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Author Archive: Courtney Thiele

About Courtney Thiele

As I was doing some research on the issue of physician assisted suicide and patient requests for death, I came across a news headline titled “Euthanasia Rules Relaxed for People with Serious Dementia.” Intrigued, I followed the link to learn that the Netherlands are now allowing for aid in dying to occur when severely demented patients have a written euthanasia request. From my understanding, this... // Read More »

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12/08/2015 A Season of Advent
During this season of Advent, I have been participating in a Bible study where we are studying and considering the first first two chapters of Luke. Yesterday’s reading from Luke 1 really struck me in a way it had not before, and I thought I would share my thoughts for this weeks post. The passage from Luke is included below: Luke 1:39-55 (ESV): 39 In... // Read More »

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I recently had the opportunity to give a guest lecture on the topic of eugenics. As I was reading and preparing for the talk, I was struck with the thought of how quickly it is we forget our past, especially when it is unattractive. When we think of the topic of eugenics, many of us almost instinctively think of Nazi Germany – and rightfully so... // Read More »

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Talking about end of life decisions and death can be uncomfortable. Talking about death and end of life care decisions with the ones we are closest to can be paralyzing. Maybe the difficulty comes from the desire to avoid any thoughts of losing the ones we love. Perhaps it is an expression of denying the reality of death. Even though death is a reality everyone... // Read More »

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A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend a lecture given by Dr. Mark Mercurio of Yale University on making ethical decisions regarding the treatment of neonatal babies. Dr. Mercurio’s talk focused on the topic of aggressive treatment of extremely premature infants (22 – 25 week gestational age). Although I have devoted much of my time to researching beginning of life issues (predominantly... // Read More »

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In the process of conducting research for a project, I have recently encountered “opt-out” provisions in two separate contexts: medical research and organ donation. An opt-out provision presents a situation where consent is assumed, and in order to not participate in the research/procedure/donation an individual must take active steps to refuse consent. This stands in stark contrast with informed consent where before any type of... // Read More »

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This weekend I went to see the movie “Tomorrowland” with my husband. I should admit now that I am a Disney aficionado and was perhaps overly excited to escape to this children’s movie based on the theme park for a couple of hours. Without giving away the plot line, this movie primarily took place in a modern doomsday setting – with many of the “current... // Read More »

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Continuing the discussion I started last week, and which was thoughtfully furthered by Jon on April 30, I decided to share a brief passage from C.S. Lewis’ book The Abolition of Man (as referenced by Jon, as well) for my post today. I first read The Abolition of Man during college, and was struck by how powerful this short book was. Since then I have... // Read More »

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04/28/2015 Editing Genes
The idea of “designer babies” is not an uncommon discussion topic in bioethics communities or pop-culture. From its depiction in “classic” bioethics ethics movies like GATTACA, to current medical practices, like allowing for selective implantation of IVF created embryos, the idea of choosing our children has moved from science fiction to being realized as an actual possibility. As I was reading the news yesterday, I... // Read More »

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During law school I had the opportunity to take many courses related to health law, including a class on disability law, as well as a class that discussed emerging medical technologies. Though these classes were taught by different professors, and focused on different issues, in each class the theme of discrimination was present. At some point in each respective class, the topic of discrimination based... // Read More »

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