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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Not long for this world: The timing of requests for a medically hastened death in the context of end of life care

By Lori Seller and Veronique Fraser As ethicists working in university health centers, many of our consultations revolve around decision making at the end of life. We know from academic literature, as well as from experience, that end of life discussions tend to come late in the illness trajectory and that the quality of these discussions […]

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WORKSHOP | Cryonic Preservation: Ethical and Legal Questions

Wellcome Collection, London, 6th October 2018 “Cryonic preservation” (or “cryopreservation”) names a technique whereby a person currently suffering from a terminal illness has their body frozen for an indefinitely long period of time, in the hope that, once medical technology has advanced sufficiently, it will be possible for them to be revived and cured. In November […]

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Organismal death, the dead donor rule and the ethics of vital organ procurement

Guest Authors:  Xavier Symons, Institute for Ethics and Society, University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Reginald Mary Chua, Philosophy, Catholic Theological College, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Paper: Organismal death, the dead donor rule and the ethics of vital organ procurement The brain death criterion for death (as it is currently understood in medical practice) was first propounded in 1968 by an […]

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What Makes an Emergency?

By Iain Brassington Stanley Cavell died a few days ago.  He is, I suspect, not widely known among medical ethicists, and is cited less.  Fair enough: medical ethics wasn’t his thing.  It’s a shame, though, because his work did strike me as being worth getting to know.  This is not to say that I was familiar […]

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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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