Blog Review: Medical Ethics Blog


The blog reviewed here is the ‘Medical Ethics Blog‘. The blog is about medical ethics as the name suggests and is written by Stuart Laidlaw, a journalist at the Toronto Star (to which the blog is affiliated) and book author.

Appearance and Design

The title pane contains references to the Star and links to other sites on the Star’s website. The blog has a central white pane with cyan panes on the left and right hand side. The articles are written on the right-hand 2/3’s of the central pane and are displayed with black text on a white background. On the left hand side of the central pane, there are numerous links including articles archived by month, links to other relevant sites and article categories.


The blog starts with the first article listed under May 6th 2008. In this article, he looks at Medical Tourism, a theme which is developed through the blog. In this article, he looks at Wal-Mart’s move into healthcare. This article looks at medical blogs and this one at reporting on drug trials. The interaction between religious beliefs and refusal of treatment is discussed in this article. This article looks at a considered amendment to a UK government bill to enable tissue to be removed from people lacking capacity to be used in research and the story continues to covered in this article,  this article and this article. The ethics of genetic testing for children are covered in an article in which a company makes claims about prediction. This article looks at american Senator Charles Grassley’s investigation into Pharma ghostwriting and states that company executives thought up titles for articles and then employed ghostwriters to draft the articles. I found this article on a fake submission to an online journal quite interesting as the issue of trust between authors and editors appears. This very issue of trust is surely interesting from a sociological perspective as it shows the type of  ‘relationship’ issues that influence science away from the theory and must be factored into a ‘comprehensive’ model of science. I was also quite interested to see a debate generated across the newspapers (?news sphere) in Canada about these issues in a similar way to the debates that are generated across the blogosphere. There is a discussion here of whether academic fraud should be criminalised. Laidlaw also looks at the Canadian Journal of Medicine’s decision to make reporting of conflicts of interest for authors more stringent.


I was impressed by Laidlaw’s willingness to tackle very controversial areas. Laidlaw presents difficult issues that are in need of wider debate and I sensed that the blog has gathered momentum in terms of the rate at which articles are produced as well as the nature of the issues that are discussed. There are also a number of articles discussing issues relevant to psychiatry.


You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link


You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast).


If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail


The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog


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