Saatchi Bill – a brush with autonomy

This debate pulls me in two directions. I know that the Medical Innovation Bill, which proposes that,   It is not negligent for a doctor to depart from the existing range of accepted medical treatments for a condition […] if the decision to do so is taken responsibly.   makes little sense in terms of... Continue Reading →

Interactive Ward Ethics 4 – Independent

Here is the fourth Interactive Ward Ethics exercise – this one is called ‘Independent’. In it you will decide, for Nina, how to manage a patient with a very low blood pressure. The delicate issue here is when to escalate, or ask for help, and the consequences that I have focussed on relate not to the patient’s... Continue Reading →

Imagining Ebola: fear and duty

Some weeks ago I had reason to reflect on the professional obligation of doctors to treat and touch patients with possible Ebola virus infection. A man came in with a fever and diarrhoea, having returned just the day before from Africa. The scenario rang alarm bells, but the country from which he had travelled was... Continue Reading →

First hurdle: thoughts on new resuscitation guidelines

A new BMA/RCN/RC resuscitation guideline was published this week (accessible here, link at bottom of press release). It incorporates the recent Janet Tracey judgment, in which a person's (human) right to be involved in their own resuscitation decision was affirmed. Deprivation of this right by doctors acting unilaterally and without appropriate discussion is now illegal. The guideline anticipates the situation... Continue Reading →

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