Guest Post: Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Treatment in the Patient’s Best Interests: The Implications of Briggs

Guest Post: Jenny Kitzinger, Celia Kitzinger and Jakki Cowley Paper:  When ‘Sanctity of Life’ and ‘Self-Determination’ clash In a recent landmark judgment in the Court of Protection (Briggs v Briggs [2016] EWCOP 53), a judge authorised withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment from a minimally conscious patient with potential for further recovery.  Our article in the Journal of […]

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Never Let an Ill Child Go to Waste

The Charlie Gard saga is one about which I’ve been reluctant to say anything, not least because plenty of other people have said plenty elsewhere.  Sometimes they add heat, and sometimes they add light. Beneath everything, the story is fairly simple: a small child is terribly ill; it is agreed by medical opinion that continued […]

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Not Just About Consent: The Ethical Dimensions of Research Methodology Knowledge in IRBs

Guest Post: Sarah Wieten The recent article, “Some Social Scientists Are Tired of Asking for Permission” in the New York Times inspired a great deal of debate about the role of institutional research ethics board (IRB) oversight in social science, which some argue is in most cases unlikely to involve significant harm to participants. While […]

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What’s the Point of Professional Ethical Codes?

For a few reasons, I’ve been thinking a bit over the last few months about professionalism and professional codes.  In fact, that’s the topic that’s attracted most of my attention here since… oooh, ages ago.  I find the idea of a code of professional ethics troubling in many ways, but also fascinating.  And one of […]

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Debate: The Fiction of an Interest in Death? Justice for Charlie Gard

  Julian Savulescu Dominic Wilkinson’s Response A judge ruled last week that baby Charlie Gard will have his treatment withdrawn, against the wishes of his parents. His doctors argued that the rare mitochondrial disease (MDDS) he was born with was causing him unbearable suffering. His parents had raised funds to take him to the US […]

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Debate Reponse: Charlie Gard, Interests and Justice – an alternative view

Dominic Wilkinson Responding to Julian Savulescu The sad and difficult case of Charlie Gard, which featured in the media last week, is the latest in a series of High Court and Family court cases when parents and doctors have disagreed about medical treatment for a child. Doctors regard the treatment as “futile” or “potentially inappropriate”. […]

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Donald Trump’s Mental Health (again)

The speculation about Donald Trump’s mental health that was doing the rounds earlier in the year seems to have died down a bit.  That’s to be expected; like it or not, his Presidency is now part of normal life.  But I’ve been lagging in my blogging here, and so it’s only now that I’ve got […]

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Family Presence During Resuscitation: Extending Ethical Norms from Pediatrics to Adults

Guest Post: Christine Vincent and Zohar Lederman Paper: Family presence during resuscitation: extending ethical norms from paediatrics to adults Family Presence During Resuscitation is an important ethical issue for discussion within the medical community. Currently, family presence is more commonly accepted in paediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) than adult CPR. However, we argue that this fact is not morally […]

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Aid-in-Dying Laws and the Physician’s Duty to Inform

Guest Post: Mara Buchbinder Paper: Aid-in-dying laws and the physician’s duty to inform Why do so many people assume that any clinical communication about aid-in-dying (AID, also known as assisted suicide), where it is legal, ought to be patient-initiated? Physician participants in my ongoing study tend to assume that physicians should wait for patients to initiate […]

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Harm: Could It Sometimes Be a Good Thing?

Guest Post: Patrick Sullivan Response: Hanna Pickard and Steve Pearce, Balancing costs and benefits: a clinical perspective does not support a harm minimization approach for self-injury outside of community settings BBC news recently reported on the approval of plans for facilities to support self-injection rooms to allow drug users to inject safely under supervision in Glasgow. […]

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