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Author Archive: Blog Editor


by Bandy X. Lee, MD, MDiv

Earlier this year, I was delighted to discover that Dr. Alan Stone had written a review of the book I edited: The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, for the blog Lawfare. Most outside of psychiatry will not have heard of Dr. Stone, but he is a well-respected figure among psychiatrists who practice at the intersections of law and ethics, such as myself.  I was delighted not because I was anticipating a positive review, but because I hoped that a rigorous discussion without misrepresentation would break open the myopia of my field.…

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This post is shared from the July 2018 issue of the American Journal of Bioethics

by Hilary Mabel, Ruth M. Farrell & Andreas G. Tzakis

In this issue of the American Journal of Bioethics, Bruno and Arora’s Target Article and the Open Peer Commentaries thereto contribute to the ongoing discourse regarding ethical issues in uterine transplantation. We welcome these insights, many of which sit in dialogue with existing work and others of which represent new considerations in uterine transplantation. We are co-investigators on the uterine transplantation research protocol at Cleveland Clinic. Our protocol uses a deceased donor model, and two of us (HM and RF) contribute to the protocol solely in an ethics capacity.…

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by Ana S. Iltis, PhD and Mark J. Cherry, PhD

Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., PhD, MD, one of the intellectual founders of the fields of bioethics and the philosophy of medicine, whose seminal work continues to frame debates about healthcare policy and medical practice, fell asleep in the Lord on June 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas.

He was Professor of History and Philosophy of Medicine at Rice University and Professor Emeritus at Baylor College of Medicine. He died of complications due to cancer. He was 77 years old.

Once described as the enfant terribleof bioethics, Professor Engelhardt challenged Western secular liberal moral and political assumptions which, he argued, could not be secured through reason alone, and frequently cause more harm than benefit.…

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06/04/2018 Outsider/Insider

This post also appears as an editorial in the June 2018 issue of The American Journal of Bioethics.

by Albert R. Jonsen

The editors of The American Journal of Bioethics chose well when they invited me to write a preface for this issue devoted to the Insider/Outsider problem in bioethics: I am the original and perpetual insider/outsider in the field. My entry into medical education, in 1972, was marked by an argument over my title: should I be designated Professor of Medical Ethics, as the Dean of University of California School of Medicine wished? A very senior faculty member objected, saying that the title was inappropriate since I did not do anything medical.…

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This post also appears as an editorial in the June 2018 issue of The American Journal of Bioethics.

by Thomas H. Murray, Ph.D.

“Good ethics begins with good facts” is a mantra I learned in my early years at The Hastings Center. The relevant facts include, of course, scientific and medical ones. But just as important are the forces that shape perceptions, motivations, and outcomes. The importance of understanding those factors—call them grounded realities—soon became clear in my first major research assignment: the ethics of performance enhancing drug use in sport.

The bioethics literature circa 1980 led me to expect to find athletes struggling against the unjustified paternalistic restraints of anti-doping zealots.…

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by Jeremy Sugarman MD MPH,MA, Supriya Shivakumar PhD, Martha Rook PhD, Jeanne F. Loring PhD, Christoph Rehmann-Sutter PhD, Jochen Taupitz PhD, Jutta Reinhard-Rupp PhD, Steven Hildemann MD PhD

New genome editing technologies are playing an increased role in an array of advanced research and development efforts in the life sciences. In tandem, there has been broad recognition of the need to address the ethical issues associated with the use of these genome editing tools. Although many uses of genome editing technologies do not raise novel ethical concerns, some have rightly attracted considerable attention, especially regarding the possibility of manipulating the human germline (Baltimore et al.…

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05/03/2018 Artist’s Note

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

by Katelyn Greenhill

When creating this cover for, “Responding to Those Who Hope for a Miracle” the goal was to communicate miracle and religious invocation within the healthcare setting. Most importantly, I was looking to create an illustration that dignified the concept. A miracle is, in essence, hope and hope can be clearly echoed through the act of prayer. The rosary depicted embodies this act and replaces the surgical instrument of this illustration just as many might replace invasive treatments for the hope of a miracle.…

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This post is also published as an editorial in the May 2018 issue of the American Journal of Bioethics.

by Kayhan Parsi, PhD JD & Nanette Elster, PhD

In the first-year clinical skills course medical students take here at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, one of the key aspects of the medical interview that students learn is the patient’s perspective of their illness. In addition to documenting the patient’s main concerns, history of present illness and past medical history (a curious redundancy), we stress with our students that they should always ask what the patient thinks is going on.…

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This editorial also appears in the April 2018 edition of the American Journal of Bioethics

by David Magnus, PhD and Jason N. Batten, MA

This issue of the American Journal of Bioethics features an article on the importance of building trusting relationships for the successful creation of research repositories that include biospecimens and data records from under-represented ethnic and racial groups in the U.S. Other researchers have made note of this challenge (including most of this research group in relation to learning health system research). This editorial will focus on two important points raised by Kraft et al. and discussed in the outstanding set of commentaries.…

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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 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.…

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