The Errant Ways We Talk About Brain Death

By Jordan Potter and Jason Lesandrini On November 4, 2019, newspapers across the USA reported on the tragic and untimely death of Mr. Nebane Abienwi – a 37-year-old asylum-seeking migrant from Cameroon who died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after suffering a brain hemorrhage. Per an ICE report, physicians at Sharp […]

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Caring for each other through the ethical challenges of MAiD in Canada

By Mary Kathleen Deutscher Heilman and Tracy J. Trothen Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) generates strong emotions among Canadians. What has been striking to us is the fact that while academics have been engaged in an epic battle about who has a right to what protections under the law, the average person seems to want […]

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The option of assisted dying is good for you even if you don’t want to die

By Ben Colburn I am an academic philosopher. In recent years I have been working with end of life practitioners, using my ideas about the importance of individual autonomy to address some tough questions about the predicaments we face as we approach our deaths. We’ve been trying to work out how to support people’s autonomy […]

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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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Physicians as public servants: why physicians have no business discussing religion with patients

By Jake Greenblum & Ryan Hubbard. It is generally agreed that healthy liberal democracies have a robust separation between church and state. However, controversy arises when interpreting the appropriate place of religion in the public sphere, including the proper role of religion in medicine. Just consider the current political debate in the US on medical […]

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How should crisis sedation be presented to dying patients at risk of a catastrophic event?

By Dr Nathan Emmerich and Prof Bert Gordijn When we consider the end of our life and the actual circumstances of our death the vast majority of us would prefer to go peacefully, perhaps dying of simple old age at the end of a life well lived. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Whilst the […]

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Authorship and the deceased

By Gert Helgesson Research ethics has attracted increasing attention in recent years, not least regarding broad themes like scientific misconduct and predatory publishing. In the aftermath of some extensively reported research scandals, such as the Macchiarini case, involving patient deaths, the responsibility of the individual co-author has emerged as a theme of great interest to many, […]

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Advance directives, personal identity, and the body: what follows if dementia produces a different individual?

By Govind Persad. I recently published “Authority Without Identity: Defending Advance Directives via Posthumous Rights Over One’s Body” in JME. In the paper, I argue that even if the psychological changes caused by dementia mean that the individual who existed before dementia is a different individual from the individual who exists afterward, a pre-dementia advance […]

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