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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Centring choice in birthing services; COVID-19 and maternal request caesarean sections

By Anna Nelson & Elizabeth Chloe Romanis During the COVID-19 pandemic pregnant and birthing people saw significant changes to the services they were offered. From March 2020 substantial restrictions were introduced in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, with some notable examples including bans on partners attending scans, limitations on the number […]

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Surgery in COVID-19 Crisis Conditions: Can We Protect Our Ethical Integrity Against the Odds?

By J Macleod, S Mezher and R Hasan Since the dawn of the COVID-19 crisis, drastic changes have swept across many organisations. Healthcare providers are particularly affected by this; which we have experienced first-hand working in cardiac surgery. Working in this constantly evolving situation inevitably leads to uncertainty, inconsistency and even fear despite the best […]

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What does good care look like in a pandemic? A Statement of Principles for Residential Care Settings

By Michael Dunn, Ann Gallagher and Nipa Chauhan   With each day that passes, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing many of the things that we have taken for granted in our daily lives. Nowhere is this more evident than in residential settings – care homes and nursing homes – responsible for supporting, and providing care […]

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COVID-19 and health workers’ rights in Africa: the duty to treat or not to treat?

By Adaeze Aniodoh “The public’s and the health workers’ concerns are not mutually exclusive; the goal is safety and fairness for all. Patients have a right to be protected. Health workers also have rights, and when infected they become patients.” Recently the world has come to shock as the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 ‘a […]

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Oops!  Mistakes and moral responsibility under COVID19

By Neil Pickering I’ve been pondering for some time about the use of the term ‘mistake’ to describe one’s actions, and this has been brought to the fore again by actions of government ministers during the COVID 19 pandemic. The BBC recently reported on the case of Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s chief medical officer.  Calderwood […]

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Rewarding through prioritization: The limits of reciprocal obligation in allocating scarce medical resources in the COVID-19 crisis

By Thibaud Haaser In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, health systems are under severe strain. Some countries are currently experiencing, or may experience within a few weeks, shortages of medical resources (in particular intensive care beds and mechanical ventilation). In this context, the health community may have to make impossible choices regarding the allocation […]

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