Inside the Ethics Committee is a BBC Radio 4 programme. They describe it like this: Joan Bakewell is joined by a panel of experts to wrestle with the ethics arising from a real-life medical case....
Inside the Ethics Committee is a BBC Radio 4 programme. They describe it like this:
Joan Bakewell is joined by a panel of experts to wrestle with the ethics arising from a real-life medical case.
Each episode is chaired by Bakewell, with a range of different experts (who all sit on hospital ethics committees), talking about the ethical difficulties faced by healthcare professionals (and the organisations they work for) in different real life cases.
Some of it hasn't aged very well - there's an episode about HIV testing an unconscious patient after a needle-stick injury. With advances in treatment and reductions in stigma I think would have made it a very different programme today.
But most of it is pretty good, and explains in detail how some decisions are made.
For example: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0643x61
Ashley is 14 years old when doctors discover a brain tumour. Tests reveal that it's highly treatable; there's a 95% chance of cure if he has a course of radiotherapy.
Ashley begins the treatment but he has to wear a mask which makes him very anxious and the radiotherapy itself makes him sick. He finds it increasingly difficult to bear and he starts to miss his sessions.
Despite patchy treatment Ashley's cancer goes into remission. He and his mother are thrilled but a routine follow-up scan a few months later shows that the cancer has returned.
Ashley is adamant that he will not have the chemotherapy that is recommended this time. He threatens that he will run away if treatment is forced on him. Although Ashley is only 15 he is 6'2" and restraining him would not be easy.
Should the medical team and his mother persuade him to have the chemotherapy? Or should they accept his decision, even though he is only 15?