Regulating 'Quack' Medicine and Decision-Making for Children Re-Visited
Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 2016; 13(4):467-471
Posted: 10 Sep 2018
Date Written: September 3, 2018
We live in a world where we are finding it increasingly difficult to accept that we cannot cure every disease, and death itself represents the last great frontier to be if not defeated, at least controlled. When we place this alongside the increasing pace of technological advancement and the broad perception that new and innovative equates with better, we find fertile ground for the development of “quack” medicine which promises hope when there simply is none. It was this precise environment that gave rise to the circumstances around the death of Sheila Drysdale following unproven stem cell treatment for advanced dementia. At this point the only legal discussion around her death are the findings of Coroners’ Court of New South Wales, delivered on 15th July 2016 (Inquest into the death of Sheila Drysdale, 2013/383970, 15/07/2016). This decision is worth considering as it raises significant questions that must be addressed if the law is to continue to protect vulnerable patients. It is also safe to say that this decision represents the first stage of a much broader dialogue that will lead to further clarity in the law.
Keywords: Innovative treatment, Consent, Vulnerable patients, Best interests, Quality of life
JEL Classification: K00, K30, K32, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation