Do doctors engaging in advocacy speak for themselves or their profession?

By Elizabeth Lanphier In the United States, where I live and work, it is common for physicians to speak out on a variety of topics both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, physicians advocate against gun violence as a matter of public health. Pediatricians become #tweetiatrician on social media to raise awareness about […]

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The value of COVID challenge trials for diverse populations

By Nir Eyal and Tobias Gerhard Perhaps the strongest argument against COVID challenge trials posits that they must choose between the Scylla of insufficient safety for volunteers and the Charybdis of insufficient social value. In particular, challenge trials that exclude old or unhealthy participants for their own safety may involve surprisingly low risk, but they […]

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Paying more for highly specialised technologies: equity or profligacy?

By Jonathan Michaels The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently consulted on possible revisions to its processes for health technology evaluation.  An important aspect of the proposed changes related to topic selection criteria for the Highly Specialised Technologies (HST) programme.  This is of great commercial interest as it allows some technologies to […]

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Does it work what clinical ethicists do – and how do we evaluate it?

By Joschka Haltaufderheide, Stephan Nadolny, Jochen Vollmann, and Jan Schildmann. Clinical ethical case consultations have been widely implemented in clinical practice. It has been hailed as important tool to support clinical decision making. At the same time, it is a matter of debate what ethical case consultations actually do contribute to clinical practice and what […]

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Is medico-legal paternalism still rife in UK paediatric best interest decisions?

By Michal Pruski. The UK case of Alta Fixsler is reigniting the debate on paediatric best interest decisions in the case of end of life considerations. The two-year old’s Jewish parents want her to be transferred to Israel to be taken care of by clinicians sharing their religious and moral outlooks. Meanwhile the NHS trust […]

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The doctor can “see” you now – the ethical considerations of patient rights and safeguards in online mental health act assessments during Covid-19

By Lisa Schölin and Arun Chopra. It is fair to say that when the pandemic hit we were not entirely prepared to move our social lives, work, and healthcare to online platforms. Yet, we had to. But in which services, and more specifically in what situations, can remote contact sufficiently, legally, and safely be used […]

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Do controlled human infection studies put bystanders at higher risk than conventional field trials?

By Kyungdo Lee and Nir Eyal. A dose-determining study toward the world’s first controlled human infection (abbreviated as CHI) COVID vaccine study has launched in the UK. A COVID vaccine CHI would typically enroll a few dozen young and healthy volunteers, excluding people at higher risk of severe outcomes. After admission to an isolated research […]

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