225 research outputs found

    Childhood tetanus in Australia: ethical issues for a should-be-forgotten preventable disease

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    The document attached has been archived with permission from the editor of the Medical Journal of Australia. An external link to the publisher’s copy is included.Refusal of a parent to have a child vaccinated against tetanus raised ethical issues for the treating clinicians. The clinicians felt their duty to the child was compromised, but recognised that our society leaves the authority for such decisions with the parents. As there was no reason, other than different beliefs about vaccination, to doubt the parent's care for the child, the clinicians limited their response to providing strong recommendations in favour of vaccination. Other issues raised by this case include community protection, and the costs to the community of treating a vaccine-preventable disease.Paul N Goldwater, Annette J Braunack-Mayer, Richard G Power, Paul H Henning, Mike S Gold, Terence G Donald, Jon N Jureidini and Christine F Finla

    Need for enforcement of ethicolegal education – an analysis of the survey of postgraduate clinical trainees

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    BACKGROUND: The number of medical lawsuits in Japan was between 14 and 21 each year before 1998, but increased to 24 to 35 per year after 1999. There were 210 lawsuits during this 10-year period. There is a need for skills and knowledge related to ethics, which is as fundamental to the practice of medicine as basic sciences or clinical skills. in Japan education in ethics is relatively rare and its importance is not yet recognized. Establishing ethics education using legal precedents, which has already been achieved in Western countries, will be a very important issue in Japan. In the present study, a questionnaire survey was conducted among graduate intern doctors, in order to investigate whether ethics education using precedents might have a positive effect in Japan. METHODS: In 2002, a questionnaire survey entitled Physicians' Clinical Ethics was carried out in a compulsory orientation lecture given to trainees before they started clinical practice in our hospital. The attendees at this lecture were trainees who came from colleges in various districts of Japan. During the lecture, 102 questionnaires were distributed, completed by attendees and collected. The recovery rate was 100%. The questionnaire consisted of 22 questions (in three categories), of which 20 were answered by multiple choices, and the other two were answered by description. The time required to complete the questionnaire was about 10 minutes. RESULTS: The recovered questionnaires were analyzed using statistical analysis software (SPSS for Windows, Release 10.07J-1/June/2000), in addition to simple statistical analysis. answers using multiple choices for the 20 questions in the questionnaire were input into SPSS. The principal component analysis was performed for each question. As a result, the item that came to the fore was "legal precedent". Since many intern doctors were interested in understanding laws and precedents, learning about ethical considerations through education using precedents might better meet with their needs and interests. CONCLUSION: We applied a new method in which the results of principal component analysis and frequencies of answers to other questions were combined. From this we deduced that the precedent education used in Western countries was useful to help doctors acquire ethical sensitivity and was not against their will. A relationship was found between reading precedents and the influence of lawsuits, and it was thought that student participation-type precedent education would be useful for doctors in order to acquire ethical sensitivity

    A tiered-layered-staged model for informed consent in personal genome testing

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    In recent years, developments in genomics technologies have led to the rise of commercial personal genome testing (PGT): broad genome-wide testing for multiple diseases simultaneously. While some commercial providers require physicians to order a personal genome test, others can be accessed directly. All providers advertise directly to consumers and offer genetic risk information about dozens of diseases in one single purchase. The quantity and the complexity of risk information pose challenges to adequate pre-test and post-test information provision and informed consent. There are currently no guidelines for what should constitute informed consent in PGT or how adequate informed consent can be achieved. In this paper, we propose a tiered-layered-staged model for informed consent. First, the proposed model is tiered as it offers choices between categories of diseases that are associated with distinct ethical, personal or societal issues. Second, the model distinguishes layers of information with a first layer offering minimal, indispensable information that is material to all consumers, and additional layers offering more detailed information made available upon request. Finally, the model stages informed consent as a process by feeding information to consumers in each subsequent stage of the process of undergoing a test, and by accommodating renewed consent for test result updates, resulting from the ongoing development of the science underlying PGT. A tiered-layered-staged model for informed consent with a focus on the consumer perspective can help overcome the ethical problems of information provision and informed consent in direct-to-consumer PGT.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 21 November 2012; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.237

    Reactions to treatment debriefing among the participants of a placebo controlled trial

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    BACKGROUND: A significant proportion of trial participants respond to placebos for a variety of conditions. Despite the common conduct of these trials and the strong emphasis placed on informed consent, very little is known about informing participants about their individual treatment allocation at trial closure. This study aims to address this gap in the literature by exploring treatment beliefs and reactions to feedback about treatment allocation in the participants of a placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial (RCT). METHODS: Survey of trial participants using a semi-structured questionnaire including close and open-ended questions administered as telephone interviews and postal questionnaires. Trial participants were enrolled in a double-blind placebo-controlled RCT evaluating the effectiveness of corticosteroid for heel pain (ISRCTN36539116). The trial had closed and participants remained blind to treatment allocation. We assessed treatment expectations, the percentage of participants who wanted to be informed about their treatment allocation, their ability to guess and reactions to debriefing. RESULTS: Forty-six (73%) contactable participants responded to our survey. Forty-two were eligible (four participants with bilateral disease were excluded as they had received both treatments). Most (79%) participants did not have any expectations prior to receiving treatment, but many 'hoped' that something would help. Reasons for not having high expectations included the experimental nature of their care and possibility that they may get a placebo. Participants were hopeful because their pain was so severe and because they trusted the staff and services. Most (83%) wanted to be informed about their treatment allocation and study results. Over half (55%) said they could not guess which treatment they had been randomized to, and many of those who attempted a guess were incorrect. Reactions to treatment debriefing were generally positive, including in placebo responders. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that most trial participants want to be informed about their treatment allocation and trial results. Further research is required to develop measure of hope and expectancy and to rigorously evaluate the effects of debriefing prospectively

    How do NHS organisations plan research capacity development? Strategies, strengths, and opportunities for improvement

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    Research that is integral into a 'learning healthcare system' can promote cost effective services and knowledge creation. As such, research is defined as a 'core function' in UK health service organisations, and is often planned through research and development (R&D) strategies that aim to promote research activity and research capacity development (RCD). The discussion focuses around the content of ten R&D strategies for healthcare organisations in England and Scotland, with respect to RCD. These organisations were engaged with a research interest network called ACORN (Addressing Organisational Capacity to do Research Network) that included two Scottish Health Boards, four community and mental health trusts, two provincial district hospitals, and two teaching hospitals. We undertook a thematic documentary analysis of the R&D strategies which identified 11 'core activities' of RCD. The potential for building research capacity in these 'core activities' was established by reviewing them through the lens of a RCD framework. Core activities aimed to 'hard wire' RCD into health organisations. They demonstrated a complex interplay between developing a strong internal organisational infrastructure, and supporting individual career planning and skills development, in turn enabled by organisational processes. They also included activities to build stronger inter-organisational relationships and networks. Practitioner, manager and patient involvement was a cross cutting theme. The potential to demonstrate progress was included in plans through monitoring activity across all RCD principles. Strategies were primarily aimed at research production rather than research use. Developing 'actionable dissemination' was poorly addressed in the strategies, and represents an area for improvement. We describe strengths of RCD planning activities, and opportunities for improvement. We explore how national policy and research funders can influence health systems' engagement in research

    Risk communication and informed consent in the medical tourism industry: A thematic content analysis of canadian broker websites

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Medical tourism, thought of as patients seeking non-emergency medical care outside of their home countries, is a growing industry worldwide. Canadians are amongst those engaging in medical tourism, and many are helped in the process of accessing care abroad by medical tourism brokers - agents who specialize in making international medical care arrangements for patients. As a key source of information for these patients, brokers are likely to play an important role in communicating the risks and benefits of undergoing surgery or other procedures abroad to their clientele. This raises important ethical concerns regarding processes such as informed consent and the liability of brokers in the event that complications arise from procedures. The purpose of this article is to examine the language, information, and online marketing of Canadian medical tourism brokers' websites in light of such ethical concerns.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>An exhaustive online search using multiple search engines and keywords was performed to compile a comprehensive directory of English-language Canadian medical tourism brokerage websites. These websites were examined using thematic content analysis, which included identifying informational themes, generating frequency counts of these themes, and comparing trends in these counts to the established literature.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Seventeen websites were identified for inclusion in this study. It was found that Canadian medical tourism broker websites varied widely in scope, content, professionalism and depth of information. Three themes emerged from the thematic content analysis: training and accreditation, risk communication, and business dimensions. Third party accreditation bodies of debatable regulatory value were regularly mentioned on the reviewed websites, and discussion of surgical risk was absent on 47% of the websites reviewed, with limited discussion of risk on the remaining ones. Terminology describing brokers' roles was somewhat inconsistent across the websites. Finally, brokers' roles in follow up care, their prices, and the speed of surgery were the most commonly included business dimensions on the reviewed websites.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Canadian medical tourism brokers currently lack a common standard of care and accreditation, and are widely lacking in providing adequate risk communication for potential medical tourists. This has implications for the informed consent and consequent safety of Canadian medical tourists.</p