Let us talk about eggs! Professional resistance to elective egg vitrification and gendered medical paternalism

Med Health Care and Philos (2017), p1-13
Authors: Judit Sándor, Lilla Vicsek, Zsófia Bauer
“In this paper, by applying a feminist bioethical perspective, we identify a new form of medical paternalism that still shapes contemporary legal policies on human egg cryopreservation performed without medical reasons. The fear of negligent, careless women who opt to delay their pregnancy for mere convenience is a widely known gender biased stereotype. Nevertheless, the opinions and judgments of medical professionals on this issue have not yet been sufficiently explored by in-depth research. In this essay, therefore, first we look at the broader bioethical, legal, and social aspects of human egg cryopreservation. In the second part of the paper we discuss a unique qualitative study conducted with professionals working at Hungarian IVF clinics.”
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Ethics of patient activation: exploring its relation to personal responsibility, autonomy and health disparities

Journal of Medical Ethics 2017; 43: 670-675.
Authors: Sophia H Gibert, David DeGrazia, Marion Danis
“Discussions of patient-centred care and patient autonomy in bioethics have tended to focus on the decision-making context and the process of obtaining informed consent, leaving open the question of how patients ought to be counselled in the daily maintenance of their health and management of chronic disease. Patient activation is an increasingly prominent counselling approach and measurement tool that aims to improve patients’ confidence and skills in managing their own health conditions. The strategy, which has received little conceptual or ethical analysis, raises important questions about how clinicians ought to foster confidence and a sense of control in their patients without exposing them to blame, stigma and other harms. In this paper, we describe patient activation, discuss its relationship to personal responsibility, autonomy and health disparities, and make recommendations regarding its use and measurement.”
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Why health services research needs bioethics

Journal of Medical Ethics 2017; 43: 655-656.
Author: Lucy Frith
“Health services research brings together a wide variety of disciplines and would seem ideally placed to include ethics. However, if you search health services research journals and conference programmes there is very little consideration of ethics as a substantive topic and often scant attention paid to the ethical issues that might be raised by an intervention or policy. Ethics and ethical issues are generally confined to discussions over priority setting, and occasionally health technology assessment, with other areas of health service research seldom engaging in ethical debate.”
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The case for an Indigenous Bioethics

Global Bioethics Blog, 25 June 2017
Author: Stuart Rennie
“Indigenous communities in the Americas experience a disproportionate incidence of illness and disease compared to the general population. They also possess sophisticated ethical traditions which diverge and not infrequently conflict with Western-oriented bioethics. This culture gap between patient, provider and ethicist is no small public health concern—it can foster feelings of alienation and distrust which compromise the relationship between those in need of care and those able to offer it. Research ethicists have already made considerable efforts to bring sensitivity for aboriginal cultural mores into their discipline, but bioethicists have been slower out of the gate.”
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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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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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On classifying the field of medical ethics

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:30
Authors: Kristine Bærøe, Jonathan Ives, Martine de Vries, Jan Schildmann
“In 2014, the editorial board of BMC Medical Ethics came together to devise sections for the journal that would (a) give structure to the journal (b) help ensure that authors’ research is matched to the most appropriate editors and (c) help readers to find the research most relevant to them. The editorial board decided to take a practical approach to devising sections that dealt with the challenges of content management. After that, we started thinking more theoretically about how one could go about classifying the field of medical ethics. This editorial elaborates and reflects on the practical approach that we took at the journal, then considers an alternative theoretically derived approach, and reflects on the possibilities, challenges and value of classifying the field more broadly.”
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The Deadly Business of an Unregulated Global Stem Cell Market

BMJ Blog, 30 March 2017
Authors: Tereza Hendl, Tamra Lysaght
“In our paper, we report on the case of a 75-year old Australian woman who died in December 2013 from complications of an autologous stem cell procedure. This case was tragic and worth reporting to the medical ethics community because her death was entirely avoidable and the result of a pernicious global problem – doctors exploiting regulatory systems in order to sell unproven and unjustified stem cell interventions.”
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Aid-in-Dying Laws and the Physician’s Duty to Inform

JME Blog, 22 March 2017
Author: Mara Buchbinder
“Why do so many people assume that any clinical communication about aid-in-dying (AID, also known as assisted suicide), where it is legal, ought to be patient-initiated? Physician participants in my ongoing study tend to assume that physicians should wait for patients to initiate discussions of AID. The clinical ethics literature on communication about AID has reinforced this expectation by focusing on how to respond to patient requests. Consequently, bioethics has largely remained silent on whether there is a professional duty to inform terminally ill patients about AID laws and their clinical and legal requirements.”
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