Paying people to move to care homes within lower-income countries: Daft or desirable?

By Bouke de Vries Many higher-income countries are struggling to provide adequate and affordable care to their older residents, which is to a large extent due to population ageing. Not only do residents of these countries live longer than ever before, which comes with a reduction in cognitive and physical abilities and an increased susceptibility […]

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Animal content in prescribed medications and medical goods: Are we asking enough questions?

By Sarah Cullivan Dietary restrictions that exclude animal content are common and complex. While it is generally acknowledged and accepted that most medications are tested on animals prior to the introduction in human subjects to ensure safety, it is not always clear to prescribing physicians and consuming patients which medications and medical products are animal […]

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Should we adopt COVID-19 “immunity passports”?

By Victoria Min-Yi Wang. The COVID-19 pandemic has led the UK to impose lockdown measures that have reduced personal freedoms normally taken for granted in a liberal democracy. This loss of freedoms has been justified because it protects people from contracting COVID-19 and, consequently, prevents overwhelming the NHS. After a year of lockdown measures, and […]

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The vicious circle of precaution

By Ezio Di Nucci. The precautionary principle has been implicitly utilized and explicitly invoked in March of 2020 when many governments introduced restrictions and lockdowns to contain COVID-19. ‘Implicitly utilized’ because the preliminary evidence and modelling those restrictions were based on was a good example of the kinds of problems the precautionary principle is meant […]

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Ethics, iBlastoids, and brain organoids: Time to revise antiquated laws and processes

By Julian Savulescu. Jose Polo and his team at Monash University have successfully reprogrammed human adult cells (fibroblasts – skin cells) to form “iBlastoids”. These are structures which are like early human embryos. Normally when a sperm enters an egg, it produces a new cell, which divides, and these cells divide until a blastocyst is formed […]

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Valuing the care in healthcare: priorities and trade-offs

By Jonathan Michaels. Healthcare decisions are complex, whether we are considering individual choices about our own health, or policy decisions made by political or professional bodies.  Disease and the actions taken to prevent, diagnose and treat it, may have widespread ramifications on all aspects of our lives.  Furthermore, policy and personal decisions in other aspects […]

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Lateral flow tests and schools: Why the government’s approach is ethically flawed

By Jonathan Pugh, Dominic Wilkinson and Julian Savulescu. The UK government has put lateral flow antigen tests (LFATs) at the forefront of its strategy to re-open schools. These tests can be used to detect current infections, and they can provide results quickly at the point of care. The tests themselves also have a low financial […]

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You’ve got to be in it to win it: The promise and practice of vaccine lotteries

By Jane Williams, Chris Degeling, Angus Dawson, Stacy Carter Following the 2009 H1N1 pandemic there was a small explosion in the ethics literature on how to allocate scarce pandemic vaccine. There were many different suggestions about how we should distribute vaccine in an ethical way. One proposal was that a random allocation through a lottery, weighted […]

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Up close and personal: Using AI to predict patient preferences?

By Nikola Biller-Andorno. Have you ever tried to put together a ballpoint pen that has fallen apart? Or, more ambitiously, tried to repair your child’s programmable toy robot that continues to bump into walls? There is nothing like building, taking apart and rebuilding to understand a gadget or system’s flaws and weaknesses. This is what […]

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