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Author Archive: Keisha Ray

About Keisha Ray


by Keisha Ray, PhD 

This was originally given as part of the plenary session “What about the ‘H’ in ‘ASBH'”? at the 2020 annual meeting of The American Society of Bioethics and Humanities

As many of you may recall, when you are junior bioethicist, like myself, you often get a lot of unsolicited advice from more senior bioethicists. One piece of advice that I have received beginning in grad school days and as recently as a few months ago, is to make my work distinctly bioethics. From what I gather from this advice is that I should make sure that my research projects follow the principles and methodologies of bioethics; that my work should not be confused for any other discipline. Similarly, I get told to make sure that my tenure file is solidly bioethics, which I take to mean that I should publish in top bioethics journals, get research grants from top health and scientific organizations, participate in bioethics, scientific, and medical research, and teach bioethics courses at my medical school. …

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Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Recently the term black bioethics has been having its moment. With the world’s recently increased attention to racial justice, institutional racism, and medical racism, there has been more attention to the relationship between black people and health and health care. I’ve found myself using the term and along with my blog co-editor we have even created a toolkit of helpful sources on the topic of black health that we titled #BlackBioethics. But as far as I can find, on social media the term black bioethics has only been used casually going back to 2018. Some scholars have used it as a way to gather black bioethicists at bioethics conferences given our small numbers.…

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This essay is part of a 2-part series on the burdens placed on black faculty in academic bioethics. The first part, by Craig Klugman, Ph.D. can be read by clicking here.


by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Since the killing of George Floyd and the protests that ensued, the amount of free labor requested of me has been seemingly endless; everyday a new request comes in. I consistently have to balance my normal duties to my university, my students, the bioethics profession, and my research, along with new requests to perform free labor for the general public. On one hand I feel an obligation to respond to journalists’ requests for interviews, webinar requests, write articles and blogs, participate in education programs for students, faculty, and the general public because there are not a lot of bioethicists with expertise in black health who can meet the new demand for our expertise.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

I take the drug hydroxychloroquine, brand name Plaquenil, for an autoimmune disease. Hydroxychloroquine was once used to treat malaria and is now commonly used to treat a range of inflammatory disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. If this drug sounds familiar it is likely because it has frequently been in the news as a potential therapy for COVID19. During multiple press conferences the president has touted this drug as a potential cure for COVID19. Medical professionals like Dr. Anthony Fauci and state governors like New York governor Andrew Cuomo have discussed and debated the drug’s potential, drawing various conclusions about the limited studies that have been done on the drug.

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D. 

 

On Monday my hometown of San Antonio, Texas declared a local public emergency after a woman who was quarantined for suspected exposure to Covid-19 was released from custody. It was only after the woman’s release that officials discovered her positive test and she returned to quarantine. For the past two weeks San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base has been the home of 122 people, including this woman who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship where they spent 2 weeks in quarantine after confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus on the ship. After the evacuee was released she visited various locations in San Antonio including the very popular mall North Star Mall.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Like others in our WebMd culture I often go to the internet to research my symptoms, looking for possible solutions. When a physician gives me a medical diagnosis I will often go to the internet and research the diagnosis. The internet was particularly helpful when I fractured my ankle and when I was going through dermatological therapies. While I was going through therapies for these injuries and disorders what I found was that the internet’s greatest contribution was its communities of people who had some of the same experiences as myself. Their experience and suggestions on how to properly convey your symptoms to a doctor, what therapies worked for them, how they remedied the side-effects of drug therapies were invaluable to me.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

This week Doctors for Camp Closures posted a video of protesters, including physicians, being arrested by police and military personnel after physicians went to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) headquarters in San Diego to offer flu vaccinations to detained migrants. Despite their well intentions the authorities turned them away. In the video protesters can be seen laying on the ground in front of the facility’s driveway and being picked up off the ground by police officers and men in military uniforms and placed in restraints. Doctors for Camp Closures are against the detainment of migrants and refugees but wanted to offer flu vaccinations to the migrants because they believe that health care is a human right.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

 

Right now in America there is a growing movement to help Americans die well. Organizations like Life Matters Media and Death Over Dinner aim to help people with end of life decision-making and to help people facilitate conversations about death with their families, friends, and communities. But in this dying well movement there is some controversy about who gets to participate and how they ought to participate. Death doulas or death midwives offer much of the same care at the end of a person’s life as birthing doulas or midwives offer women and babies at the beginning of babies’ lives.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

As a philosopher and bioethicist by professional degree and training it is no more apparent that I have one foot in the world of bioethics and one foot in the world of health humanities than when I attend the annual meeting of American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH). Attending ASBH as I did this past week always makes me confront whether having one foot in each world means that I can do both well or if not fully being in any one world means I’m doing my students and my career a disservice.

As a tenure-track professor and junior scholar there is no shortage of advice from more senior faculty.…

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by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

The story of Flint, Michigan’s water crisis, beginning in 2014 is a story that most people are familiar with. After changing how their water is supplied—Going from Detroit supplied water to water supplied from Flint river to the ultimate goal of pipelines bringing in water from Lake Huron—the water became contaminated. The yellow-ish brown, foul odor water brought in from Flint River had high levels of lead causing many people to not drink the water or use it for cooking, brushing teeth, or any other life activity that required water. Celebrities, professional athletes, and every day people all donated bottled water to Flint’s residents to help them with this crisis.…

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