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  Subjects -> PHILOSOPHY (Total: 762 journals)
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Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.149
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1923-2799
Published by Université de Montréal Homepage  [2 journals]
  • Operationalizing Equity in Surgical Prioritization

    • Authors: Kayla Wiebe, Simon Kelley, Annie Fecteau, Mark Levine, Iram Blajchman, Randi Zlotnik Shaul, Roxanne Kirsch
      Pages: 11 - 19
      Abstract: The allocation of critical care resources and triaging patients garnered a great deal of attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is a paucity of guidance regarding the ethical aspects of resource allocation and patient prioritization in ‘normal’ circumstances for Canadian healthcare systems. One context where allocation and prioritization decisions are required are surgical waitlists, which have been globally exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we detail the process used to develop an ethics framework to support prioritization for elective surgery at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, a tertiary pediatric hospital. Our goal was to provide guidance for the more value-laden aspects of prioritization, particularly when clinical urgency alone is insufficient to dictate priority. With this goal in mind, we worked to capture familial, relational, and equity considerations. As part of our institution’s concerted efforts to ethically and effectively address our surgical backlog, an ethics working group was formed comprising clinicians from surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, a hospital bioethicist, a parent advisor, and an academic bioethics researcher. A reflective equilibrium process was used to develop an ethics framework. To this end, the same methodology was used to create a support for patient prioritization that identifies clinically and morally relevant factors for prioritization among medically similar surgical cases, with a substantive goal being to identify and redress health inequities in surgical prioritization, inasmuch as this is possible. While further steps are needed to validate several aspects of the framework, our research suggests that an ethics framework grounded in the practical realities of hospital operations provides consistency, transparency, and needed support for decisions that are often left to individual clinicians, as well as an opportunity to reflect upon the presence of health inequities in all domains of healthcare delivery.
      PubDate: 2023-06-27
      DOI: 10.7202/1101124ar
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2023)
  • Recent Canadian Negligence Decisions Relating to Prenatal Care:
           Implications for Physicians’ Screening Practices

    • Authors: Blake Murdoch
      Pages: 133 - 135
      Abstract: This article summarizes several Canadian court decisions from 2015 onward stemming from wrongful birth and wrongful life litigation. Plaintiff success often turns on whether causation is established, on a balance of probabilities, between a physician’s breach of standard of care and the harm to the parents and/or the child later born. Physicians’ failure to offer or order screening or diagnostic tests has been a source of wrongful birth liability, as too can be failure to ensure patient understanding of results. Physicians should ensure that they recommend diagnostic testing when presented with concerning clinical indications in accordance with professional practice guidance. Given non-invasive prenatal screening’s (NIPS) advantages and the threat of wrongful birth liability for failure to discuss this procedure, it is likely to be propelled into an ever more prominent position as a first-choice offering for aneuploidy screening. Appropriately cautious physician behaviour involves discussing and offering NIPS, and also involves ensuring that results are understood. This can reduce physician liability, improve patient reproductive autonomy, and sometimes benefit patient health by preventing or lessening trauma that informed women may opt to mitigate when granted the opportunity.
      PubDate: 2023-06-27
      DOI: 10.7202/1101134ar
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2023)
  • “Home to Fail” Discharges: A Question of Motivation

    • Authors: Christinia Landry
      Pages: 136 - 139
      Abstract: Sending patients “home to fail” while anticipating their speedy readmittance is, prima facie, ethically troubling as are all unsafe discharges. However, “home to fail” cases may also be covertly ethically troubling insofar as they raise questions of medical paternalism due to a motivational component which drives these types of cases: by discharging a patient “home to fail” she will come to appreciate that living at home is unsafe and thus unwise, prompting her to choose differently in the future.
      PubDate: 2023-06-27
      DOI: 10.7202/1101135ar
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2023)
  • Kevorkian’s Legacy

    • Authors: Michael Gordon
      Pages: 143 - 148
      Abstract: This history of the modern introduction of assisted suicide in North America follow a tortuous course, with complete rejection of the idea, to implementation in many of its jurisdictions. North America was not a leader in this approach to end-of-life care, with the Netherlands and Belgium playing that role. Tracing the path from a felonious and ethically anathematic place in North American society it was resurrected into a legally and ethically acceptable practice over a period of two decades. The historical course of PAS (Physician Assisted Suicide) and MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying) in many ways mimicked the evolution of other major changes in our view of the world, and like assisted suicide, experienced almost universal rejection and ultimately the embrace of those people and institutions that initially rejected the ideas first expressed by thoughtful and heroic persons. Galileo Galilei was one of the icons of science and discovery: he was almost burned at the stake during the Inquisition only to be “resurrected” to his place in the pantheon of great thinkers – but it took almost four hundred years to reach that pinnacle. We must be very careful how we interpret new ideas and thoughts about the process we apply and the consequences if we reject them.
      PubDate: 2023-06-27
      DOI: 10.7202/1101137ar
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2023)
  • Medicine and the Humanities

    • Authors: Michael Gordon
      Pages: 149 - 151
      Abstract: In the earliest writing of stories, physicians and illnesses often played an important role. Some of the renowned scholars in the Jewish tradition, like Moses Maimonides was a philosopher, a prolific writer, and a physician. A few of the world-famous authors include: François Rabelais (1483-1553), Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), Oliver Sacks (1933-2015) and the contemporary Abraham Verghese (1955-), to name just a few. The connection between medicine and the humanities appears to have diminished in some domains due partially to the focus on the scientific advances in medicine and the diminished focus on the humanities, especially in higher education. This I suggest, is a problem for medicine.
      PubDate: 2023-06-27
      DOI: 10.7202/1101138ar
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2023)
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