Advance decisions in dementia: when the past conflicts with the present

By George Gillett Last month, the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee wrote an article in support of assisted dying. She wrote about Katherine Whitehorn, her former colleague at the Observer. Describing Whitehorn, Toynbee writes: She is not herself. Her old self would not recognise herself in this other being who sits in the care home. What […]

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Guest Post: Philosophical Tradeoffs in Psychotherapy

Authors: Sahanika Ratnayake, David Merry. Paper: Forgetting ourselves: epistemic costs and ethical concerns in mindfulness exercises Unlike pharmaceuticals, psychotherapy is often presented as an effective treatment without any side effects. Mindfulness exercises, popularised by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 1970s and ‘80s, are seen as particularly gentle. According to Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is nothing more than ‘paying attention’. […]

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Pedophilia and Child Sexual Abuse Are Two Different Things — Confusing Them is Harmful to Children

By Brian D. Earp (@briandavidearp) Note: this post appeared first at the Practical Ethics blog and is being re-posted. Pedophilia and Child Sexual Abuse Are Two Different Things — Confusing Them is Harmful to Children Republican politician Roy Moore has been accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was in his early […]

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Donald Trump’s Mental Health (again)

The speculation about Donald Trump’s mental health that was doing the rounds earlier in the year seems to have died down a bit.  That’s to be expected; like it or not, his Presidency is now part of normal life.  But I’ve been lagging in my blogging here, and so it’s only now that I’ve got […]

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Balancing Costs and Benefits: A Clinical Perspective Does not Support a Harm Minimization Approach for Self-injury Outside of Community Settings

Guest Post: Hanna Pickard and Steve Pearce Responding to: Harm may sometimes be a good thing? Patrick Sullivan Sullivan’s emphasis on the importance of supporting autonomy and independence among vulnerable people who self-injure is fundamental to good clinical practice. This is why some forms of harm minimization, such as encouraging reflection, responsibility, safe cutting and where appropriate […]

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Professional Codes and Diagnosis at a Distance

This is the second part of my response to Trish Greenhalgh’s post on the propriety of medics, psychiatrists in particular, offering diagnoses of Donald Trump’s mental health.  In the last post, I concentrated on some of the problems associated with making such a diagnosis (or, on reflection, what might be better called a “quasi-diagnosis”).  In […]

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Diagnosing Trump

It doesn’t take too much time on the internet to find people talking with some measure of incredulity about Donald Trump.  Some of this talk takes the tone of horrified fascination; some of it is mocking (and is accompanied by correspondingly mocking images); and some people are wondering aloud about his mental health.  In this […]

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Autism, Mental Illness, Euthanasia and the WaPo

There was a piece in the Washington Post the other day with a striking headline: Where the Prescription for Autism can be Death. Normally, if we’re saying that the prescription for x is y, we mean to say that y is being suggested as a treatment for x.  Painkillers are the prescription for a bad back, a steroid cream the prescription […]

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The Talking Cure Taboo

Guest post by C Blease Talking cures have never been so accessible.  Since 2007 the UK government has invested £300 million launching its Improved Access to Psychological Treatments scheme.  The goal is to train up to 4000 therapists in a particular branch of psychotherapy – cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).  CBT is the most widely researched […]

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