Comments on the Lambert case: the rulings of the French Conseil d’Etat and the European Court of Human Rights

Med Health Care and Philos (2017) 20:187
Author: Denard Veshi
“This study examines the decisions of the French Conseil d’Etat (Supreme Administrative Court) and the European Court of Human Rights in the Lambert case concerning the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments. After presenting the facts of this case, the main legal question will be analyzed from an ethical and medical standpoint. The decisions of the Conseil d’Etat and then of the European Court of Human Rights are studied from a comparative legal perspective. This commentary focuses on the autonomous will of an unconscious patient and on the judicial interpretation of the right to life as recognized in article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Furthermore, it medically classifies artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) as a ‘treatment’ which has ethical and legal implications.”
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Many older people in care die prematurely, and not from natural causes

The Conversation, 29 May 2017
Author: Joseph Ibrah
“Investigations into deaths of individual residents by the Coroners Court and the recent inquiry into Oakden care facility in South Australia show vulnerable older people in care have been subjected to undue suffering and harm. The Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt has also commissioned an independent review into aged care processes.”
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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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Debate Reponse: Charlie Gard, Interests and Justice – an alternative view

JME Blog, 26 April 2017
Author: Dominic Wilkinson
“The sad and difficult case of Charlie Gard, which featured in the media last week, is the latest in a series of High Court and Family court cases when parents and doctors have disagreed about medical treatment for a child. Doctors regard the treatment as “futile” or “potentially inappropriate”. Parents, in contrast, want treatment to continue, perhaps in the hope that the child’s condition will improve. In the Charlie Gard case, the judge, Justice Francis, rejected Charlie’s parents’ request for him to travel to the US for an experimental medical treatment. He ruled that life-sustaining treatment could be withdrawn, and Charlie allowed to die.”
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Debate: The Fiction of an Interest in Death? Justice for Charlie Gard

JME Blog, 26 April 2017
Author: Julian Savulescu
“A judge ruled last week that baby Charlie Gard will have his treatment withdrawn, against the wishes of his parents. His doctors argued that the rare mitochondrial disease (MDDS) he was born with was causing him unbearable suffering. His parents had raised funds to take him to the US for experimental treatment and they wanted the chance to try the treatment. His doctors argued that such treatment could only prolong his suffering. It was their belief that it was in his best interests for treatment to be withdrawn, and for his life to end, a belief which the trial judge endorsed.”
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Euthanasia debate: is there such a thing as “good” suicide?

MJA, 24 April 2017
Author: Nicole Mackee
“Continuing debate about euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) in Australia and around the world needs to take heed of the evidence around the use of these interventions, and the role that psychological distress plays in patients looking to these options, a leading US bioethicist says. For example, in the Netherlands, where euthanasia and PAS have been permitted and not prosecuted since the 1980s, and legal since 2002, dying patients only requested euthanasia in about 6.7% of all deaths. Only 45% of those requests were granted.”
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GSK must pay $3 million in generic Paxil suicide lawsuit: U.S. jury

Reuters, 20 April 2017
Authors: Nate Raymond, Barbara Grzincic
“GlaxoSmithKline(GSK.L) must pay $3 million to a woman who sued the drug company over the death of her husband, a lawyer who committed suicide after taking a generic version of the antidepressant Paxil, a U.S. jury said on Thursday. A federal judge allowed the victim’s wife to proceed against GSK because it controlled the drug’s design and label, which applied to both the brand-name and generic versions of the drug.”
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Assisted Dying & Disability

Bioethics. 2017, doi:10.1111/bioe.12353
Author: Riddle, C. A.
“This article explores at least two dominant critiques of assisted dying from a disability rights perspective. In spite of these critiques, I conclude that assisted dying ought to be permissible. I arrive at the conclusion that if we respect and value people with disabilities, we ought to permit assisted dying.”
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