A subject plays a computer game as part of a neural security experiment at the University of Washington.
BCI devices that read minds and act on intentions can change lives for the better. But they could also be put to nefarious use in the not-too-distant future. Now's the time to think about risks.
When resources are scarce, deciding who should be front of the queue for the flu vaccine is an ethical minefield.
Australia needs to think about who gets the flu vaccine first before the next pandemic strikes and supplies run low.
Information doctors find out about you online may affect your treatment. But not all of it is accurate or relevant.
When we think about Google and health, we usually think about patients searching online for health information. But you may be surprised to hear that doctors Google you.
Among doctors, there seems to be broad consensus about the relevance of double effect in end-of-life care.
Euthanasia and palliative sedation are categorically distinct, so the notion that we can use the latter to achieve the former is untenable.
A discipline neither good nor evil.
Saturday Evening Post/Harris A. Ewing
Maybe you think neuroscience has a peaceable history of benign efforts to improve lives and enhance human capacities. But its origins and development tell a different story – with ethical implications.
For some medical students, learning on simulated patients isn’t enough.
Medical students are practising invasive techniques on themselves and fellow students, a new study shows. But aside from obvious safety concerns, is there anything wrong with self-practice?
Cryonics has gone from the world of sci-fi movies to the law courts for the family of one 14-year-old girl.
A UK court has allowed a 14-year-old girl's body to be frozen until doctors find a cure for the cancer that killed her. Is this latest example of cryogenics hope, hype or hell?
Would you want to be operated on by a surgeon whose only anatomy training was using virtual reality?
Medical students are using virtual reality to help them learn anatomy. But is it the game changing technology some people say it is?
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.