Xavier Symons

Xavier Symons is a Masters student in philosophy at Sydney University and has a keen interest in bioethics. Aside from his studies he enjoys playing guitar and reading American literature. He has contributed to a number of online publications, in addition to his work with BioEdge.

Xavier Symons | 1 Aug 2014 |
tags: climate change, existential risk, geoengineering
In a recent Practical Ethics post, Oxford bioethicist Julian Savulescu defended the notion of geoengineering, suggesting that it could be the only way to combat climate change.

Xavier Symons | 1 Aug 2014 |
tags: Facebook, informed consent, research ethics
After the flurry of criticism for the now infamous Facebook ‘social contagion’ study, bioethicists are defending its authors.

Xavier Symons | 1 Aug 2014 |
tags: abortion, healthcare, negligence
An Indian woman has lost her baby after doctors accidentally administered an abortifacient.

Xavier Symons | 1 Aug 2014 |
tags: clinical trials, compassionate use
When should pharmaceutical companies grant compassionate use of experimental treatments? How readily available should the drugs be? A PBS news segment considers these issues.

Xavier Symons | 25 Jul 2014 |
tags: clinical practice, professional standards
An ongoing debate amongst physicians has broken into academic discourse – should doctors dress formally for clinical practice?

Xavier Symons | 25 Jul 2014 |
tags: death penalty
Another botched execution in the USA has reignited debate over the death penalty.

Xavier Symons | 25 Jul 2014 |
tags: euthanasia, Philip Nitschke, professional misconduct
Australian euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke has been suspended from the medical register as an investigation continues into his involvement in the death of a 45 year old Australian man.

Xavier Symons | 18 Jul 2014 |
tags: informed consent
In a recent Hastings Centre Report article, bioethicist Barbara A. Koenig argues stridently against traditional informed consent models for genetic testing. Koenig believes that the ‘full disclosure’ model of informed consent is impracticable

Xavier Symons | 18 Jul 2014 |
tags: clinical ethics, clinical trials, stem cells
A Portuguese stem-cell trial gone wrong has resulted in a woman developing a nasal growth on her back.

Xavier Symons | 18 Jul 2014 |
tags: anthrax, public health
A prestigious international group of scientists has called for a limit on the creation of potential pandemic pathogens (PPPs).

Xavier Symons | 18 Jul 2014 |
tags: ivf, sex selection
Thailand has become a top tourist destination for women seeking gender-selective IVF. The country is one of just three that permit gender selection – the other two are the US and South Africa – and it offers the most affordable procedures.

Xavier Symons | 12 Jul 2014 |
tags: assisted suicide, UK
Criticism of Lord Falconer’s assisted suicide bill is mounting as the proposed legislation returns to the House of Lords. Public figures are arguing that it would put elderly citizens at risk and may escalate to a Netherlands-style euthanasia epidemic.

Xavier Symons | 12 Jul 2014 |
tags: informed consent, sterilization
A new article in the Journal of Medical Ethics suggests that medical authorities lessen informed consent requirements for perinatal sterilisation.

Xavier Symons | 12 Jul 2014 |
tags: assisted suicide, Phillip Nitschke
Pro-euthanasia campaigner Phillip Nitschke is being investigated for his involvement in the death of 45 year old West Australian man. The Medical Board of Australia is concerned that Nitschke advised Mr. Nigel Brayley to commit suicide without first suggesting formal psychiatric assessment.

Xavier Symons | 27 Jun 2014 |
tags: assisted suicide, human rights, UK
Britain’s Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by campaigners to have assisted suicide pronounced a human right. The appeal was made by the family of Tony Nicklinson, an assisted suicide advocate who died in 2013.

Xavier Symons | 27 Jun 2014 |
tags: forced organ harvesting, Kosovo, organ trafficking
An EU investigation into organ trafficking in Albania is said to have found no evidence linking the Kosovo Liberation Army to forced organ harvesting.

Xavier Symons | 27 Jun 2014 |
tags: egg freezing, IVF, mitochondrial replacement, preimplantation genetic diagnosis
In a recent interview with the Independent Robert Winston warned of deception in the IVF market. Fertility companies, he believes, are exaggerating the effectiveness and safety of new techniques.

Xavier Symons | 27 Jun 2014 |
tags: conflict of interest, doctor-patient relationship, professional ethics
A new survey of North Carolina doctors has found that many are concerned about the increasing number of requests they are receiving to assess their patients' competency to carry concealed weapons. In particular, a majority of physicians who responded to the survey said they were worried about the potential ethical consequences in the doctor-patient relationship if they participated in the concealed-weapon permit process.

Xavier Symons | 20 Jun 2014 |
tags: moral bioenhancement, moral psychology
A new article in Bioethics criticises the moral bioenhancement debate as misguided and framed on gratuitous assumptions. The authors – Inmaculada de Melo-Martin (Cornell) and Arleen Sales (St John’s University) – argue that the impact of pharmacological interventions on moral behavior is unclear and further that bioenhancement is incapable of solving what seem to be massive structural problems (climate change, global poverty, and so forth).

Xavier Symons | 20 Jun 2014 |
tags: force-feeding, hunger strike, Israel
The Israel Medical Association has announced its opposition to new bill that would legalize the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners. The bill, currently before the Knesset, has been drafted in response the widespread hunger strikes of Palestinian administrative prisoners. The chairman of the medical association said the bill violated the principle of non-malificence. Another member said that the bill would degrade prisoners to a status below other animals.

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