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Medical Society

Medical Society:
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick (OE) on medical ethics

On the 2th December 2009 the Medical Society welcomed Dr Michael Fitzpatrick to talk. As an OE, graduate of Natural Sciences from Cambridge and a recently graduated Doctor from Barts, he gave a very interactive and thought provoking talk on “Medical Ethics: Making good decisions”.
Starting his talk with the Hippocratic oath and the 4 modern principles, Dr Fitzpatrick spoke about the guidelines that doctors have and their responsibilities to their patients. The talk moved on to the first case study, that of ‘Ashley X’, a 6yr old disabled child. Giving recap of the procedures Ashley X underwent, Dr Fitzpatrick opened the discussion to the audience and asked what people’s views were on the ethics of such operations on a small child. Following on from some interesting questions, more details were given about the treatment and the case was put back to the audience.
After an interesting discussion on Ashley X, Dr Fitzpatrick talked about doctors with ethically questionable approaches, including: Dr Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s personal physician who prescribed any drug that was asked for; Dr Jack Kevorkion, who performed a televised euthanasia; Dr Harold Shipman, thought to have murdered between 216-260 patients;
Dr Edward Erin, who aborted his lover’s child by crushing abortion pills in her coffee.

Dr Micheal Fitzpatrick used many different case studies such as Mr H and the Herceptin drug costs to provoke the audience into thinking about ethics and concluded his talk with the well known medical issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
After his talk the audience had a multitude of questions and these sparked more questions as we delved deeper into the murky waters of medical ethics.

Alex Hampson (RPDF)

DATE POSTED: 02 December 2009

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