The best interest standard and the ethical work it does in making medical and public policy decisions for children

By Johan Bester For a while now, I’ve been interested in ethical questions in medicine and public policy concerning children. It started with my work on vaccination ethics, which continues to raise ethical questions of various kinds. Things like: What is the source and limits of parental authority over children? What do we do when […]

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The fetishisation of clinical guidelines

By Charles Foster The Supreme Court has recently, in An NHS Trust v Y decided that adherence to guidelines produced by various medical organisations will safeguard adequately against inappropriate withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from patients in vegetative state/Minimally Conscious State. I have criticised that decision in detail in an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics […]

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Why the Parents of Both Charlie Gard and More Recently Alfie Evans Should Have Been Allowed to Decide About Their Sons’ Best Interests

  Guest post by Raanan Gillon   Re: Why the parents of Charlie Gard should have been allowed to decide on his best interests. This blog briefly summarises and adds to my paper due to appear in the JME’s forthcoming symposium on the case of Charlie Gard[1]. Because of the widespread unpopularity of my views amongst doctors, […]

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The Children Missing from Nelson’s Column

By Iain Brassington There’s a cliché that says that hard cases make bad law.  Truth be told, there’s a whole list of things that make, or make for, bad law.  Highly visible public protests make for bad law.  Lack of measured thought makes for bad law.  Journalistic pressure makes for bad law.  And anything – anything […]

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“An intermittent safeguard for health”

Guest post by Matteo Winkler, École des hautes études commerciales de Paris I thought I’d drop you a few lines to explain how I view the Italian intervention on the case of Alfie Evans. On 24 April, the Italian government, acting upon a proposal presented by the Minister of Interior Marco Minniti, resolved to grant Alfie […]

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Alfie Evans: Please, just stop.

By Iain Brassington Last summer, as the Charlie Gard saga was unfolding, was a slightly strange time to be a bioethicist.  Perhaps fortuitously, I was out of the country as matters began to gather pace; I was able to post a couple of blog posts (like this and this), but could generally keep my head down […]

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Guest Post: The Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill: Some Objections Rebutted

David S. Oderberg, Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading On March 23rd 2018, the House of Lords will enter the Committee Stage of debate on the Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill, a Private Members’ Bill sponsored by Baroness O’Loan. It will be a time for line-by-line examination, with many amendments expected to be tabled both […]

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More on Conscientious Objection: a Repy to a Reply

Guest post by Divine Banyubala A couple of days ago, Iain raised an interesting question about the draft Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill, and its compatibility with existing law (both civil and criminal) in respect of withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.  In an insightful reply, Mary Neal made the points that “in key areas of practice […]

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Conscientious Objection: A Quick(ish) Answer

Guest post by Mary Neal, Law School, University of Strathclyde The Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) [HL] Bill, introduced by the crossbench peer Baroness O’Loan, received its second reading in the House of Lords on Friday 26th January and successfully proceeded to the committee stage.  In a post on this blog the following day, Iain posed […]

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A Quick Question about Conscientious Objection

By Iain Brassington Baroness O’Loan’s Conscientious Objection Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords yesterday.  It’s only short, but there’s a part of it that I find a little perplexing. Section 1(1) says that No medical practitioner with a conscientious objection to participating in— (a)  the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment; (b)  any activity […]

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