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Ethics briefings
  1. Rebecca Mussell,
  2. Natalie Michaux,
  3. Molly Gray
  1. Nuffield Council on Bioethics, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Rebecca Mussell, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, London, UK; rmussell{at}

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What’s on the horizon?

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCOB) is delighted to pick up the mantel of the Ethics briefings. For readers less familiar with the NCOB’s work, we are a leading independent policy and research centre, and the foremost bioethics body in the UK. We identify, analyse and advise on ethical issues in biomedicine and health so that decisions in these areas benefit people and society.1

Established in 1991, the NCOB has tackled a wide range of bioethics and medical ethics issues over its thirty-two years, including issues relating to the beginning and end of life, health and society, data and technology, and research ethics. Early reports in the 1990s included, for example, ‘Genetics screening: the ethical issues’ and ‘Animal-to-human transplants: the ethics of Xenotransplantation’. More recent projects include setting out an ethical framework in the report ‘The future of ageing: ethical considerations for research and innovation’2 and a current joint project with the Ada Lovelace Institute3 considering the potential ethical implications of the convergence of AI and genomics technologies.4

In recent years, NCOB has increasingly focused on horizon scanning. What current and future national and international developments are likely to raise ethical issues in the short, medium and long-term? Insights for 2023 will soon be available at, with new developments likely to be included alongside ongoing areas of medical and scientific research that we are tracking progress in, for example, in vitro derived gametes, surrogacy, biosafety and novel neurotechnologies.

Disagreements in the care of critically ill children

Disagreements between parents and healthcare teams about …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.