A libertarian case for mandatory vaccination

Journal of Medical Ethics 2018;44:37-43.
Author: J Brennan
“This paper argues that mandatory, government-enforced vaccination can be justified even within a libertarian political framework. If so, this implies that the case for mandatory vaccination is very strong indeed as it can be justified even within a framework that, at first glance, loads the philosophical dice against that conclusion. I argue that people who refuse vaccinations violate the ‘clean hands principle’, a (in this case, enforceable) moral principle that prohibits people from participating in the collective imposition of unjust harm or risk of harm.”
Find article here.

Karimi v Medical Council of New South Wales

Decision date: 20 December 2017
“OCCUPATIONS – medical practitioners – suspension of registration under s 150 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law – external appeal under s 159 – nature of external appeal – allegations of professional misconduct, illegal prescribing, dispensing and storing of medication, inappropriate clinical record keeping, doctoring certificate and practising whilst unregistered – whether it is appropriate to terminate, vary or confirm period of suspension – period of suspension confirmed.”
Find decision here.

The UK Mental Capacity Act and consent to research participation: asking the right question

Journal of Medical Ethics 2018;44:44-46.
Author: P Willner
“This paper considers the meaning of the term ‘intrusive research’, as used in the UK Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA), in relation to studies in which an informant is asked to provide information about or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity to consent, and who is not otherwise involved in the study. The MCA defines ‘intrusive research’ as research that would legally require consent if it involved people with capacity. The relevant ethical principles are that consent should be sought from people who would be affected by a piece of research and that this requirement should be implemented proportionately.”
Find article here.

Navigating individual and collective interests in medical ethics

Journal of Medical Ethics 2018;44:1-2.
Author: J Pugh
“In medical ethics, we are often concerned with questions that pertain predominantly to the treatment of a particular individual. However, in a number of cases it is crucial to broaden the scope of our moral inquiry beyond consideration of the individual alone, since the interests of the individual can come into conflict with the interests of the wider community.”
Find article here.

HCCC v Sundarajah [2017] NSWCATOD 182

Decision date: 22 December 2017
“PROFESSIONS AND TRADES — health practitioner — whether contravention of a condition of a health practitioner’s registration amounts to professional misconduct. PROFESSIONS AND TRADES — health practitioner — whether practitioner has an impairment — whether practitioner is not competent to practise.”
Find decision here.

The Ebola clinical trials: a precedent for research ethics in disasters

Journal of Medical Ethics 2018;44:3-8.
Author: P Calain
“The West African Ebola epidemic has set in motion a collective endeavour to conduct accelerated clinical trials, testing unproven but potentially lifesaving interventions in the course of a major public health crisis. This unprecedented effort was supported by the recommendations of an ad hoc ethics panel convened in August 2014 by the WHO. By considering why and on what conditions the exceptional circumstances of the Ebola epidemic justified the use of unproven interventions, the panel’s recommendations have challenged conventional thinking about therapeutic development and clinical research ethics.”
Find article here.