A Moral Framework for Living Donor Transplantation

By Lainie Friedman Ross and J. Richard Thistlethwaite Living donor transplantation has been controversial since its inception because it exposes donors to medical risks for the medical benefit of their intended recipients. The usual bioethics argument about the moral permissibility of living kidney donation focuses on the concept of respect for persons which is often […]

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A Novel Approach to Compassionate Use Allocation

By Lisa Kearns, Alison S. Bateman-House, Arthur L. Caplan, J. Russell Teagarden When seriously ill patients cannot enroll in clinical trials and have run out of treatment options, they may ask pharmaceutical manufacturers for “compassionate use” of their drugs in development, knowing that the drugs are experimental and may not help. These are tricky decisions for […]

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Organismal death, the dead donor rule and the ethics of vital organ procurement

Guest Authors:  Xavier Symons, Institute for Ethics and Society, University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Reginald Mary Chua, Philosophy, Catholic Theological College, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Paper: Organismal death, the dead donor rule and the ethics of vital organ procurement The brain death criterion for death (as it is currently understood in medical practice) was first propounded in 1968 by an […]

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First principles: The need for ethical guidance for pragmatic trials

Post authors: Dean Fergusson, Monica Taljaard and Charles Weijer [authors listed alphabetically] Paper: Thinking clearly about the FIRST trial: addressing ethical challenges in cluster randomised trials of policy interventions involving health providers Recently, members of our research team published an ethical analysis of the Flexibility in Duty Hour Requirements for Surgical Trainees (FIRST) trial in the Journal […]

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Impact Factors and Ethics

The news that the Journal of Medical Ethics now has an impact factor of 1.889 is a commendation for those who have contributed to the journal’s success over recent years. It reflects the efforts of the editorial team led by Julian Savulescu, Tom Douglas and Dominic Wilkinson to maintain consistently high editorial standards and ensure the journal covered […]

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Conflicts of duty: What do they mean?

Guest Post Author: Andreas Eriksen, ARENA, Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; SPS, Centre for the Study of Professions, Oslo and Akershus University College, Oslo, Norway Paper: Conflicting duties and restitution of the trusting relationship Medical professionals constantly face hard cases in their interaction with patients, colleagues, and the public. They are torn between different considerations and exposed to seemingly […]

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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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The Williams Review: Unlikely to reassure doctors concerned about gross negligence manslaughter law

Guest Author: Nathan Hodson, Foundation Doctor, University Hospitals of Leicester. A rapid policy review of medical gross negligence manslaughter was announced by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, in February 2018. Last week, barely four months later, Professor Sir Norman Williams delivered the report. Its remit was limited to investigating the […]

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Guest Post: The eternal life of the biobank participant

Authors: Maria Stuifbergen, Lars Ursin Paper: The Ethics of dead participants: policy recommendations for biobank research Have you ever been operated at a hospital, donated blood, or participated in a health survey? Then you might have agreed to let health information and tissue samples from you be stored in a research biobank. You gave your […]

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Guest Post: pathology incidental findings in the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project

Authors: Nicole C. Lockhart, Carol J. Weil, Latarsha J. Carithers, Susan E. Koester, A. Roger Little, Simona Volpi, Helen M. Moore, Benjamin E. Berkman Paper: Development of a consensus approach for return of pathology incidental findings in the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project In 2010, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched a research program […]

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