Close Eneph? SARS-CoV-2 challenge studies and altruistic kidney donation

By Hayden P. Nix and Charles Weijer. Human challenge studies are clinical trials in which researchers intentionally infect research participants with a pathogen. The UK government has announced plans to conduct SARS-CoV-2 challenge studies beginning in January 2021. SARS-CoV-2 human challenge studies are controversial because of the risks they pose to participants. In order to […]

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Futile treatments and the Covid-19 pandemic: An underplayed ethical issue in non-ICU wards

By Francois-Xavier Goudot and Sandrine Bretonnière. It is still too early to predict how long and how many phases we are going to experience with the Covid-19 pandemic. In the wake of 2020, the rapid and massive worldwide dissemination of the virus induced physicians, ethicists and public health authorities – each at their national level […]

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Financing the Covid-19 Health Response: Resource Allocation, Accountability & Social Bonds

By Edana Richardson & Aisling McMahon. Adequate financing of healthcare infrastructure, supplies and personnel is a crucial element of pandemic preparedness. It is key to limiting the need for healthcare rationing, to achieving global health justice and ultimately to saving lives. In a Covid-19 context, issues have arisen around public sector obligations to provide funding […]

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The COVID-19 vaccine, informed consent and the recruitment of volunteers

By Jennifer O’Neill. Last week, in an announcement which offered hope in a time of growing despondence, Pfizer declared that their COVID-19 vaccine had “outperformed expectations in the crucial phase 3 clinical trials, proving 90% effective in stopping people falling ill.”  If approved, Pfizer’s jab will be the first in a new era of vaccines. […]

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How to ethically manage the double agency of physicians during a pandemic

By Thibaud Haaser The Covid-19 constitutes a real global crisis, going beyond the sole medical dimension. Medical, socio-economic or educational issues have highlighted the need to identify specific therapeutic or preventive agents as soon as possible. The necessity to build reliable medical knowledge is part of the response to such a crisis. Although the crisis […]

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Vaccine distribution ethics: monotheism or polytheism?

By Alberto Giubilini, Julian Savulescu and Dominic Wilkinson. Pfizer has reported preliminary results that their mRNA COVID vaccine is 90% effective during phase III trials. The hope is to have the first doses available for distribution by the end of the year. Discussion has quickly moved to how the vaccine should be distributed in the […]

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Prioritizing trust and consistency when allocating ventilators

By Alexander T.M. Cheung and Brendan Parent Rationing healthcare resources never sits well with all parties involved. By definition, someone gets left out. Various values, contrary perspectives, and practical considerations all must be weighed before reaching a morally passable, though imperfect, compromise. Yet never has the question of rationing so acutely needed answering in the […]

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Ethical decision making when demand for intensive care exceeds available resources. The need for public discussion.

By Tim Cook, Kim J Gupta, Robin Fackrell, Sarah Wexler, Bernie Marden Early in the COVID-19 pandemic the first author of this blog wrote a Guardian article which was titled “ICU doctors now face the toughest decisions they will ever have to make.” It referred to the possibility – then expected to be a reality […]

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Breaking bad news during the COVID-19 pandemic – a dilemma for paramedics, their patients and their loved ones

By Iain Campbell. The initial stages of the lockdown that happened in the UK in 2020 was a hectic time to be working on ambulances in London. Like many of our colleagues across the NHS, we were encountering a large number of very unwell patients. There was a lot of fear, a lot of uncertainty, […]

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Good health policy requires good moral philosophy

By Derek Soled. Now, more than ever, countries around the world need good health policy. While more big data and efficiency are important, better integration of the humanities embodied in moral philosophy will help achieve this goal. In policymaking decisions, ethicists deserve a place at the table as their insights into human behaviour are essential […]

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