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Author Archive: Blog Editor


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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by Olya Kudina and Lori Bruce                                                      

Online social spaces maintain an increasing presence in our lives. Yearly, people upload around 1.2 trillion photos on social media and share personal stories and milestones through their social networks. It is fair to say that online communications are here to stay. The #10YearChallenge is a recent manifestation of photo-sharing across social networks. The challenge purportedly started as an initiative to post two photos of the same person with ten years’ difference between the images. The challenge proliferated across social networks with people predominantly comparing the way people age, and occasionally wandering toward spin-off challenges such as illustrating environmental degradation over time.…

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

by Thomas H. Murray

At barely 21 years of age, there are already calls for genetic exceptionalism to be retired. A little background on the circumstances of its birth might be helpful.

The labor was prolonged and arduous. It began, I suppose, with the work of the Task Force on Genetic Information and Insurance, an offshoot of the ELSI (Ethical, Legal and Social Implications) Working Group for the Human Genome Project. Our mission was to “anticipate ethical, legal, and social policy issues raised by the impact of genetic information on the public’s access to health care financing, life and disability insurance and to develop suggestions that could be used to forestall potential problems before they occur”.…

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

by Ross E. McKinney

These are trying times in regard to public trust. In an era when the Catholic Church chose to protect pedophilic priests rather than young congregants, many traditionally trusted figures in our society (doctors, presidents, police) have faced increased scrutiny. As DuBois and colleagues demonstrate in their article, there are numerous cases involving physicians where close scrutiny appears to be justified. Physicians are given access to people’s lives and vulnerabilities, and there is an expectation that concomitant with that access the physician will hold their patients’ best interests first.…

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by Dani Shapiro

Two and a half years ago, after whimsically submitting my DNA to Ancestry.com for analysis, I made the discovery that the father who raised me – the long-dead father I adored – had not been my biological father. I could easily have never known this. I could have lived my entire life not knowing the truth of my paternity.

As I stared at the results on my computer screen, as I saw a match with a first cousin who was a perfect stranger, as I scanned the list of unfamiliar names to whom I was apparently related, I quickly understood what had happened.…

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

by Barbara L. McAneny & Elliott J. Crigger

PROFESSIONAL SELF-REGULATION AND THE AMA

Protecting public safety and ensuring that the medical profession is worthy of public trust have been at the heart of the mission of the American Medical Association (AMA) since its inaugural meeting in 1847.

Promoting the quality of medical education and promulgating standards for ethical professional conduct is fundamental to that mission. Our education work continues in Accelerating Change in Education, our initiative to transform undergraduate education, and our newly launched initiative to reimagine residency.…

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

by Alyssa M. Burgart

Prepare to cringe as you read this issue’s article entitled “Serious Ethical Violations in Medicine” by DuBois, Anderson, and colleagues. In their analysis of 280 physician misconduct cases between 2008 and 2016, they focused only on cases where behavior promoted patient harm: when physicians overprescribed opioids, performed unnecessary procedures, or engaged in inappropriate sexual acts. In this set, they found 95 physicians who sexually assaulted at least one patient: undeniably criminal behavior.…

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

by Carrie Teegardin & Lois Norder

An investigative reporter at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was researching a prison doctor with a troubled history when he decided to page through some other disciplinary folders on the state medical board website. One of the first names he clicked on was Dr. William Almon. The Georgia physician’s file revealed that he had repeatedly faced allegations of sexually violating vulnerable female patients. The records showed that he was accused of abusing a suicidal soldier, jail inmates, a mentally ill woman, and a child of 14 years.…

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Original art and artist’s blurbs are presented in collaboration with the students of the University of Illinois Chicago program in Biomedical Visualization. 

by Isabel Romero Calvo

Sexual abuse of patients is an extremely serious problem in our health care system that is not widely discussed in part due to negative implications for health care providers. Courageously, the Editorial of AJOB is shedding light on this topic by publishing “Serious Ethical Violations in Medicine: A Statistical and Ethical Analysis of 280 Cases in the United States from 2008-2016” by DuBois in their January 2019 issue. The creation of a cover to represent patient sexual abuse has been one of the most challenging projects I have worked on because of the sensitive nature of this problem.

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by David Casarett MD MD and Donald I. Abrams MD*

Although medical cannabis has been legalized in 33 states and the District of Columbia, it has not yet gained federal acceptance.  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) still classifies it with a Schedule I designation, indicating that it has significant risks but no medical benefits.  This discrepancy in legality between the state and federal levels has created numerous challenges for patients and physicians, as well as for businesses that must negotiate conflicting rules.

One of the most significant challenges that these conflicting rules create for patients is the lack of insurance coverage for medical cannabis.  …

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