The first prosecution of a Dutch doctor since the Euthanasia Act of 2002: what does the verdict mean?

By Eva C.A. Asscher and Suzanne van de Vathorst. On September 11th 2019, a verdict was reached in the first prosecution of a doctor for carrying out euthanasia in The Netherlands since the 2002 Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act was passed. The case concerned a patient with severe dementia […]

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What does the public think should happen when parents and doctors disagree about life support for a child?

By Claudia Brick and Dominic Wilkinson. The case of Tafida Raqeeb, currently being heard in the High Court, is the latest high profile legal battle between physicians and parents about life sustaining treatment for a seriously ill child. Since suffering a severe stroke in February, five-year old Tafida has been in intensive care at the […]

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The ethics of disposing of amputated limbs

By Esmée Hanna and Glenn Robert Whilst ethical issues relating to the disposal of body parts generally are increasingly discussed (largely prompted by high profile organ retention scandals), what happens in the specific case of amputated limbs has not received much attention. Amputation is however increasingly common, in part due to growing rates of diabetes […]

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The bitter end: Which question matters most in disputes about treatment

By Dominic Wilkinson @Neonatalethics and Julian Savulescu @Juliansavulescu This week, doctors in France are reported to be withdrawing life-prolonging treatment from Vincent Lambert, a 42 year old French psychiatric nurse, who has been at the centre of a long-running legal battle over his medical treatment. Lambert was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in 2008, […]

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Sacrificing The Career Of An Otherwise Competent And Useful Doctor: Nurse/Doctor Differences After Gross Negligence Manslaughter

By Nathan Hodson. Last week Hadiza Bawa-Garba was told that she would be able to return to clinical practice having been suspended since her conviction for gross negligence manslaughter in 2015. Whether or not the decision is good for public confidence in the medical profession, it is probably good news for patients that, from February […]

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It’s Time to Pay Attention to “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”

By Diane O’Leary. Professional and public debate about myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) has reached a new pitch.  A London Times article in August described the “acrimonious scientific row” that’s erupted in the UK now that the US Institute of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and Centers for Disease Control insist that ME/CFS is not a psychosomatic condition, but […]

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He Jiankui’s Genetic Misadventure: Why Him? Why China?

By Jing-Bao Nie This post first appeared on The Hastings Center Forum on 5 December, 2018. The birth of gene-edited twin girls was announced by a young Chinese scientist He Jiankui through one of four self-made promotional videos in English on YouTube (a website officially banned in China) on November 25. Three days later, at the Second […]

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Rogue scientist: the human CRISPR experiment

By Jeanne Snelling and Mike King Chinese researcher, He Jiankui, claims to have implanted CRISPR-cas9 gene-edited embryos into potentially six women resulting in at least one successful pregnancy (of twins). Given the unconventional and inadequate way information has been released by He, and the fact that the research has not had thorough oversight, the facts […]

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Claims over human genome editing: scientific irresponsibility at its worst

By Sarah Chan This post first appeared in The Motley Coat on 26 November 2018. The announcement made today, that the world’s first genome-edited babies have been born in China, is of grave ethical concern. In evaluating this news, we should first remember that these claims have not yet been scientifically validated through peer reviewed publication […]

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