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Author Archive: Craig Klugman


Live Long & Prosper is the New “Good”

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

One of my family’s Thanksgiving traditions is one common to many, that we go around the table and name something for which we are thankful. This week my list includes several things relevant to bioethics:

For most Americans though, they are often thankful for things that make them happy such as their family and their health. A few months ago, I attended a talk by Tod Chambers, PhD.…

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This entry was posted in Cultural, Featured Posts, Health Care, Media, Public Health and tagged , . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.


“More Welders, Less Philosophers”

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

I couldn’t believe it when GOP Presidential Candidate Marco Rubio said that “we need more welders and less philosophers” during the November 10 GOP Presidential Candidate debates. For the moment, I’ll put the incorrect grammar aside (it should be “fewer philosophers, not less”). As someone who is employed in an area of applied philosophy, I certainly found this offensive. As a bioethicist I work to help people think more and I hope that I have a positive influence on the world. Such statements are a continued attack on academia and the intellectual professions. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory proposed that philosophy majors should not be eligible for federal funds.

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Politics. Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.


Bioethics: The Revolution is Over

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

At the recent 17th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities, the association honored Baruch Brody with the Lifetime Achievement Award. During his address, Brody said that we are in the era of “normal” bioethics. The age of the revolutionary nature of this field is long over.

Brody talked about Thomas Kuhn’s, “The Structure of Scientific Revolution.” In this tome, Kuhn talks about two types of science—normal and revolutionary. Revolutionary science is what happens when an accumulation of data and observations shows that the world does not work as theory predicts.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Philosophy & Ethics and tagged . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.


A Bioethicist on Mars

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The film, The Martian, is an exciting Robinson Crusoe space adventure. Based on the book of the same name by Andrew Weir, the film stays fairly close to the original source. Astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars when he is impaled by a metal rod in the middle of a sudden and violent storm. Thought dead due to a malfunction of his suit, his fellow astronauts leave him and make an emergency evacuation to return to Earth.

Once regaining consciousness, Watney has to find oxygen and repair his injury. He manages to crawl to the ground habitat and realizing he has been abandoned, he sets to fix himself.…

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Can a 5-year-old refuse treatment: The Case of Julianna Snow

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Julianna Snow is a 5-year-old who suffers from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a neurodegenerative illness. This is the most common of all inherited neurological disorders (about 1 in 2,500 people have it). The disease usually is noticed in adolescence or early adulthood. For Julianna, the disease affects not only movement but swallowing and breathing. She is subjected to NT suctioning every few hours to remove the mucus that accumulates. Her decline was rapid and severe. Michelle and Steve Snow have written extensive blogs about their experiences and conversations.

Julianna’s prognosis is not good. Her parents sat her down and explained that heaven is “where she’ll be able to run and play and eat, none of which she can do now.

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This entry was posted in Clinical Ethics, End of Life Care, Featured Posts, Pediatrics and tagged , , . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.


Human Chipping: Fishing for Uses

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the near future:

Thank you Ms. Riviera, it seems that we have all of your paperwork in order for your new job. The only thing left is your microchip. Please extend your left hand. This will only sting a little.

Tagging humans with microchips has long been a trope in fiction: The X-Files; Terminal Man; Total Recall; Johnny Mnemonic; South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut; Spiderman 2; Mission Impossible 3; Final Cut; and Strange Days to name a few. But in the real world, we microchip (yes, it has become a verb) our cats and dogs, not employees and grandpa.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Privacy and tagged , , . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.


Expanding Notions of Discrimination: Genetic Information & Competitive Sports

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

During a periodic training on the university’s harassment policies today, I learned that my institution has added “genetic information” to the list of characteristics against which one cannot be discriminated. When one of my colleagues asked, “Do you have an example of that,” the presenter stumbled. After a few beats she said if someone had a gene for a disease but did not have any symptoms of that yet or an evident physical disability.

The policy change likely follows from the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act that protects some medical information. Genetic information cannot be used to make insurance and employment decisions.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Genetics, Health Policy & Insurance, Sports Ethics. Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.


The Democratic Debate on Health: Not Much

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Unlike in last month’s GOP debate, in the Democratic Presidential Candidate debate last night, health care issues were not a central factor. If you recall, the GOP debaters went round in circles about whether children should be vaccinated. In the DNC debate, health care issues were raised in a brief mention of Obamacare (i.e. “Affordable Care Act (ACA)) and in greater depth in discussing insurance coverage of undocumented individuals.

When talking about Obamacare, Bernie Sanders stated that he preferred universal health care coverage over the ACA’s private insurance approach. He believes that health care should be a right and suggests opening Medicare enrollment to everyone.…

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State of the Armed Union

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D

In the first 274 days of 2015, there were 294 mass shootings (yes, that is more than 1 per day). As a nation, there were over 39,000 gun incidents leading to 10,104 deaths and 20,544 injuries so far in 2015.

For points of comparison

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This entry was posted in Cultural, Featured Posts, Health Disparities, Health Regulation & Law, Politics and tagged . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.


Your Biology is in My Technology

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The PBS series Open Mind has been on television for nearly 60 years. The program “is a thoughtful excursion into the world of ideas.” The December 30 episode was an interview with Dr. Maria Freire, President of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. The host of this show, Alexander Heffner, asked AJOB and BIOETHICS.NET to share this interview, about which he said, “it’s among our most fascinating conversations.”

The conversation is about exploring is about the intersection of biology and technology, harnessing big data to learn about human health and find cures for human disease.…

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