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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
New Scientist is Not Amused
By Iain Brassington You might remember the couple of days a few years ago in which the overlyhonestmethods hashtag went viral on Twitter: for those of you who don’t, it was a little joke in which academics – mainly, I think, natural scientists – made not-entirely-serious “confessions” about how they do their work and the corners […]
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 […]
“Top of the Lake” may Sink as a Procedural, but Look Beneath the Surface
By Iain Brassington A couple of weeks ago, BioNews invited me to review Top of the Lake; but since it’s relevant to the kinds of things that appear in the JME, I thought I’d repost it here. There’s a moment in the final episode of this second series of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake where Nicole […]
Charlie Gard: An Ethical Analysis of a Legal Non-Problem
By Iain Brassington (Cross-posted from EJIL: Talk!) For those with an internet connection and an interest in current affairs, the story of Charlie Gard been hard to avoid recently. A decent précis is available here; but it’s worth rehearsing. Shortly after his birth, Charlie’s health began to deteriorate, and he was diagnosed with a terminal and […]
Pain After Cancer: A New Model for Pain Psychology?
Guest Post by Lauren Heathcote What if every headache, every slight twinge in your back, was potentially life threatening? What if you couldn’t tell a brain tumour from coffee-withdrawal? These can be constant, niggling worries for many people who have survived cancer, and we think their experiences can tell us something important about pain. If […]
Can We Trust Research in Science and Medicine?
By Brian D. Earp (@briandavidearp) Readers of the JME Blog might be interested in this series of short videos in which I discuss some of the major ongoing problems with research ethics and publication integrity in science and medicine. How much of the published literature is trustworthy? Why is peer review such a poor quality control mechanism? How can we judge […]
Is Hope a Virtue?
By Iain Brassington It’s perfectly understandable that hope should have featured so prominently in the coverage of the Charlie Gard case; each proposal is presented as offering fresh hope, each reversal presented as dashing hopes. In either case, hope is something presented as desirable. A bit more deeply, hope is one of the Theological Virtues, and […]