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Author Archive: Blog Editor

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Jump to The Resident (Seasons 2; Episode 20): Maternal mortality in black women; Jump to New Amsterdam (Season 1; Episode 18): Gestational surrogacy

The Resident (Season 2; Episode 20): Maternal mortality in black women

A young black family is in the OB ward for a C-section to deliver their second baby. The OB displays overt racism when he asks Pravesh, “What country are you from”? Pravesh responds, “New Jersey.” Post-surgery the mother has pain and some blood in her urine output. The OB ignores her. The ward is stretched and understaffed. The patient worsens. Only when Pravesh returns and herurine is mostly blood is she taken to the OR where the trauma team comes in after finding that she has bled most of her blood volume into her abdomen.…

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Editorials appear in cooperation with the American Journal of Bioethics. This article and its associated pieces can be found here.

by Jerry Menikoff

How can we appropriately ensure that people who enroll in clinical research understand what they are getting into? The recent revisions to the primary set of U.S. regulations for protecting research subjects (the Common Rule) attempt to better achieve that goal by, in part, providing more useful information to prospective subjects. In this issue of AJOB, Stephanie Morain and her colleagues address another important aspect of informed consent to research: Who should be obtaining consent? They note that although a variety of ethical guidelines warn against having physician-investigators obtain consent from someone who is already their own patient, U.S.…

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Editorials appear in cooperation with the American Journal of Bioethics. This article and its associated pieces can be found here.

by Jonathan D. Moreno

Let me address the “editorial” aspect of this editorial right away: I wholly agree with the principle that lies behind Mark Kuczewski’s admirable article. I take that principle to be that when clinical ethics issues affect undocumented patients, fostering efficient routine care in the setting of “new immigration-related stressors” is “to be resolved by finding creative means of instancing the values of care, efficiency, and public health.”

In Kuczewski’s article, the clinical ethicist is a kind of mediator and moral conscience.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Exploring the bioethical issues in medical dramas

Jump to New Amsterdam (Season 1; Episode 17): Crisis standards of care and decision-making; Jump to Station 19 (Season 2; Episode 13): POLST, DNR, and battery

New Amsterdam: (Season 1; Episode 17): Crisis standards of care and decision-making

In the midst of a storm isolating the hospital, without power or blood, Sharpe tells Max he has to decide which patients they will save. He wants to save everyone, but Sharpe explains, “Your job is no longer to save everyone; it’s to try to minimize the damage.” They have to decide who to save, who to give the few resources remaining.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Jump to The Resident (Season 2; Episode 18): Durable Power of Attorney; Lying; Jump to The Resident (Season 2; Episode 19): Death and “Doing too much; Jump to Chicago Med (Season 4; Episode 17): Personal feelings; Jump to Chicago Med (Season 4; Episode 18): Abortion with a minor; leaving a surgery

The Resident (Season 2; Episode 18): Durable Power of Attorney; Lying

An 18-year-old female Olympic-hopeful has shortness of breath and calf pain. Alex and Conrad are jointly treating her. She needs to be on a blood thinner but that means she has to stop training for several months.…

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by Brian H. Childs, Ph.D., HEC-C

Paul D. Simmons died on March 17, 2019 at the age of 82. Simmons was a leading figure within the religious/theological ethics community and was a major influence in bioethics and medical education. Dr. Simmons was a courageous prophet within the Southern Baptist tradition and, as with many prophets, was not appreciated and was in fact banished by Southern Baptist leadership.

Simmons was born in Troy, Tennessee and was a star athlete and valedictorian of his high school class. He went on to Union College earning a degree in English and later attended Southeastern Seminary at Wake Forest where he earned the M.Div.…

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The following editorial is from the March 2019 issue of the American Journal of Bioethics.

by William H. Colby, JD

On March 9, 1988, we started trial on Nancy Cruzan’s case in the three-story limestone courthouse on the town square in Carthage, Missouri. One of the many issues we’d end up talking about in the days and months of legal proceedings that followed was withholding versus withdrawing a feeding tube, and how those two acts should present the same legal and ethical challenge. We cited pages 75–77 of the President’s Commission Report titled “Deciding to Forego Life-Sustaining Treatment,” which the government had published 5 years earlier.…

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by Leslie Francis, Ph.D., JD

Dr. Anita Silvers, 1940-2019, died on March 14, 2019, aged 78. She is survived by her brother, Dr. David Silvers, his family, and many friends, collaborators, colleagues, students, and others whose lives she touched and inspired.

Anita Silvers shaped the field of philosophy substantively, institutionally, and ethically. She received her B.A. in philosophy from Sarah Lawrence College in 1962 and her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1967; in addition, she studied at London University in 1965. Upon completing her Ph.D., she was advised by her mentors that it would be prudent to apply for positions in philosophy where in-person interviews were not standard, because of her visible disabilities from childhood polio.…

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by Amal W. Cheema, Karen M. Meagher & Richard R. Sharp

Through special arrangement with Taylor & Francis, AJOB posts its editorials on This essay and the articles it references are also available on the publisher website.

Increasing the visibility of marginalized voices is fundamental to bioethics. Toward this end, various feminist and critical-race theories have provided insights into the experience of disability and illness. Yet as individual frameworks, each of these theoretical vantage points can fall short in capturing lived experiences shaped by multiple marginalizations. The rise of intersectionality as a theoretical framework should prompt bioethicists to consider what an intersectional bioethics might look like and what value such an approach might provide.…

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by Bandy X. Lee

Is Donald Trump capable of protecting the interests of the United States?  Is he capable of keeping the country safe without placing it in further danger?  Is he capable of discharging the duties of his office?  These are not comfortable questions to ask, but they are the most fundamental, and a growing number of mental health professionals and non-professionals are asking them.  Just as signs of likely criminal involvement have led to investigations through the Special Prosecutor’s office, signs of likely mental incapacity should lead to a proper examination by mental health experts.

Yet even the scant results of Mr.…

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