Blog RSS Blog.

Author Archive: Blog Editor

01/17/2018

Appeal for Principle before Rule, and Uniform Application of Rules: A Case of Psychiatric Ethics

by Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div.

I am the editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President (Macmillan, 2017), which is intended as a public service.  Even all the royalties are going into a fund for public good.  Yet there has been harsh pushback, with Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman leading the effort, criticizing the book for making a public diagnosis (see, for example, his commentary in Psychiatric News.

Yet this is based on several misconceptions.  Dr. Lieberman does not seem to recognize, for example, that we do not diagnose the president in the book (this is a common misunderstanding for those who have not read the book).  …

Full Article

This entry was posted in Ethics, Featured Posts, Politics, Privacy, Psychiatric Ethics, Public Health. Posted by Blog Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

01/11/2018

Managing Expectations: Delivering the Worst News in the Best Way?

This post also appears in the January 2018 issue of the American Journal of Bioethics

by Alyssa M. Burgart & David Magnus

In this issue, Weiss and Fiester’s (2018) “From ‘Longshot’ to ‘Fantasy’: Obligations to Patients and Families When Last-Ditch Medical Efforts Fail” calls attention to the weight of clinician word choice when discussing interventions in the pediatric population. Their work focuses on communication in a highly narrow slice of intervention options, from unlikely to work therapies to impossible ones. Regardless of a therapy’s low probability of success, physicians and parents suffer from forms of misconception: physicians tend to be overly optimistic in both their prognostic estimates and in their disclosure of illness severity, and parents tend to be highly likely to believe that their child is the one of many who will benefit from therapy.…

Full Article

This entry was posted in Clinical Ethics, Editorial-AJOB, Featured Posts, Pediatrics. Posted by Blog Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

12/04/2017

The Idea of a “Standard View” of Informed Consent

This editorial is re-posted from the December 2017 issue of the American Journal of Bioethics. You can read more on this topic through the target article and open peer commentaries

by Tom L. Beauchamp, Ph.D.

The article in this issue of AJOB titled “Reframing Consent for Clinical Research: A Function-Based Approach” is a fresh and engaging way of thinking about how to handle several conceptual and moral problems about consent in clinical research. At times the authors seem entirely concerned with problems of informed consent, while at other times they are concerned with other forms of consent.…

Full Article

This entry was posted in Editorial-AJOB, Featured Posts, Informed Consent, Research Ethics and tagged . Posted by Blog Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

11/15/2017

Communicating about cancer: a need for a closer look at Patient Empowerment

This post is written in response to Ubel, Scherr and Fagerlin’s target article, “Empowerment Failure: How Shortcomings in Physician Communication Unwittingly Undermine Patient Autonomy” published in the November 2017 issue of The American Journal of Bioethics.


by Jonas Landers, MA

Ubel and colleagues describe what is obvious from much other academic and non-academic literature: Patient empowerment (PE) receives much attention – today and already for quite some time. This is true for PE not only regarding cancer, but particularly chronic conditions that require continuous efforts by those affected to deal with their situation. While both the attention for PE as well as its relevance are high, the authors rightly point towards its shortcomings in practice, i.e.…

Full Article

This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Health Care, OPC and tagged , . Posted by Blog Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

11/14/2017

Re-structuring the patient-provider communication process to empower patients

This post is written in response to Ubel, Scherr and Fagerlin’s target article, “Empowerment Failure: How Shortcomings in Physician Communication Unwittingly Undermine Patient Autonomy” published in the November 2017 issue of The American Journal of Bioethics.


by Susanne B. Haga, PhD

Most professional organizations have recommended a shift towards greater patient empowerment and shared decision-making. The result has been a data dump: An increase in the amount of information disclosed to patients.  For example, discussion of a prostate cancer diagnosis may include the grading and scoring, followed by discussion of three possible interventions, the risks and benefits of each, and information regarding recurrence rate, probability of adverse responses, costs, lost work time, follow-up care, and other information.…

Full Article

11/13/2017

Teaching Better Communication: A Bootcamp Experience

This post is written in response to Ubel, Scherr and Fagerlin’s target article, “Empowerment Failure: How Shortcomings in Physician Communication Unwittingly Undermine Patient Autonomy” published in the November 2017 issue of The American Journal of Bioethics.


by Haavi Morreim, JD, PhD and Mark C. Bugnitz, MD

Communication is one of the most important skillsets in healthcare. As Ubel et al. describe in their American Journal of Bioethics article so well, inadequate communication can effectively deprive patients of the medical path that best fits with their personal goals and values – potentially leaving them, as in the example of prostate cancer, with an outcome that may be deeply dissatisfying.…

Full Article

This entry was posted in OPC, Uncategorized. Posted by Blog Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

11/10/2017

Refocusing professional standards and leadership for patient empowerment

This post is written in response to Ubel, Scherr and Fagerlin’s target article, “Empowerment Failure: How Shortcomings in Physician Communication Unwittingly Undermine Patient Autonomy” published in the November 2017 issue of The American Journal of Bioethics.


by Stuart W Grande, PhD, MPA and William A. Nelson, PhD

Overcoming barriers to successful patient empowerment at the point of care is critical to improved patient-provider communications and ultimately to the realization of the dream of preference-sensitive care. In their recent article, “Empowerment Failure: How Shortcomings in Physician Communication Unwittingly Undermine Patient Autonomy,” Ubel and colleagues provide a provocative and engaging commentary on the “failures” of physicians to cultivate an organizational culture and clinical profession where true co-production can occur.…

Full Article

This entry was posted in Cultural, Featured Posts, Health Care, Justice, OPC, professional ethics and tagged , . Posted by Blog Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

11/09/2017

To Whom Do Children Belong?

This post also appears in the November 2017 issue of the American Journal of Bioethics. 

by John Lantos, Ph.D.

In this issue of AJOB, Navin and Wasserman (2017) argue that parents should have more discretion in clinical decision making than they currently do. They criticize the Committee on Bioethics of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for curtailing parental discretion.

Many commentators thought, instead, that the AAP got it just right. Bester and Kodish (2017) argue that decisions for children should not be guided by an assumption that parents are always right but by “the important fiduciary obligation that doctors have to focus primarily on what is best for their patient.” They worry that the approach of Navin and Wasserman opens the door to exploitation, abuse, or neglect.…

Full Article

This entry was posted in Editorial-AJOB, Featured Posts, Pediatrics, Philosophy & Ethics, Politics. Posted by Blog Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

10/20/2017

ASBH Lifetime Achievement Award 2017-Myra Christopher

bioethics.net is proud to present this live release of the talks given by the 2017 ASBH Lifetime Achievement Award honorees. If you are at the ASBH Meeting, you can read along; if you were unable to attend, then you can see their talks here. Please join us in congratulating these luminaries who have contributed significantly to the field of bioethics.

ASBH Lifetime Achievement Award-2017
Bioethics and an Ethics of Solidarity
Myra Christopher
Kathleen M. Foley Chair Pain and Palliative Care, Center for Practical Bioethics
Director of PAINS (Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy)

Myra Christopher

When Amy Haddad told me that I would receive this award, I told her that I was honored and stunned. …

Full Article

This entry was posted in Ethics, Featured Posts, Health Care and tagged . Posted by Blog Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

10/12/2017

Justice and Bioethics: Who Should Finance Academic Publishing?

by Udo Schuklenk (Joint Editor in Chief) & David Magnus (Editor in Chief)
We applaud Chattopadhyay, Muyser, Moxham & DeVries on their article, “A Question of Social Justice: How Policies of Profit Negate Engagement of Developing World Bioethicsts and Undermine Bioethicists” for tackling an important and often neglected topic in bioethics: the challenges that our under-resourced colleagues face in conducting research and contributing to the literature in bioethics. Indeed, one of us (U.S.) has spent a good deal of his career attempting to draw attention to this problem and ameliorate it.

Though we are sympathetic to the concerns raised in their article there are several issues that have not been adequately addressed.…

Full Article

This entry was posted in Editorial-AJOB, Featured Posts, Global Ethics, Justice, Research Ethics, Social Justice. Posted by Blog Editor. Bookmark the permalink.