Ted Shotter's founding of the London Medical Group 50 years ago in 1963 had several far reaching implications for medical ethics, as other papers in this issue indicate. Most significant for the joint authors of this short paper was his founding of the quarterly Journal of Medical Ethics in 1975, with Alastair Campbell as its first editor-in-chief. In 1980 Raanan Gillon began his 20-year editorship . Gillon was succeeded in 2001 by Julian Savulescu, followed by John Harris and Soren Holm (...) in 2004, with Julian Savulescu starting his second and current term in 2011. In 2000 an additional special edition of the JME, Medical Humanities , was published, under the founding joint editorship of Martyn Evans and David Greaves. In 2003 Jane Macnaughton succeeded David Greaves as joint editor. Deborah Kirklin, under whose auspices MH became an independent journal, took over in 2008, and she was succeeded in 2013 by Sue Eckstein. This short paper offers reminiscences and reflections from the two journals’ various editors.From the start the JME was committed to clearly expressed reasoned discussion of ethical issues arising from or related to medical practice and research. In particular, both Edward Shotter and Alastair Campbell, each a cleric , were at pains to make clear that the JME was not a religious journal and that it had no sort of partisan axe to grind.Campbell's appointment as founding editor was something of a surprise, as the original intention had been to appoint a medical doctor, who could be expected to know medical practice from the inside. However, in 1972 Campbell, a Joint Secretary of the Edinburgh Medical Group, had published Moral dilemmas in medicine. …. (shrink)
Doctors may be thrust into the difficult situation of treating friends and colleagues. A doctor's response to this situation is strongly influenced by his or her emotions and by medical tradition. Such patients may be treated as 'special cases' but the 'special' treatment can backfire and lead to an adverse outcome. Why does this happen and can doctors avoid it happening? These issues are discussed in this commentary on Dr. Crisci's paper, 'The ultimate curse.'.
There is widespread acceptance in medical humanities circles that reading is good for doctors and that, in medical educational terms, it is particularly good at making better doctors by widening perspective and developing the sensibilities. Recent recommendations on medical education in the UK have allowed medical students to take courses in literature as a component of their degrees, and some have suggested that this option should be compulsory for all doctors. It is possible, however, that in our eagerness to assert (...) the primacy of a literary education for personal development, we can ignore other routes to enlightened, sensitive doctoring. This paper appraises the instrumental role of a literary education for doctors through an analysis of Ian McEwan’s novel Saturday, which deals with the dramatic events in the day in the life of a neurosurgeon. (shrink)
There is now a context for teaching humanities in undergraduate medical education via special study modules (SSMs). This paper discusses the instrumental and non-instrumental role of the humanities in the education of doctors. Three courses are then described and compared. The most successful of the three is a SSM which had the following characteristics: it was voluntary, it was an integral part of the curriculum, and it was examinable.
Judgement is traditionally seen as applicable in two spheres of human endeavour: the theoretical (or the sphere in which we consider both what must be the case and what is likely to be the case) and the practical (or the sphere in which we consider what we ought to do, either because it is in our interests or becausemorality requires it). Now insofar as we are speaking of 'judgement' two conceptual assumptions are being made. Firstly, we are assuming that there (...) are imponderables and complexity, and secondly, despite the imponderables and complexity, that there is still room for the exercise of reason. Granted this view ofjudgement we can state our two main theses. Firstly, we shall argue that, despite the pressures of market forces, employee needs, and shareholder interests, there is still room in business practice for judgements so understood. Secondly, we shall argue that these judgements need not inevitably be directed down thesingle track of the financial interests of the company and its shareholders. The second thesis can be understood as a moral thesis in either of two ways. Either it can be seen as the thesis that companies have broad social responsibilities extending well beyond the immediate interests of the company, or as the thesisthat companies share the social interests of the communities to which they belong; they are citizens writ large, to gloss Plato. (shrink)
Iain McGilchrist, The master and his emissary: the divided brain and the making of the Western world (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010) Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 119-124 DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9235-x Authors Rupert Read, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 1.