A quarter of kidney donors are living: what you need to know to be a donor

The Conversation, 19 June 2017
Author: Holly Hutton
“At any one time, more than 1,400 Australians are on an organ transplant waiting list. The most common organs in demand are kidneys, followed by the liver and lung. While the number of deceased organ donors in Australia has doubled since 2009, rates of live donor transplantation – where a person donates one kidney or, rarely, a portion of their liver – are relatively static. The Australian government gives A$4.1 million to run the Supporting Living Organ Donors program. This scheme includes reimbursing employers for sick leave for those who donate an organ, as well as other initiatives that aim to remove financial barriers to organ donation.”
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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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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.”
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Written versus verbal consent: a qualitative study of stakeholder views of consent procedures used at the time of recruitment into a peripartum trial conducted in an emergency setting

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:36
Authors: J. Lawton, N. Hallowell, C. Snowdon, J. E. Norman, K. Carruthers, F. C. Denison
“Obtaining prospective written consent from women to participate in trials when they are experiencing an obstetric emergency is challenging. Alternative consent pathways, such as gaining verbal consent at enrolment followed, later, by obtaining written consent, have been advocated by some clinicians and bioethicists but have received little empirical attention.”
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Informed consent for the diagnosis of brain death: a conceptual argument

Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2016 11:8
Author: Osamu Muramoto
“This essay provides an ethical and conceptual argument for the use of informed consent prior to the diagnosis of brain death. It is meant to enable the family to make critical end-of-life decisions, particularly withdrawal of life support system and organ donation, before brain death is diagnosed, as opposed to the current practice of making such decisions after the diagnosis of death. The recent tragic case of a 13-year-old brain-dead patient in California who was maintained on a ventilator for over 2 years illustrates how such a consent would have made a crucial difference.”
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Israeli doctors reject force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike

Al Monitor, 10 May 2017
Author: Daoud Kuttab
“Israeli doctors continue to reject attempts by prison authorities to participate in any force-feeding or forced treatment of Palestinian prisoners who are on a hunger strike. The Israeli executive director of Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI), told Al-Monitor that Israeli doctors see any force used in medical treatment as unethical. the Israeli Medical Association (IMA) has, for a number of years, refused to participate in any force-feeding of prisoners. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and The World Medical Association (WMA) also opposes force-feeding.”
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‘I went to the web to find a new kidney’

BBC, 1 May 2017
Author: Lesley Curwen
“A growing number of UK patients have bypassed the traditional NHS system of organ allocation, instead harnessing the power of the internet to find their own. Transplant doctors fear this development could result in an unsavoury competition to attract donors online, in what some have called an “organ beauty pageant”. And they worry that it rips up the traditional health service ethos of equal access to treatment for all.”
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Fertility regulator launches inquiry into ‘cash for eggs’ claims

The Guardian, 2 May 2017
Author: Haroon Siddique
“The fertility regulator has launched an investigation into allegations that IVF clinics are inducing women to donate eggs in return for free or discounted treatment. Women on low incomes who have healthy eggs but cannot get pregnant are being given complimentary treatment or offered a discount if they donate eggs at some clinics, which then resell them for a large profit. Egg sharing, where women receive IVF as a benefit in kind in return for donating eggs, is legal but there are strict rules on the information that should be provided to potential donors and how consent is obtained.”
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Core information sets for informed consent to surgical interventions: baseline information of importance to patients and clinicians

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:29
Authors: Barry G. Main, Angus G. K. McNair, Richard Huxtable, et al
“Consent remains a crucial, yet challenging, cornerstone of clinical practice. The ethical, legal and professional understandings of this construct have evolved away from a doctor-centred act to a patient-centred process that encompasses the patient’s values, beliefs and goals. This alignment of consent with the philosophy of shared decision-making was affirmed in a recent high-profile Supreme Court ruling in England.”
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A doctor’s sexual advances towards a patient are never ok, even if ‘consensual’

The Conversation, 20 April 2017
Author: Ron Paterson
“In a recent independent review, I recommended chaperones no longer be used as an interim protective measure to keep patients safe while allegations of sexual misconduct by a doctor are investigated. The Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA have accepted my recommendations that the current system of using chaperones is outdated and paternalistic. Sadly, cases of sexual misconduct are likely to continue. It’s important patients know the warning signs and where to seek help if they suspect their doctor is behaving inappropriately.”
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