Parents’ role as medical decision-makers is sometimes questioned when they don’t choose the recommended treatment for their child.
It is ethical for doctors to accept a treatment option parents want – providing it is good enough – rather than insisting on what they believe is the best possible treatment for the child.
Until 2013, laws in every Australian state and territory allowed people to be forced to have psychiatric treatment even if they competently refused it.
Until 2013, Australian state and territory laws allowed forcing people into psychiatric treatment if it was thought necessary to protect them from serious harm – even if they competently refused it.
Bone-marrow transplants to treat leukaemia are one of the miniscule number of stem-cell treatments that have a strong evidence base.
Australians clinics are offering stem-cell-based anti-ageing and cosmetic therapies that have not been clinically tested. Here's what we need to do to ensure consumers don't get ripped off, or worse.
Will China be the first to genetically enhance future generations?
Regulations, funding and public opinion around genetically enhancing future generations vary from country to country. Here's why China may be poised to be the pioneer.
Kidneys for donation are in short supply, via Shutterstock.
A shortage of organs for donation has led some to ask: would establishing a market help? That, however, raises another question: would it also harm?
Who’s in charge once your biological material is out of your body?
Next-generation genomic research depends on study participants sharing their biological materials with scientists. But concerns over how that information is protected may hold some people back.
Protests are continuing at Oxford over a statue of Cecil Rhodes.
John Stillwell/PA Wire
If it's ok to use research carried out in unethical experiments – as long as we acknowledge they were wrong – is it ok to keep a statue of an infamous imperialist?
Do parents know enough about clinical trials to give informed consent?
Sick child image via www.shutterstock.com.
The dramatic improvements in survival for children with cancer depend on clinical trials, and these trials depend on parents understanding the possible risks and benefits involved.
Protesters outside Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Hospital show their support for the doctors refusing to release baby Asha until she has somewhere safe to go.
Doctors at Brisbane's Lady Cilento Children's Hospital are refusing to release a 12-month-old asylum seeker, highlighting a murky intersection of politics, ethics and law.
Thalidomide was used by the pregnant women – the population that turned out to be most vulnerable to its risks.
Thalidomide's manufacturer, Chemie Grünenthal, marketed the drug as safe for pregnant women despite reports it was causing malformations in newborns. Why such blatant denial?
Broadcaster Andrew Denton, speaking on Q&A, said the 550 babies claim was incorrect.
Broadcaster Andrew Denton, an advocate for assisted dying law, told the Q&A audience it was not correct to say 550 newborn babies were killed last year under Dutch euthanasia laws. Is that right?
The idea of ‘family balancing’ is based on the belief that children come in two genders that have essentially different traits.
The risk of harm in sex selection stems from the fact that parents don't desire any child, they want a child of a particular sex, who is to remain within the limits of binary gender roles.
Participating in a HIV cure trial offers few benefits for the individual but many for the community.
A recent survey of people living with HIV in the United Kingdom found that over half would participate in a clinical study to develop a cure for HIV despite this posing a risk to their health.
It’s the exceptional cases you hear about.
Studies have found that doctors often overestimate survival in terminally ill patients, not the other way round.
It’s time to go beyond improving the mechanisms for implementing existing laws.
Australia’s organ donation levels are low by international standards. At least twenty countries achieve better donation rates than Australia's 16.1 donors per million population (DPM).
Where did I leave my skull cap?
Research into how feelings and opinions can be shaped using technology or drugs could impact the whole of society not just the individuals concerned.
How can doctors manage drug shortages ethically?
IV via drpnncpptak/Shutterstock
Four years ago, just before Christmas, my hospital ran out of cytarabine, an essential drug used to treat and cure certain kinds of acute leukemia. This drug was suddenly in short supply across the nation…
How much risk can health workers be asked to take on?
Taking care of sick people has always involved personal risk. From plague to tuberculosis to smallpox to SARS, health-care workers have put themselves in danger in the course of fulfilling their duties…
The current outbreak of Ebola is the worst in history. Almost 2,000 people have been infected and around 1,000 people have died. The outbreak seems to have originated in Guinea and has now spread to Sierra…
Different code for military medics?
Imperial War Museum
A century ago the world went to war. When the conflagration finally ended 10m soldiers lay dead. Among the fallen were 18 medical doctors who had trained at St George’s Hospital and countless more from…