Christopher Cowley

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The dominant conception of medical ethics being taught in British and American medical schools is at best pointless and at worst dangerous, or so it will be argued. Although it is laudable that medical schools have now given medical ethics a secure place in the curriculum, they go wrong in treating it like a scientific body of knowledge. Ethics is a unique(More)
There seem to be two clearly-defined camps in the debate over the problem of moral expertise. On the one hand are the "Professionals", who reject the possibility entirely, usually because of the intractable diversity of ethical beliefs. On the other hand are the "Ethicists", who criticise the Professionals for merely stipulating science as the most(More)
Five proposals for admitting better applicants into medical school are discussed in this article: (1) An A level in a humanity or social science would be required, to supplement--not replace--the stringent science requirement. This would ensure that successful candidates would be better "primed" for the medical curriculum. (2) Extra points in the(More)
A lot of medical procedures can be justified in terms of the number of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) they can be expected to generate; that is, the number of extra years that the procedure will provide, with the quality of life during those extra years factored in. QALYs are a crude tool, but good enough for many decisions. Notoriously, however, they(More)
A recent issue of the journal Bioethics discussed whether conscientious objectors within the healthcare context should be required to give their reasons to a specially convened tribunal, who would have the power to reject the objection. This is modeled on the context of military conscription. Advocates for such a tribunal offer two different justifications,(More)
Ronald Dworkin (1993) introduced the example of Margo, who was so severely demented that she could not recognise any family or friends, and could not remember anything of her life. At the same time, however, she seemed full of childish delight. Dworkin also imagines that, before her dementia, Margo signed an advance refusal of life-saving treatment. Now(More)
Most discussions in ethics argue that a certain practice or act is morally justified, with any underlying theory taken as supporting a guide to general action by aiding discovery of the objectively and singularly right thing to do. I suggest that this oversimplifies the agent's own experience of the moral dilemma, and I take the recent English case of Diane(More)
In a recent article, Henri Wijsbek discusses the 1991 Chabot "psychiatric euthanasia" case in the Netherlands, and argues that Chabot was justified in helping his patient to die. Dutch legislation at the time permitted physician assisted suicide when the patient's condition is severe, hopeless, and unbearable. The Dutch Supreme Court agreed with Chabot that(More)
Although some healthcare professionals have the legal right to conscientiously object to authorise or perform certain lawful medical services, they have an associated duty to provide the patient with enough information to seek out another professional willing to authorise or provide the service (the 'duty to refer'). Does the duty to refer morally undermine(More)
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