Who’s responsible for informing relatives about genetic risk?

By Kalle Grill and Anna Rosén. It is established practice in many countries that healthcare professionals encourage patients to share relevant risk information with genetic relatives. We mostly endorse this practice but question a normative assumption that typically underpins it. Both practitioners and academics in the field are in general agreement that: It is desirable […]

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Pandemic prioritarianism: what can we learn from Covid-19?

By Lasse Nielsen. Medical ethics have to learn from actual ethical experiences from the medical practice. The relevant interpretation and application of ethical theories must adhere to issues and questions that arise in clinical practice, and oftentimes we find that our intuitions about practical matters do not fit our theories and principles. In these cases, […]

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“Healthcare heroes”: The danger of military metaphors

By Zahra H. Khan, Yoshiko Iwai, Sayantani DasGupta Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Healthcare Hero” metaphor has gained tremendous popularity, generating praise for healthcare workers as well as caution against the metaphor’s potentially negative consequences. In her recent article, Dr. Caitríona L Cox explains that, when heroized, healthcare workers face unfair expectations of personal sacrifice […]

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Using moral case deliberation as an analysis tool for exploring decision-making around admission to intensive care, in research before and during COVID-19

By Mia Svantesson, Bert Molewijk and Anne-Marie Slowther This raises the question of what is or should be established good practice in this decision-making process, which is often complex, grounded in uncertainty, and taking place in a time pressured environment. It is important that in the heat of a pandemic we do not lose sight […]

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The current call for a (fresh) inquiry on assisted suicide

By Nataly Papadopoulou. As a society and as individuals, we face challenges in dealing with debilitating, horrible diseases causing suffering, indignity, and loss of autonomy. With increased emphasis on individual autonomy in a clinical but also in a legal setting, some patients wish to control the end of their lives. Perhaps one of the most […]

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Healthcare must stop ignoring future patients!

By Christian Munthe, Davide Fumagalli and Erik Malmqvist Most countries with publicly funded healthcare systems have ethically informed priority setting schemes to decide how to allocate scarce resources. Established principles in such schemes recognise patients’ need of care, the effects of interventions, and background requirements of equal consideration and cost-effectiveness. However, the typical use of […]

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Ensuring equity in vascularized composite allotransplantation

By Laura L. Kimberly, Elie P. Ramly, and Eduardo D. Rodriguez Vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) can be considered the innovative cousin of solid organ transplantation. VCA is the transplantation of multiple tissues, such as skin, muscle, nerve, and bone as a functional unit. This includes facial, upper and lower extremity, uterine, penile and abdominal wall […]

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Do No Harm in cancer screening programmes: can consent save the day?

By Lotte Elton Screening might harm you. That isn’t what the adverts will tell you. But, increasingly, there is a growing awareness that, for some, cancer screening might lead to unnecessary and potentially harmful investigations and treatments. This seems to violate the ethical principle of non-maleficence: the injunction that doctors ‘do no harm’ to their […]

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What end of life care do we want to give to persons with end-stage dementia?

By Joseph Dimech, Emmanuel Agius, Julian C Hughes and Paul Bartolo. Dementia is a degenerative neurocognitive disorder that leads to a high level of physical and cognitive disability as the disease progresses to its end-stage. Such patients are also at high risk of suffering from co-morbidities, including aspiration pneumonia secondary to swallowing difficulties. Thus, such […]

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