Getting “done” for concealment of pregnancy: Does a woman have a duty to inform healthcare staff of her pregnancy status?

By Gemma McKenzie. In England a pregnant woman – like any adult with mental capacity – enjoys the rights to autonomy and bodily integrity. As a result, she can only be subjected to a medical intervention with her informed consent. The law does not consider a human fetus as a separate legal entity; therefore, a […]

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Meeting the challenges of using automated second opinions

By Hendrik Kempt and Saskia K. Nagel. Diagnostics is a difficult inferential process requiring an immense amount of cognitive labor. Not only must physicians gather evidence and evaluate that evidence to fit the symptoms of a patient, they usually need to do that with imperfect knowledge in an ever changing field of research, and limited […]

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We can’t just follow the science

By Franklin G. Miller.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, a common refrain voiced by many public health experts and government officials in the U.S. is that public policy should “just follow the science.”  For example, consider the following statement by Anthony Fauci, the chief scientific spokesperson for the Biden administration, in an interview published in The […]

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Against ethical experts

By Doug Hardman and Phil Hutchinson. The clinical ethics business is booming. Since the field’s emergence in the 1970s, ethicists have established research and teaching centres, taken control of teaching ethics to medical students, and more recently begun to establish a new applied role: the clinical ethics consultant. Academics in philosophy, law and the social […]

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The ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ of PPE in COVID-19

By Cliff Shelton, Kariem El-Boghdadly, John B Appleby. Personal protective equipment (PPE) has been a frequent source of controversy during the COVID-19 pandemic. At times, supplies have run short, leading individuals to purchase (and sometimes improvise) their own PPE; debate has raged over what PPE should be worn in different circumstances; and pictures of healthcare […]

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Respecting autonomy in altered states: Navigating ethical quandaries in psychedelic therapy

By Hannah McLane, Courtney Hutchison, Daniel Wikler, Timothy Howell, & Emma Knighton. Research into psychedelic-assisted therapy has grown in the past ten years as non-profits, academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and even venture capitalists race to develop protocols for using MDMA, psilocybin, ketamine, and other psychedelic substances to treat mental illness. Already, dozens of ketamine clinics […]

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Global vaccine equity for COVID-19: A myriad of proposals, but are there too many cooks or too many recipes?

By Susi Geiger & Aisling McMahon. As we are nearing the second year-end in the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine inequity is a stark global reality: on December 13th 2021, while global vaccine coverage stands at 56% of the population, this figure drops to 7.1% for low-income countries. In addition, new variants such as Omicron threaten to […]

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Regulating strain-specific vaccines – speed, rigour and challenge trials

By Jonathan Pugh and Dominic Wilkinson. The emergence of the Omicron variant has prompted a great deal of uncertainty. One significant area of uncertainty is the the extent to which the variant can escape the protection afforded by current vaccines. One early South African pre-print suggests that Omicron has more extensive Pfizer vaccine escape than […]

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I see no ships – ethical blindness in mandated vaccination of care home and NHS staff

By Fr Giles Pinnock. As of November 11th 2021, vaccination of care home staff in England against COVID-19 became mandatory. Responses to the Government’s own consultation did not support it, and the negative impact on the care of residents, and the inevitable upstream impact on discharges from hospitals has barely registered in the media, which […]

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