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Author Archive: Craig Klugman

11/01/2017

Rand Paul is About to Legislate Peer-Review: Scientists Need Not Apply

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Senator and former Presidential candidate Rand Paul introduced S. 1973, a bill that would change how scientific grant proposals are reviewed. Besides eliminating the NSF oversight office, it would require that research proposals are reviewed by an office that includes non-scientific reviewers drawn from the community. The aim is to ensure that research is approved by the people who pay for it—non-scientist tax payer advocates. The advocate could not be a professional in academia, research, nor an expert on the topic under review.  Rand’s goal is to eliminate “silly research” and ensure that tax dollars deliver on useful research

More broadly, Rand is responding to a concern that the government funds research that is not applied, does not have a guaranteed return, and that is a “waste” of money.…

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10/27/2017

BioethicsTV (October 16-27, 2017): Maternal-Fetal Conflict, Trolley Car Dilemma & Lying

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Good Doctor (Season 1; Episode 4): Maternal-Fetal Conflict

Although the focus of this show is supposedly the neuro-different resident, what it does very well is pose and debate ethical issues. In this week’s episode, a fetus has a tumor that is 50% of his size. His mother desperately wants extra-uterine surgery to remove the tumor as this pregnancy follows 3 miscarriages. However, she has a clotting disorder and the surgery poses a very real risk of causing a heart attack or stroke. Her husband does not want her to have the surgery because he values having his wife alive and in his life.…

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10/24/2017

When the Government Prevents a Teen from Receiving an Abortion

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Update: The U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. full panel ordered the government to arrange for Doe to receive her abortion. The administration has not announced whether it will appeal to the Supreme Court. On Wednesday morning, she underwent the abortion

Jane Doe is a 17-year-old woman who illegally came to the United States from Central America. After learning that she was pregnant, she opted for an abortion. However, the U.S. Federal government is preventing her receiving this medical service. The reason is a combination of Texas law, federal law, and moral politics. She is now 16-weeks pregnant.…

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10/18/2017

Structural Injustice of the Academic Conference

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

We have come to that magical time of year again when academic and professional organizations hold their annual meetings. Thousands of educators, researchers, and scholars fly from all over the country (and the world) to descend upon one city. They will spend 2-5 days giving and listening to talks, networking, learning about new opportunities, meeting with publishers and potential employers, and advancing conversations in their field. Most faculty members’ jobs have expectations that they will attend and contribute to these conferences. While I do thoroughly enjoy these conferences (and am heading to three in the next month) I am troubled by the social inequality that these meetings create and perpetuate.…

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10/13/2017

BioethicsTV (October 9-13, 2017): Drinking on transplant list; big pharma in pandemics; mortality forces morality

The Good Doctor (Season 1; Episode 3): A Patient Takes A Drink While on the Transplant List

This week, a patient is finally at the top of the list for a heart transplant. The heart is at a hospital on the other side of the Bay and through a series of obstacles, getting the liver to the hospital while still viable becomes a challenge. At the same time, a final series of blood tests shows that the patient had a drink. The viewer is told that to be eligible for the transplant, the patient cannot have had alcohol for the prior 6 months.…

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10/11/2017

In Our Own Words: A Challenge to Share Our Own Stories

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In a recent issue of Academe, sociologist Arlene Stein says that the disconnect of academia and the rest of the world is especially acute now, in a time when anti-intellectual fervor is flowing from the highest levels of the government. She states, “in the longer term, scholars need to be doing a better job of communicating what we do to those outside the so-called ivory tower… Telling stories about our work to those outside of university settings must be part of this strategy.“

by MK Czerwiec (ComicNurse)

In part, I think Stein means that we need to share our work (teaching and research) outside of the academy by speaking in public and by writing for public audiences.…

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10/06/2017

BioethicsTV (October 2-6, 2017): Communication Issues and Assisting Suicide

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Good Doctor (Season 1; Episode 2); Communication (lying, stealing credit; keeping silent)

This week’s episode of this new drama was about communication, specifically on the topic of lying. In the first storyline, a patient arrives with stomach pain which turns out to be an invasive, advanced, and complicated tumor. The patient is concerned because she is the only parent to her son who is getting married in a week and she wants to be there. Resident surgeon Claire Brown tells the patient that they will take care of her and that if she has surgery, she promises the patient will not die and will be at the wedding.…

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10/05/2017

Livestreaming Surgery: New guidelines raise questions of who benefits

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Internet and social media have raised hosts of new ethical issues in the health care world: Should doctors friend their patients? Should med students post photos of their cool cases? Should doctor diagnose people online? The general answer for these questions has been no: “Friending” a patient is a boundary crossing, posting patient photos is a confidentiality violation and diagnosing a patient online (not through a formal telemedicine process) violates standards of care. But some online technologies have been adopted in full such as emailing your doctor and interacting with your health care provider through an online portal.…

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09/29/2017

BIOETHICSTV: Gender-change surgery; coercing consent; conflict of interest and impaired judgement

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Late September means the beginning of a new television year. This week saw the return for the 14th season of Grey’s Anatomy and the introduction of a new medical drama, The Good Doctor. However, the first major bioethical dilemma of the new season came from an unlikely place—a new science fiction show.

The Orville (Season 1; Episode 3): Forced Gender Surgery on a Newborn
The first significant BioethicsTV episode came from an unexpected place, a new science fiction show called The Orville. This show is an off-brand Star Trek and shares a creator with several of the franchises of that fictional universe.…

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09/28/2017

Social Justice Trumps Fancy Tech In This Week’s Bioethics News

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Some weeks when I think about what my blog will be about, there are very few relevant items in the news. And then some weeks there are too many things to talk about. This week is one of the latter. Besides the Graham-Cassidy bill (which I discussed in detail last week), there is the lack of any movement on renewing the CHIP program, the patient who may have had a change of consciousness after vagus nerve stimulation, or even the Ohio law that does not allow minors to consent for their own treatment in any circumstances, meaning that teenagers in labor cannot have pain relief (i.e.…

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