

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