The Ethics Blog

A blog from the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB)

Tag: patient-doctor relationship (Page 1 of 3)

Clinical cancer trials convey a culture of hope

Activities that we may want to keep apart often overlap. An example is cancer research and care. Clinical cancer centers often conduct research and recruit patients as research participants. Such research is important if we want to offer future patients better cancer treatments. However, does this also apply to patients participating in studies? Are they […]

How about personally optimized treatment?

It is well known that patients who are asked to participate in cancer trials are tempted by the therapeutic misconception. They believe they are offered a newer and better treatment, when in fact it is about research into an untested treatment. When researchers use genetic tests to develop personalized oncology, even more misconceptions can arise. […]

On “truly” understanding the risk

It is a well-known psychological fact that people have great difficulties to understand probabilistic risks. What does it actually mean that the risk of developing breast cancer the next ten years is fifteen percent? In addition to the difficulties of understanding probabilities, mathematical expressions can cause a false appearance of exactitude and objectivity. It is […]

Patients find misleading information on the internet

In phase 1 clinical studies of substances that might possibly be used to treat cancer in the future, cancer patients are recruited as research participants. These patients almost always have advanced cancer that no longer responds to the standard treatment. That research participation would affect the cancer is unlikely. The purpose of a phase 1 […]

Ethical competence for the decision not to resuscitate

Sometimes, physicians have to decide that a cancer patient has such a poor prognosis that he or she should not be resuscitated through cardiopulmonary rescue, if discovered with cardiac arrest. The procedure is violent and would in these cases cause unnecessary suffering. The situation is stressful for the healthcare team no matter which decision is […]

Inequalities in healthcare – from denial to greater awareness

Swedish law prescribes healthcare on equal terms for the whole population. Complying with this law is more difficult than one might believe, since discrimination tends to happen unknowingly, under our own radar. Telephone nursing has been thought to increase equality in healthcare, because it is so easily accessible. However, research has demonstrated inequalities in telephone […]

Hoping when there is no hope

Patients participating in phase I oncology trials have terminal cancer and are near the end of life. Participating in research cannot cure them or even extend their lives. Not only because they have terminal cancer, but also because in phase I trials one tests the safety profile of the treatment, not effectiveness against cancer. Nevertheless, […]

Beyond awareness: the need for a more comprehensive ethics of disorders of consciousness

Disorders of consciousness like coma, unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, and what is known as minimally conscious state, are among the most challenging issues in current ethical debates. Ethical analyses of these states usually focus on the ‘residual’ awareness that these patients might still have. Such awareness is taken to have bearing on other factors that are […]

Communicating risk in human terms

The concept of risk used in genetics is a technical term. For the specialist, risk is the probability of an undesired event, for example, that an individual develops some form of cancer. Risk is usually stated as a percentage. It is well known that patients have difficulties to access the probability notion of risk. What […]

Nudging people in the right direction

Behavioral scientist study how environments can be designed so that people are pushed towards better decisions. By placing the vegetables first at the buffet, people may choose more vegetables than they would otherwise do. They choose themselves, but the environment is designed to support the “right” choice. Nudging people to behave more rationally may, of […]

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