Troubles with trust

By Edwin Jesudason Our doctor says it’s something major, citing deadly-sounding results. We’re panicked. They talk about treatment options and evidence for each; about cherished benefits and gut-churning harms. They calmly seek our choice of treatment and our consent to proceed. Frozen, we don’t know which option to trust. A recent paper by philosophers at […]

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Prescribing growth hormone in pediatrics: The collision of history and medical ethics

By Rohan Henry In a 1958 editorial, the first case of growth hormone used as treatment for a medical condition was reported. Since that time, the administered product has changed from being pituitary derived specifically, cadaveric in origin, to recombinant human growth hormone in the United States which occurred in 1985.  With this practice shift, […]

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Making sense of value conflicts at the margins of the medical profession

By Henk Jasper van Gils-Schmidt and Sabine Salloch In our paper, “Taking a Moral Holiday? Physicians’ practical identities at the margins of professional ethics”, we discuss value conflicts that physicians come across at the margins of their professional practice. For example, the conflict one may experience as a psychiatrist when considering to speak out against a […]

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Culpability in healthcare failures: shifting away from the individual

By Daniel Taylor and Dawn Goodwin Why do we still search for individuals to blame when things go wrong in healthcare? Decades of research, healthcare ‘scandals’ and their inquiries, and current guidance on patient safety tell us to focus less on the individual and more on the organisational factors that predispose practitioners to error or […]

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David Bennett and the first porcine xenotransplantation

By Christopher Gyngell and Julian Savulescu. At 57, David Bennett was dying. He had a decades long history of heart disease. Prior treatments, including surgery, had proved ineffective. In November 2021, he was diagnosed with uncontrollable arrhythmia and was admitted to the University of Maryland Medical Centre. Despite the best efforts of clinicians, his condition […]

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Well-intended harms

By Edwin Jesudason. Whatever could be wrong with kindness? In fact, the answers might surprise us. My paper explores ways in which kindness can interfere with key principles of healthcare ethics, leading to potentially serious side effects for patients and staff alike. The idea for the paper has been a long time coming. Over decades […]

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Getting clear on what counts as dignity-promoting dementia care

By Hojjat Soofi. There are increasing calls to offer more dignity-promoting care to people with dementia, particularly in long-term care settings. In Australia, the recent Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommends revising the foundational principles that underpin current care practices in residential aged care facilities (RACFs), which are home to many people […]

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