by Natalie Yoshioka, BA
I spent the most time trying to find an exciting visual metaphor that would best represent the recommendation of building trust within a community over an extended period of time. I didn’t want to rely on solutions that were too obvious or simplistic to describe the article themes. Precision medicine is often a big data problem, where researchers are trying to find a solution within a depth of patient data and information. This drew me to the idea of a researcher trying to find a fish within a whirlpool, which loosely represents large amounts of genetic or patient medical information.…
by Jonathan D. Moreno, Ph.D.
If Stephen Hawking knew that he was facing his last days he would surely have been amused that his death would come on Albert Einstein’s birthday and almost exactly two hundred years after the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. As a matter of character and reputation the imaginary Victor and the richly real Stephen couldn’t have been more different, but together they represent our Janus-Headed modern view of science and scientists.
Hawking was the bright, shining face of creative genius and human intellectual flourishing, gifted with both an immense imagination and a startling, vulnerable humanity. He was no less an explorer than Christopher Columbus or John Glenn, but his exploration came in the most human way possible, through his mind rather than mere physical mobility. …
This post also appears in the March 2018 issue of the American Journal of Bioethics
by Maya Sabatello, Annie Janvier, Eduard Verhagen, Wynne Morrison & John Lantos
Olszewski and Goldkind argue that children’s participation in medical decision making should be “the default position” and that a stepwise approach is needed to ensure that children are routinely given a voice. They suggest a systematic approach for optimizing such pediatric participation and apply it to two cases concerning terminally ill children: Mary, a 15-year-old girl, and Joe, a 7-year-old boy. The style of argument highlights a generalized problem in bioethical analyses. Authors’ framing of case vignettes is often stylized to illustrate the authors’ central arguments and to support their conclusions.…
by Kate Zumach
There is an interesting trend in quantifying our everyday lives, turning tasks into data. It begs the question, what happens when we quantify our relationships? From conceptual sketches to the final illustration, there was a lot of emphasis on the topics of the quantified self movement. The viewer is shown autonomous characters who are releasing data into a neverending grid that is organizing and sorting this information. It also introduces the viewer to the third party in the relationship: technology. This illustration depicts the flow of data from each individual and the relationship between them. We now have the power to rank and record aspects of our relationships that was never before possible.…
In Memoriam: Aviva Lynn Katz
by Margaret R. Moon, MD, MPH
Aviva Katz, MD, MA, passed away on January 17, 2018. A strong and insightful voice for the ethical care of children and families, she was a shining light in the worlds of pediatric surgery and bioethics.
Her educational and academic accomplishments took her to the pinnacle of pediatric ethics leadership. Dr. Katz was born in Brooklyn, graduated summa cum laude from CUNY-City College, and received her MD degree from
Image from Center for Bioethics & Health Law, University of Pittsburgh.
Mount Sinai School of Medicine (AOA). She later completed a Master of Arts degree in bioethics from the University of Pittsburgh.…
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). …
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.…