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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What Makes an Emergency?

By Iain Brassington Stanley Cavell died a few days ago.  He is, I suspect, not widely known among medical ethicists, and is cited less.  Fair enough: medical ethics wasn’t his thing.  It’s a shame, though, because his work did strike me as being worth getting to know.  This is not to say that I was familiar […]

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Why the Parents of Both Charlie Gard and More Recently Alfie Evans Should Have Been Allowed to Decide About Their Sons’ Best Interests

  Guest post by Raanan Gillon   Re: Why the parents of Charlie Gard should have been allowed to decide on his best interests. This blog briefly summarises and adds to my paper due to appear in the JME’s forthcoming symposium on the case of Charlie Gard[1]. Because of the widespread unpopularity of my views amongst doctors, […]

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The Children Missing from Nelson’s Column

By Iain Brassington There’s a cliché that says that hard cases make bad law.  Truth be told, there’s a whole list of things that make, or make for, bad law.  Highly visible public protests make for bad law.  Lack of measured thought makes for bad law.  Journalistic pressure makes for bad law.  And anything – anything […]

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Guest Post: The Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill: Some Objections Rebutted

David S. Oderberg, Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading On March 23rd 2018, the House of Lords will enter the Committee Stage of debate on the Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill, a Private Members’ Bill sponsored by Baroness O’Loan. It will be a time for line-by-line examination, with many amendments expected to be tabled both […]

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Harmless Kidney Markets

  Guest Post by Adam Shriver  Note: this post was originally published at the Practical Ethics Blog Kidney transplants result in improved quality of life and increased longevity compared to dialysis for patients with end-stage renal disease (Evans et al. 1985, Schnuelle et al. 1998, Wolfe et al 1999).  In 2014, the national transplant list in […]

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A Quick Question about Conscientious Objection

By Iain Brassington Baroness O’Loan’s Conscientious Objection Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords yesterday.  It’s only short, but there’s a part of it that I find a little perplexing. Section 1(1) says that No medical practitioner with a conscientious objection to participating in— (a)  the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment; (b)  any activity […]

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Toby Young, Eugenics, IQ, and the Poor (part 2)

By Iain Brassington Having staked out the claim in my last post that even if Toby Young’s claims about intelligence and embryo selection in his essay are eugenic, that’s not the end of the moral argument, I’m now going to have a quick look at the reasons why I think his claim does fail.  The roots of […]

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Toby Young, Eugenics, IQ, and the Poor (part 1)

By Iain Brassington The response to Toby Young’s appointment to the new Office for Students has covered the whole range from “He’s not the best person for the job” to “He’s the worst person for the job”.  Some of the reasons offered have to do with unsavoury comments about women; some have to do with his […]

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