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Ethics of limb disposal: Dignity and the medical waste stockpiling scandal
Institute of Allied Health Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom.
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, The Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. IMPROVE (Improvement, innovation, and leadership in health and welfare). Department of Adult Nursing, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8781-6675
2019 (English)In: Journal of Medical Ethics, ISSN 0306-6800, E-ISSN 1473-4257, Vol. 45, no 9, p. 575-578Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We draw on the concept of dignity to consider the ethics of the disposal of amputated limbs. The ethics of the management and disposal of human tissue has been subject to greater scrutiny and discussion in recent years, although the disposal of the limbs often remains absent from such discourses. In light of the recent UK controversy regarding failures in the medical waste disposal and the stockpiling of waste (including body parts), the appropriate handling of human tissue has been subject to further scrutiny. Although this scandal has evoked concern regarding procurement and supply chain issues, as well as possible health and safety risks from such a stockpile', the dignity of those patients' implicated in this controversy has been less widely discussed. Drawing at Foster's (2014) work, we argue that a dignity framework provides a useful lens to frame consideration of the disposal of limbs after amputation. Such a framework may be difficult to reconcile with the logic of business and the biovalue' of the medical waste, but would we argue afford more patient-centred approaches towards disposal. It may also facilitate better practices to help mitigate future stockpiling incidences. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, 2019. Vol. 45, no 9, p. 575-578
Keywords [en]
business, human dignity, human tissue, quality of health care, adult, amputation, article, drawing, drug safety, ethics, health care quality, human, incidence, limb, logic, waste disposal
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy Medical Ethics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-47054DOI: 10.1136/medethics-2019-105554ISI: 000487540700002PubMedID: 31358558Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85070833063Local ID: HOA HHJ 2019;HHJIMPROVEISOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-47054DiVA, id: diva2:1377108
Available from: 2019-12-11 Created: 2019-12-11 Last updated: 2019-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Robert, Glenn

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