Making sense of value conflicts at the margins of the medical profession

By Henk Jasper van Gils-Schmidt and Sabine Salloch In our paper, “Taking a Moral Holiday? Physicians’ practical identities at the margins of professional ethics”, we discuss value conflicts that physicians come across at the margins of their professional practice. For example, the conflict one may experience as a psychiatrist when considering to speak out against a […]

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Culpability in healthcare failures: shifting away from the individual

By Daniel Taylor and Dawn Goodwin Why do we still search for individuals to blame when things go wrong in healthcare? Decades of research, healthcare ‘scandals’ and their inquiries, and current guidance on patient safety tell us to focus less on the individual and more on the organisational factors that predispose practitioners to error or […]

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Teaching abortion

By Ezio Di Nucci Many thanks to Helen Watt for engaging with my piece on teaching abortion anno 2022. We might disagree on the ethics and politics of abortion itself, but we clearly agree on (the ethics and politics of) teaching it. As she says, ‘universities should extend, not curtail, students’ exposure to other views’ […]

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David Bennett and the first porcine xenotransplantation

By Christopher Gyngell and Julian Savulescu. At 57, David Bennett was dying. He had a decades long history of heart disease. Prior treatments, including surgery, had proved ineffective. In November 2021, he was diagnosed with uncontrollable arrhythmia and was admitted to the University of Maryland Medical Centre. Despite the best efforts of clinicians, his condition […]

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Well-intended harms

By Edwin Jesudason. Whatever could be wrong with kindness? In fact, the answers might surprise us. My paper explores ways in which kindness can interfere with key principles of healthcare ethics, leading to potentially serious side effects for patients and staff alike. The idea for the paper has been a long time coming. Over decades […]

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When the rule of rescue fails to rescue

By Kayla Wiebe, Simon Kelley, Roxanne Kirsch An arguably positive accident of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it rejuvenated public, political, and academic interest in the ethical dimensions of resource allocation, with specific focus on how extreme resource shortages (like in triage) exacerbates health inequities. Unfortunately, of far greater significance, are the kinds of exacerbations […]

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Fetal alcohol syndrome and abortion

By Simon Cushing In several publications, the philosopher Perry Hendricks has pushed an argument that he calls “the impairment argument,” intended to demonstrate that our horror at causing impairments such as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) to our children in utero should lead us to regard abortion with at least equal horror, as surely death is […]

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