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  1. Balancing Patient and Societal Interests in Decisions About Potentially Life-Sustaining Treatment: An Australian Policy Analysis.Eliana Close, Ben P. White & Lindy Willmott - 2020 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 17 (3):407-421.
    BackgroundThis paper investigates the content of Australian policies that address withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment to analyse the guidance they provide to doctors about the allocation of resources.MethodsAll publicly available non-institutional policies on withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment were identified, including codes of conduct and government and professional organization guidelines. The policies that referred to resource allocation were isolated and analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. Eight Australian policies addressed both withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment and resource allocation.ResultsFour resource-related themes were (...)
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  • The Concise Argument.Lucy Frith - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (1):1-2.
    This post-holiday edition of the JME brings together a number of papers, covering a range of methodologies, surveys on public opinion, the application of developmental neuroscience, comparative risk/benefit questionnaires, scoping reviews and analysis of guidance and health policy, alongside what might be seen as more traditional medical ethics, analysing concepts and advancing arguments. This range of methodologies is suggestive of the kind of discipline that bioethics has become, and how a wealth of disciplinary and methodological perspectives is needed to address (...)
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  • How to Get Your Article Published as a JME Feature Article and Why They Matter for the Field.Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (12):755-756.
    I published my first article in the Journal of Medical Ethics back in 2007 as an newly minted PhD. It was a proud moment. I respected the JME as a journal where I had read some of the most tightly argued and challenging essays in the literature. They inspired me to specialise in medical ethics and rethink some of my fundamental positions on various topics. This has been the case since, and I am proud now to join the editorial team (...)
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  • Relationships Help Make Life Worth Living.Aaron Wightman, Benjamin S. Wilfond, Douglas Diekema, Erin Paquette & Seema Shah - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (1):22-23.
    Decisions regarding life-sustaining medical treatments for young children with profound disabilities can be extremely challenging for families and clinicians. In this study, Brick and colleagues1 surveyed adult residents of the UK about their attitudes regarding withdrawal of treatment using a series of vignettes of infants with varying levels of intellectual and physical disability, based on real and hypothetical cases.1 This is an interesting study on an important topic. We first highlight the limitations of using these survey data to inform public (...)
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  • Public Views About Quality of Life and Treatment Withdrawal in Infants: Limitations and Directions for Future Research.Ryan H. Nelson - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (1):20-21.
    Work done within the realm of what is sometimes called ‘descriptive ethics’ brings two questions readily to mind: How can empirical findings, in general, inform normative debates? and How can these empirical findings, in particular, inform the normative debate at hand? Brick et al 1 confront these questions in their novel investigation of public views about lives worth living and the permissibility of withdrawing life-sustaining treatment from critically ill infants. Mindful of the is-ought gap, the authors suggest modestly that their (...)
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  • Is ‘Best Interests’ the Right Standard in Cases Like That of Charlie Gard?Robert D. Truog - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (1):16-17.
    Savulescu and colleagues have provided interesting insights into how the UK public view the ‘best interests’ of children like Charlie Gard. But is best interests the right standard for evaluating these types of cases? In the USA, both clinical decisions and legal judgments tend to follow the ‘harm principle’, which holds that parental choices for their children should prevail unless their decisions subject the child to avoidable harm. The case of Charlie Gard, and others like it, show how the USA (...)
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  • The Relational Threshold: A Life That is Valued, or a Life of Value?Dominic Wilkinson, Claudia Brick, Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (1):24-25.
    The four thoughtful commentaries on our feature article draw out interesting empirical and normative questions. The aim of our study was to examine the views of a sample of the general public about a set of cases of disputed treatment for severely impaired infants.1 We compared those views with legal determinations that treatment was or was not in the infants’ best interests, and with some published ethical frameworks for decisions. We deliberately did not draw explicit ethical conclusions from our survey (...)
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