Esoteric morality refers to the idea that it might sometimes be right to do or recommend privately actions that it would be wrong to advocate openly, if doing so secretly would have better overall consequences. Richard Armitage asks what this might mean
In this provocative essay, Richard Armitage explores what a respect for autonomy requires of GPs, its manifestation as the patient’s ‘right’ not to know, and the problems this raises for contemporary general practice.
David Jeffrey argues that clinical curiosity is an essential part of a doctor’s empathy and clinical decision-making. It promotes reflective practice, critical thinking and stimulates lifelong learning.
Carter Singh argues that accusing striking doctors of causing harm is disingenuous when there are many critical harms that strikes are attempting to address.
So, how can GPs help their patients in facing transformative decisions? The advice, helpfully explained by Richard Armitage, is to reframe the decision-making process with which we approach them.
Variety is a selling point for the profession itself (challenging and interesting) and for the resources needed to do it well (GPs are ‘best’ placed to do many great things but need time and money invested). Andrew Papanikitas introduces this month's Life
Richard Armitage argues that, in three well-defined contexts, clinical decision-making should be delegated to AI systems either today or in the very near future.
GPs allow patients to make harmful choices – thereby affording primacy to autonomy at the expense of beneficence – when that harm accrues only to the individual making such choices. But if your future self is a different person, does that mean
'When reading the spread of articles in this issue it struck me that we need diversity to be better clinicians, colleagues, and citizens.' Andrew Papanikitas reflects this month's Life and Times articles, discussing gender, diversity, narrative and queer bioethics.
It is a brief and easily searchable quick reference. and it covers key ethical tools to think through a case and it covers key aspects of the law as well as a variety of practice specific situations, but has an interesting flaw...
Slight changes in phraseology can dramatically alter the central meaning of a vitally important principle. By “consenting the patient” instead of “seeking meaningful consent,” the right of our patients to be involved in choices about their treatment and care... is exchanged with
In 'Would you kill the fat man?' Edmonds takes a well-known philosophical thought experiment – commonly known as the ‘trolley problem,’ and explores it and its various iterations in a fun, fresh, stimulating read.
Crowdfunding of direct medical costs raises some ethical issues which may legitimately concern health professionals and should concern regulators. Kathryn Millard explores the key issues.
Foell and colleagues argue that assembly-line approaches in manufacturing rely on accurately measuring the time it takes to perform tasks in a digitalised workplace. They juxtapose this with the concept of time as the time it takes in the mystery of General
Richard Armitage highlights a selection of issues in tension with public health and respiratory communicable diseases both pre and post the outbreak of COVID-19.
Assessing the effectiveness of each charitable project and directing financial donations to the one that ranks highest is certainly a task of gargantuan proportions. Richard Armitage explains.
While various definitions of health have been offered over recent centuries, the search for an enduring and completely satisfying definition has proven frustratingly elusive. Richard Armitage wrestles with one of the most recent and promising definitions.
The clocks going back as we descend into winter each year generates an additional hour that we generally choose to spend asleep. A poignant philosophical reflection on time.
You need to keep going, but stray too far to the left and you’ll be over the cliff edge before you know it; go too far to the right and you’ll be bogged down, and who knows what state you’ll be in
Due to the accelerating power of our technological arsenal, and the contrasting stasis of our professional wisdom, the intelligence-wisdom gap is expanding at a blistering pace. With formidable technologies on the scientific horizon – nanotechnology, CRISPR, and general-purpose AI – the necessity
Should healthcare professionals ever strike? For some healthcare professionals, going on strike crosses a professional and moral line. Nada Khan explores the debate.
Richard Armitage suggests it is right for GPs to primarily regard their beneficiaries as ‘agents’ rather than ‘patients’ in the majority of general practice consultations.
Increased dialogue about the unique nuances of physicians adopting the role of ‘patient’ should be supported throughout medical training, argues Isabella de Vere Hunt.
Austin O'Carroll critiques a moralistic definition of suicide that culminates in a unjust hierarchy of worthiness for compassion and support. Seeing beyond intention to the causes of despair may be more helpful
Rebecca te Water Naudé and Peter Young suggest that GPs may have duty to discuss the pros and cons of patients who contemplate crowdfunding for cancer treatment, and outline some of the issues.
Healthcare professionals deploying to and practicing in conflicts and catastrophes can experience a plethora of negative emotions due to perceived or actual transgressions of their core ethical principles. In his final Ukraine report, Richard Armitage gives a powerful personal reflection.
Movies allow health care professionals to immerse themselves in “near-true” experiences that challenge their values and principles. Beatrice Khater and Bassem Saab discuss using The Last King of Scotland in family medicine training at the American University of Beirut
Can a statement be a lie if if its author does not know (or want to know) that they are lying? John Spicer reviews an intriguing little book 'On Bullshit.'
Vasumathy Sivarajasingam argues that improving healthcare for healthcare workers might improve the overall healthcare service as well as the welfare and morale of those who work for it
Stoic philosophy was based on the recognition that we cannot escape what is destined for us. An acceptance of inevitability has a number of implications for working as a GP. Austin O'Carroll wrestles with fate.
Martin Hewett argues that because of their understanding of their “duty of care”, doctors make micro-adjustments to their behaviours and work practices to cope with the increased work. This acceptance of the increased workload has two main effects: it sets a new
When you are with a patient and you get a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, accompanied by a wish that you were somewhere else, then you are probably facing an ethical problem, writes Peter Toon
Peter Toon reflects that removal of mandatory isolation will mean that those who have COVID take on the ethical responsibility for the protection of others. It's complicated...
Koki Kato introduces us to phenomenology as an approach to understanding patient-centred care, using his own illness-experience as a worked example.
Matthew Davis and Ana Worthington argue that the arguments in favour of the recent Assisted Dying Bill at its second reading in the UK House of Lords are based on flawed evidence
Helen Burn explains that because legalised physician-assisted dying would likely involve GPs, GPs should think about their views on the issue.
Felicitas Selter, Kirsten Persson, and Gerald Neitzke discuss the similarities and differences in animal and human euthanasia as a source of moral distress for the practitioner.