Highest German court defends the constitutional right to (assisted) suicide

By Ruth Horn. On 26th April 2020, the German Constitutional Court overturned a law of 2015 prohibiting ‘any business-like assisted suicide’.  This included any potentially recurring suicide assistance that might be provided, with or without commercial interests, by a doctor, nurse, relative or member of a right-to-die organisation. Although suicide and therefore also assisted suicide […]

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Why care about severity?

By Mathias Barra, Mari Broqvist, Erik Gustavsson, Martin Henriksson, Niklas Juth, Lars Sandman, and Carl Tollef Solberg In an ideal world, everyone one of us would receive medical treatments in a timely manner, in the best possible way. There would be an unlimited number of organs available for transplantation. There would be enough health workers […]

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Revisiting the lessons of Frankenstein

By Julian Koplin & John Massie The story of Frankenstein came to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley in a nightmare. It was a miserable, wet summer in 1816, and Mary Shelley was visiting the poet Lord Byron with her sister, Claire Clairmont, and her soon-to-be husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. They spend much of the summer […]

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After death let men donate sperm to infertile people

By Nathan Hodson and Joshua Parker Of all the revolutionary advances provided by artificial reproductive techniques, few would have imagined that it would allow men to have their sperm removed after death and used to successfully produce offspring. Yet recent cases show that it is possible and apparently safe. In these cases it is the loved ones of the man […]

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Unnatural experiments

By Charles Weijer and Monica Taljaard. When government health programmes are studied in cluster randomized trials, should the health programme itself be considered “routine government care” and not part of the research, or is it a research intervention to be scrutinized by the research ethics committee? Watson and colleagues argue for the former position; we […]

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Nanny on the bus: The ethics of banning food on public transport

By David Shaw The last report of the outgoing UK Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sally Davies, is entitled “Time to Solve Childhood Obesity”. It makes many sensible public health recommendations, including increases in the levy on sweet drinks and taxation on snacks, and reducing portion sizes and marketing aimed at children. But a different recommendation […]

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The first prosecution of a Dutch doctor since the Euthanasia Act of 2002: what does the verdict mean?

By Eva C.A. Asscher and Suzanne van de Vathorst. On September 11th 2019, a verdict was reached in the first prosecution of a doctor for carrying out euthanasia in The Netherlands since the 2002 Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act was passed. The case concerned a patient with severe dementia […]

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Alexa, does this look infected? – We need to talk about safely regulating the digitisation of healthcare, now.

By Catriona McMillan. The sale of health technologies for personal use has boomed in the past few years. At-home access to health information, and the means to track one’s health stats, have been criticised for unnecessarily increasing pressure on NHS services, and in some cases risking user safety. Perhaps surprisingly, however, most of these technologies […]

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When ideology and physiology don’t align: transwomen in elite women’s sport

By Lynley C. Anderson, Alison Heather, Taryn Knox In recent years there has been a huge amount of media interest in the inclusion of elite transwomen athletes in the women’s division. Reasoned debate focuses on the delicate balance between the inclusion of transwomen based on “a fundamental human right for everyone to be recognized in […]

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