Tag: review

Bioethics News

Agreement and Disagreement About Experimental Treatment: The Charlie Gard Appeal

Tomorrow, the UK Court of Appeal will review the controversial case of a British infant, Charlie Gard. Charlie’s parents are appealing a recent High Court decision that gave doctors permission to withdraw his life support. They have raised money for Charlie to travel to the US for an experimental medical treatment

Source: Bioethics Bulletin by the Berman Institute of Bioethics.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Agreement and disagreement about experimental treatment. The Charlie Gard Appeal

by Dominic Wilkinson and Julian Savulescu

@Neonatalethics

@juliansavulescu

Tomorrow, the UK Court of Appeal will review the controversial case of a British infant, Charlie Gard. Charlie’s parents are appealing a recent High Court decision that gave doctors permission to withdraw his life support. They have raised money for Charlie to travel to the US for an experimental medical treatment.

 

Best Interests

The legal decision for Charlie will be based upon an assessment of his best interests. He has a rare genetic disorder affecting his muscles and his brain. He has been on life support since last October and has been progressively deteriorating. A neurologist in the USA has suggested that experimental nucleoside treatment might, in theory, offer some benefit, though it has never previously been tried in this situation.

The central ethical question is whether it would be best to provide the experimental treatment and continue intensive care for Charlie for several months more, or to withdraw treatment and allow him to die. How should we weigh up the risks and benefits of those two alternatives?

We have previously written about this difficult question. In a pair of editorials in the Lancet medical journal, we expressed different points of view. Dominic Wilkinson argued that the proposed course of treatment would do more harm than good. In his view, it is likely that Charlie would experience pain and discomfort from continued treatment; it is also unlikely, given what is known about it, that Charlie would benefit from nucleoside treatment. In contrast, Julian Savulescu argued that it is not clear that continued mechanical ventilation in intensive care is so terrible a life that it would not be worth living.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Nudges in a post-truth world.

Guest Post: Neil Levy

Full Article: Nudges in  a Post-Truth World

Human beings are motivated reasoners. We find ways to believe what we want to believe, sometimes even in the face of strong evidence to the contrary. This fact helps to explain why so many political issues are intractable, and why so many of us reject the scientific consensus on urgent issues like GMOs, vaccination and climate change. Given the importance of these issues, any means of increasing our responsiveness to evidence deserves exploration.

Nudges – proposals, stemming from the behavioural sciences, for changing the way people act by changing their environments – may be one way of increasing responsiveness to evidence. In my paper, I briefly review evidence that suggests that people resist messages for (apparently) irrelevant reasons, and that by focusing on these reasons, we can make them more responsive to these messages. For instance, people tend to dismiss testimony that comes from those who do not share their political ideology, even when the issue is an empirical one (like climate change). There is evidence that ensuring that the ideology of the source matches the ideology of the audience makes the audience more receptive to the message.

But nudges are ethically controversial. There are a number of reasons why they are controversial, but the central reason is that many people see them as threatening the autonomy of the nudged. It is one thing to address people are reasoning beings, by giving them arguments. It is another to address them as mechanisms, bypassing their reasoning.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Monthly Round-Up of What to Read on Pharma Law and Policy

By Ameet Sarpatwari and Aaron S. Kesselheim Each month, members of the Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL) review the peer-reviewed medical literature to identify interesting empirical studies, policy analyses, and editorials on health law and policy issues relevant to current or … Continue reading

Source: Bill of Health, examining the intersection of law and health care, biotech & bioethics.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Reflection and Review at The National Health Service Litigation Authority (NHS LA)

By John Tingle The NHS LA is a pivotal organisations in the NHS whose work has a daily impact on the lives of patients and on all those who work in the health service. The NHS LA  have recently published … Continue reading

Source: Bill of Health, examining the intersection of law and health care, biotech & bioethics.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics:In It To Win It: Is Prize-giving Bad for Philosophy? Written by Rebecca Buxton

This essay received an Honorable Mention in the Graduate Category of the Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics 2017

Written by University of Oxford student, Rebecca Buxton

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
We live in a culture of prize-giving. The Nobel Prize, the Medal of Honour, the Man Booker and, not least, the Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics. But, in giving such prizes, and indeed prize money, we operate under the assumption that prizes are ‘good’. However, the fact that I am offered a prize for writing
a practical ethics paper is itself a practical ethical conundrum. This essay takes a preliminary amble into the ethical problem of prize-giving with regards to Philosophy specifically, offering reasons as to why we should question current practice. Primarily, I will define what we mean by the term ‘prize’ noting its
necessary and sufficient features. Secondly, I discuss the impact of prize-giving on research, considering how the ramifications of ascribing value through prizes affects the course of academia, especially when focusing on the lack of diverse voices within the subject. I then consider the deeper question of philosophical value: does the very act of constructing an ethical argument for a prize diminish the value of the work?

THE IDEA OF ‘THE PRIZE’
Though prize-giving is prolific in our current institutional culture, we lack any analytically clear literature on what constitutes a ‘prize’. There is, however, some work focusing on the philosophical concept of ‘the gift’, most notably Derrida’s argument that the ‘true’ gift is impossible as we can never eliminate the possibility of the counter-gift.[1] Unlike gifts, prizes depend upon a reciprocal process; you receive a prize in virtue of being or doing something.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Inner Sense and Gender Dysphoria

Steve Phillips posted on “Caring for people with gender dysphoria” almost one year ago. In his post, he referenced a talk at a previous CBHD Summer Conference by Prof. Robert George, where Dr. George posited that the concept that the belief that one’s gender is based one’s innate or inner sense rather than one’s biological/physical sex is rooted in the Gnostic idea that human beings consist of a personal mind that lives in a non-personal body and that this stands in contrast to the longstanding Christian understanding of unity of non-material soul/spirit and material body making up the whole person. I did not attend that talk but offer a recent paper by Dr. George which covers the same ground as backdrop to this post.

The reason for the discussion of Gnosticism related to an earlier point in that same blog referencing the opinion of Dr. Paul McHugh, retired psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University, who has over the past few years published comments arguing that gender dysphoria is a result of disordered thinking, that is, a mental disorder, requiring treatment, not surgery to complete a gender transition. Dr. McHugh has made much of the fact that Johns Hopkins, despite being an early leader in gender transition surgery, decided very early on that gender transition surgery was not sufficiently efficacious and discontinued the practice.

What a difference a year can make. Johns Hopkins has recently decided to resume what they are calling gender-affirming surgery and specifically point out that when “individuals associated with Johns Hopkins exercise the right of expression, they do not speak on behalf of the institution.”

Johns Hopkins is not alone.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

A review of Table 19: Reinforcing the dominant cultural narrative that all unintended pregnancies are wonderful and wanted

A friend and I recently watched the movie Table 19 because we were looking for a
fun comedy. Unfortunately, the movie was neither fun nor funny. Indeed, the
movie did not deliver on a number of fronts, which is why I do not recommend
it. I want to focus on a specific plot line that this movie employed—one that
is common in movies and books—and that I find problematic. In case you are
interested in watching this movie despite my warnings, there are spoilers
ahead.

The basic plot is that Eloise McGarry, played by Anna
Kendrick, ends up sitting at the table of “rejects” at a wedding. She was
originally the maid of honor to the bride, but she and the bride’s brother,
Teddy, broke up after two years of dating and she was consequently demoted from
the bridesmaids’ table to the “loser” table, Table 19. As the movie progresses,
we find out that the reason Eloise and Teddy broke up is because of an argument
surrounding an unintended pregnancy. Eloise was upset with Teddy when she told
him she was pregnant because he did not immediately respond positively.
Instead, he asked her what she wanted to do about the pregnancy. His lack of
enthusiasm enraged her and she told him that they would be ridiculous parents,
which angered him, causing him to break up with her via text message. Because
this is a typical Hollywood movie, it has a happy ending with Eloise and Teddy
getting back together and happily welcoming their baby into the world.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

A review of Table 19: Reinforcing the dominant cultural narrative that all unintended pregnancies are wonderful and wanted

A friend and I recently watched the movie Table 19 because we were looking for a
fun comedy. Unfortunately, the movie was neither fun nor funny. Indeed, the
movie did not deliver on a number of fronts, which is why I do not recommend
it. I want to focus on a specific plot line that this movie employed—one that
is common in movies and books—and that I find problematic. In case you are
interested in watching this movie despite my warnings, there are spoilers
ahead.

The basic plot is that Eloise McGarry, played by Anna
Kendrick, ends up sitting at the table of “rejects” at a wedding. She was
originally the maid of honor to the bride, but she and the bride’s brother,
Teddy, broke up after two years of dating and she was consequently demoted from
the bridesmaids’ table to the “loser” table, Table 19. As the movie progresses,
we find out that the reason Eloise and Teddy broke up is because of an argument
surrounding an unintended pregnancy. Eloise was upset with Teddy when she told
him she was pregnant because he did not immediately respond positively.
Instead, he asked her what she wanted to do about the pregnancy. His lack of
enthusiasm enraged her and she told him that they would be ridiculous parents,
which angered him, causing him to break up with her via text message. Because
this is a typical Hollywood movie, it has a happy ending with Eloise and Teddy
getting back together and happily welcoming their baby into the world.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Social Media Helps Officials Spot Public Health Threats — But Only for the Rich?

Think of the last time you had food poisoning. Did you tweet about it? Did you Google your symptoms? Or did you write an angry review on Yelp?

Source: Bioethics Bulletin by the Berman Institute of Bioethics.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.