Medical ethics in Israel—bridging religious and secular values

The Lancet, May 2017, 2584-2586
Authors: Alan B Jotkowitz, Riad Agbaria, Shimon M Glick
“Peter Berger, a sociologist of religion, once stated that “the theme of individual autonomy is perhaps the most important theme in the worldview of modernity”. Although modern bioethics was relatively late in accepting the value of personal autonomy in medical decision making, this autonomy is now universally recognised as the core value of western medical ethics. Principilism, as proposed by Beauchamp and Childress, lists autonomy along with beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice as the four cardinal principles of bioethics.”
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Doctors lack training in medical ethics: DAK

Brighterkashmir, 20 June 2017
Source: Brighter Kashmir
“Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said that doctors in Kashmir lack training in medical ethics. Describing it as an essential component of patient care, President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that doctors are not taught medical ethics during their training. Medical ethics are moral principles in the practice of medicine to which a physician has an obligation. But this need is often not met.”
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Legislature passes bill to rein in drug company perks for doctors

Press Herald, 20 June 2017
Author: Joe Lawlor
“A bill that would curtail gifts, speaking and consulting fees and expensive food flowing from pharmaceutical companies to doctors has passed the Legislature and awaits the signature of Gov. Paul LePage. the goal of the bill is to ensure doctors do not have conflicting interests when prescribing drugs – especially opioids – since Maine is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Maine had 376 drug overdose deaths in 2016 – an average of about one per day – an all-time high and 40 percent higher than in 2015.”
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China vows to clamp down on academic fraud amid medical journal scandal

BMJ 2017; 357: j2970
Author: Jane Parry
“China’s Ministry of Science and Technology has said that it is investigating the case of 107 papers from China retracted by the journal Tumor Biology in April this year and that it has “zero tolerance” for academic fraud. The papers were retracted after the journal’s publisher, Springer, conducted a manual screening that showed that the authors had submitted papers with fake email addresses for reviewers.”
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Not Just About Consent: The Ethical Dimensions of Research Methodology Knowledge in IRBs

JME Blog, 15 June 2017
Author: Sarah Wieten
“The recent article, “Some Social Scientists Are Tired of Asking for Permission” in the New York Times inspired a great deal of debate about the role of institutional research ethics board (IRB) oversight in social science, which some argue is in most cases unlikely to involve significant harm to participants.”
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Medics as force multipliers around Mosul—at the expense of medical ethics?

The BMJ Opinion, 14 June 2017
Author: Jonathan Whittall
“But there is also a vital role for independent civilian health providers, such as MSF, to operate in accordance with the basic principles of impartiality and medical ethics. Independent health facilities allow patients who do not feel safe going to military installations to still access care, whereas the marriage between medicine and the military limits the safe options available to patients. If healthcare is only carried out as a component of the overall military strategy, it undermines the very basis of medical ethics.”
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New Frontiers in End-of-Life Ethics (and Policy): Scope, Advance Directives and Conscientious Objection

Bioethics, 31(6) 2017, 422-423
Author: Udo Schuklenk
“However, it would be premature to conclude that all arguments are settled now, if not in politics and law, and that, certainly in ethics, nothing much original could be added to the existing corpus of critical analysis and argument. In fact jurisdictions considering the decriminalization of medical aid in dying are grappling today with three issues that deserve further analysis.”
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What’s the Point of Professional Ethical Codes?

JME Blog, 13 June 2017
Author: Iain Brassington
“They can’t be meant as a particularly useful tool for solving deep moral dilemmas: they’re much too blunt for that, often presuppose too much, and tend to bend to suit the law. To think that because the relevant professional code enjoins x it follows that x is permissible or right smacks of a simple appeal to authority, and this flies in the face of what it is to be a moral agent in the first place. But what a professional code of ethics may do is to provide a certain kind of Bolamesque legal defence: if your having done ? attracts a claim that it’s negligent or unreasonable or something like that, being able to point out that your professional body endorses ?-ing will help you out. But professional ethics, and what counts as professional discipline, stretches way beyond that.”
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Ethics involved in life support decisions remain matter of debate

The Globe and Mail, 15 June 2017
Author: Wency Leung
“When doctors aren’t able to have end-of-life discussions with patients themselves, they often have to approach the delicate subject with the patient’s caregiver or family members. From a doctor’s perspective, these discussions typically involve presenting the evidence of what is known about the situation, what the likely outcomes may be, given that evidence, and most importantly, understanding the patient – what their values are, their expectations and ideology. To make a choice about whether to proceed with aggressive treatment, families should be informed about what those treatments are, the possible risks and benefits and what the ultimate outcomes are.”
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Development of a consensus operational definition of child assent for research

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:41
Authors: Alan R Tait, Michael E Geisser
“While research participation for most children requires the permission of parent(s)/guardian(s), the bioethical principle of “respect for persons” requires that children also provide their assent to participate to the degree that they are deemed “capable of providing it,” taking into account the child’s “age, maturity, and psychological state”. While this regulatory framework is designed to allow children to express their burgeoning autonomy, foster moral growth, and develop decision-making skills, it provides absolutely no practical guidance with respect to what actually constitutes assent and which children are capable of providing it.”
Find article here.