Announcements Open Letter: Stop the war on Syria’s hospitals


Through the courtesy of Dr. Helga Kuhse, Editor, we are receiving Monash Bioethics Review in exchange for our own journal. Dr. Kuhse is Australia’s first research fellow in bioethics and serves The Centre for Human Bioethics at Monash University, Victoria as Director. She is also the joint editor of the British journal Bioethics and the author of several books on the subject, the most recent of which is Willing to listen – wanting to die (Melbourne: Penguin Books, 1994).

Through the courtesy of Dr. Margaret Somerville, Gale Professor of Law, Director, McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, Montreal, Canada, we have received several reprints and photocopies of key papers on medical ethics. They are particularly valuable as her Centre has just recovered from a disastrous fire that destroyed not only the premises but also most of its books, papers and manuscripts.

We especially call attention to the following:

  1. Somerville M: Doctors, ethics and ‘dropping dead’. The Dean’s Lecture. University of Sydney, 1990. (She provides a necessarily brief answer to the question, ‘What is ethics?’. The settion on euthanasia will interest many.)
  2. Somerville M: ‘The song of death: the lyrics of euthanasia’. The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy 1993;9: 1-76. (The reprint contains corrections and changes not present in the original printed version. The text is based on a series of lectures on medical decisions at the end of life.)
  3. Somerville M: ‘Death talk’ in Canada: Rodriguez case. McGill Law Journal 1994;39:602-617. (Continuing the euthanasia debate, Dr. Somerville emphasises basic principles that should guide us and ends up asking whether legalising euthanasia will help or hinder our respect for people as persons.)
  4. Somerville M: The right to health: a human rights perspective. In: Mann J, Dupuy C (Eds.). SIDA, Sante et Droits de L ‘Homme: AIDS, health and human rights. Veyrier du Lac, France: Fondation Marcel Merieux Institut des Sciences du Vivant, 1993;75-90.
  5. Somerville M: The case against HIV antibody testing of refugees and immigrants. Canadian Medical Association Journal 1989;141:669-894.
  6. Gilmore N, Somerville M: Physicians, ethics and AIDS. Ottawa: Canadian Medical Association, 1989; l-35.
  7. Glen PH, Gilmore N, Somerville M, Morisette Y-M: HIV infection, AIDS and privacy. Montreal: McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, 1990; 1-93.
  8. Gilmore N et al: HIV/AIDS in prisons. Final report of the expert committee on AIDS and prisons. Ottawa: Correctional Service of Canada, 1994; 1-144.
  9. Gilmore N et al: HIV/AIDS in prisons. Summary report and recommendations of the expert committee on AIDS and prisons. Ottawa: Correctional Service of Canada, 1994; l-44.
  10. Chateauvert M, Gilmore N et al: Counselling guidelines for Human Immunodeficiency Virus serology testing.Ottawa: Canadian Medical Association, 1993;1-15.
  11. Silvis J, Hendriks A, Gilmore N: Drug use and human rights in Europe. Utrecht: Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology and Montreal: McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, 1992; l-233.
  12. Gilmore N, Somerville M: Stigmatisation, scapegoating and discrimination in sexually transmitted diseases: overcoming ‘them and us’. Social Science and Medicine 1994;39:1339-1358.
  13. Gilmore N, Somerville M: Health care professionals responding to AIDS: ethics, law and human rights. In: Ross M, Bennett L, Miller D (Eds.) Health workers and AIDS: research, intervention and current issues in burnout and response. London, Harwood Academic Publishers, 1994; l-36.

Through the courtesy of Dr. George J. Agich, Professor of Medical Humanities and Psychiatry and Director, Medical Ethics Program, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Illinois, we have received several reprints and details of curricular programs offered by this department. We especially call attention to the following:

  1. Agich GJ, Youngner SJ: For experts only? Access to hospital ethics committees. Hastings Center Report September- October 1991; 17-25. (This essay asks important questions on the manner in which ethics committees function with special reference to whether patients and families should be permitted free access to them.)
  2. Kottow MH: When consent is unbearable – a case report. Journal of Medical Ethics 1978;4:78-80. (Under certain conditions, a doctor may be justified in withholding information from a patient and making a decision on his behalf without his consent. Dr. Kottow describes an example.)
  3. Kozak S, Nash R, Agich G et al: Resuscitation of patients: one medical center’s new approach. Springfield, Illinois: Memorial Medical Center, 1990;41-61.
  4. Agich GJ: Rationing and professional autonomy. Law, Medicine & Health Care 1990; 16:77-84. (Dr. Agich asks whether it is ethical for a doctor to ration medical care on the grounds of professional autonomy. He quotes as example Harvey Cushing’s refusal during World War I to do more than two operations a day, despite the needs of so many other wounded, in order to ensure a high standard of care.)
  5. Agich GJ: Symposium on ethics and biomedical research. Research in Philosophy & Technology 1980;3:39-75. (The symposium features the following papers:
    1. Agich GJ: Biomedical research, policy and philosophy
    2. Benson RE: Technological innovation and health policy planning.
    3. Thomasma DC: Cultural issues in medical research.)
  6. Frank S, Agich GJ: Nontherapeutic research on subjects unable to grant consent. Clinical Research 1985;33:459-464. (This essay was awarded the Nellie Westerman Prize for research in ethics. Principles discussed include i) research must in-volve no more than minimal risk to the patient, ii) the waiver or alteration will not adversely affect the rights and welfare of the patient, iii) the research could not practicably be carried out without the waiver or alteration and, iv) whenever appropriate, the patients will be provided with additional pertinent information after participation.)
  7. Agich GJ: Medicine as business and profession. Theoretical Medicine 1990; 11:3 1 l-324. (‘I have argued that medicine is a business. Doing so does not involve rejecting professional ethics but it does involve questioning the philosophical foundation and practical implications of claiming a special moral status for medicine.’)
  8. Louis S, Agich GJ: Language and the physician’s art. Changes in the meaning of the term ‘physician’.JAMA 1979;242:2580-2582. (‘Perhaps of most importance is the recognition by physicians… of the subtle erosion of the traditional understanding of the physician that occurs when agencies of government are permitted or even encouraged to impose concepts and definitions on practicing physi-cians…’)
  9. Agich GJ: Justice and genetic engi-neering. In: Lamb D, Davies T, Roberts M (Eds.) Explorations in medicine Volume 1. Aldershot: Avebury, 1987;22-3.
  10. Agich GJ: Human experimentation and clinical consent. In: Monagle JF, Thomasma DC (Eds.) Medical ethics. A guide for health professionals. Rockville, Maryland:Aspen 1988;127-139.
  11. Agich GJ: Ethical and philosophical consideration of the milieu of delivering health care. In: Kirsner B (Ed.) Geriatrics: VA challenge of the 80’s Proceedings. Washington: Northeast Regional Medical Education Center 1979; l-128. (This is an excellent essay true to its title. Whilst it takes off from a geriatric platform, it will interest all physicians.)
  12. Agich GJ: The concept of responsibility in medicine. In: Agich GJ (Ed.) Responsibility in health care. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Company 1982;53-73
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