Fighting Fire with a Different Kind of Fire?

How much would I love to have been on the ethics committee that was faced with this? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania were interested in a method of treatment for leukaemia that made use of modified versions of white blood cells.  Cells were taken from leukaemia patients and genetically modified in two ways: first, they […]

Read More…

Assisted Dying: Physicians and Metaphysicians in the BMJ

There’s a slightly curious correspondence taking place in the BMJ at the moment that concerns assisted dying.  Des Spence started things moving with this short piece.  For the most part it is (sorry to say) a slightly pedestrian and simplistic overview of the state of the assisted dying debate.  One of the arguments against AD that […]

Read More…

Three Quiet Cheers for Uterine Transplants

Charles Foster’s post over at Practical Ethics about the news of the womb-transplant surgery that’s slated to take place in the near future is on the money in many respects.  Foster points out that [p]redictably the newspapers loved it. And, equally predictably, clever people from the world’s great universities queued up to be eloquently wise […]

Read More…

Stem-Cells: To Patent or Not?

In spare moments, I’ve been wondering about the Advocate-General of European Court of Justice’s recent recommendation that patents involving human embryonic stem-cells be prohibited, and the response that it’s generated.  One of the best-publicised responses was the letter from Austin Smith et al that appeared in Nature, which complained that the recommendation would be bad […]

Read More…

Assisted Suicide in Oregon: a Counterblast from the Antis

Ilora Finlay and Rob George* have a new paper in the JME that takes issue with Battin et al‘s 2007 paper, concerning who makes use of physician assisted suicide in Oregon and Holland.  Battin’s claim had been that there was no evidence of heightened risk for the elderly, women, the uninsured (inapplicable in the Netherlands, where […]

Read More…

NHS Treatment and Failed Asylum-Seekers

A medical student from Newcastle writes: I am currently writing an ethics assignment relating to a paediatric placement I undertook earlier this academic year.  During the placement I was involved in the care of 11-month old twins from Khartoum, Sudan, whose parents had brought them into hospital because they were suffering from recurrent generalised tonic-clonic […]

Read More…