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Author Archive: Keisha Ray

About Keisha Ray

05/04/2015

A Case for Viewing The Baltimore Protests as a Bioethics Issue

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Freddie Gray’s Death
On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray, a twenty-five year old black man was arrested and placed in a police van in Baltimore, Maryland for carrying a switchblade (Baltimore State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby later announced that Gray was legally carrying a knife). Perhaps one of the more troubling aspects of Gray’s fateful police van ride was that officers reportedly observed Gray’s unresponsive body on the floor of the police van but still did not take him to see a medic.

By the time Gray reached the Western District Police Station, according to District Attorney Mosby, he was no longer breathing and a medic was called.…

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This entry was posted in Cultural, Featured Posts, Health Disparities and tagged , , , . Posted by Keisha Ray. Bookmark the permalink.

03/06/2015

Comedy and medicine: Why we mock parents who don’t vaccinate their children

By Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

In a recent episode of his late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel, father and comedian, included a segment in which real physicians mock parents who do not vaccinate their children in a mock public service announcement. Because Kimmel said it best, here is a long quote from his opening segment:

“If you are one of these anti-vaccine people you probably aren’t going  to take medical advice from a talk show host…and I don’t expect you to. But I would expect you to take medical advice from almost every doctor in the world…See the thing about doctors is they didn’t learn about the human body from their friends’ Facebook page.…

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This entry was posted in Cultural, Featured Posts, Media, Pediatrics and tagged . Posted by Keisha Ray. Bookmark the permalink.

01/26/2015

Can Bioethicists (in Good Conscience) Watch the NFL?

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Every year the National Football League (NFL) makes between an estimated $7 billion- $9 billion making it the most profitable American professional sports league. The players are arguably what attracts most people to the game and how the league makes its money, whether that be through game attendance or the sale of player related merchandise. The mental health of current players and especially retired players has come under a magnifying glass within the past decade. Past players and the families of past (and deceased) players have accused the NFL of mishandling players with concussions. Four thousand-five hundred players filed a lawsuit against the NFL accusing the organization of ignoring or not properly treating players who have received concussions while playing football and that this negligence led to their diagnoses of Lou Gehrig’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, heightened and uncontrollable aggression, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders and cognitive impairments.…

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This entry was posted in Animal Ethics, Cultural, Featured Posts, Sports Ethics and tagged . Posted by Keisha Ray. Bookmark the permalink.

01/05/2015

“How Are You Diverse?:” How the Academic Job Market Aggravated my Racial Insecurities

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Last year on the academic job market I had 59 interviews (skype and telephone interviews). That means that 59 times I had to fit a 30-60 minute interview into my insanely busy adjunct teaching schedule. Fifty-nine times I had to prepare for an interview: know the school’s and the department’s mission statement, research the department’s faculty and their areas of specialization, prepare answers to questions that the search committee would likely ask me and make many other preparations. Fifty-nine times I donned my interview attire, set up my computer, made sure that I had proper lighting (when the interviews were not telephone interviews), and prepared to tell a committee of 3-7 people why they should hire me.…

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11/12/2014

Why the right to die movement needed Brittany Maynard

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with brain cancer. At the age of 29 she decided to end her own life and “die with dignity” under Oregon’s “Death with Dignity Act.” There have been many articles written in support of Maynard’s choice and many articles written condemning her choice to die. The right to die movement has many hurdles that it must overcome to draw in more supporters and hopefully influence public policy. Some of those hurdles include misconceptions about the kinds of people that want to end their lives and why people who have been diagnosed with terminal illness want to have the choice to take their own lives.…

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This entry was posted in End of Life Care, Featured Posts and tagged , , . Posted by Keisha Ray. Bookmark the permalink.

10/22/2014

What I learned from my first ASBH meeting

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

This past weekend, for the first time I attended the annual meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH). I went with a lot of expectations and a lot of anxiety. I am a junior scholar and I am on the job market this year. I know the importance of connections and networking so I went to the meeting knowing that I needed to introduce myself to people on hiring committees, professors, and practitioners. But the thought of approaching people that I did not know and introducing myself was not met with warm, happy feelings.…

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09/16/2014

How do we talk about enhancement after Ferguson and the death of Michael Brown?

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

No other area of philosophy has captured my interests like bioethics. Thinking about the ways that we can use health care to justly distribute opportunities and what those opportunities are is my greatest interest. My specific interest in biomedical enhancement stems from my interests in the relationship between health care and opportunities. As health is essential to living the kind of lives that we want to live, I’m always thinking about how traditional practices and advances in health care can help us lead better lives, even when there is nothing medically abnormal about or minds or bodies.…

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This entry was posted in Cultural, Featured Posts, Health Disparities, Politics, Public Health and tagged , . Posted by Keisha Ray. Bookmark the permalink.

08/04/2014

Do OkCupid and Facebook experiment on vulnerable populations?

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

A few months ago Facebook announced that some Facebook users were a part of a 2012 experiment. In the experiment Facebook altered the number of negative and positive posts and photos that appeared in users’ newsfeed. In a paper documenting the results of the study, authors noted that by changing what users saw in their feed, Facebook was able to alter moods, emotions, and the kind of posts that people posted. The study was meant to be an experiment in online social interactions and emotional connections.

OkCupid, an online dating site has also recently announced that it has conducted experiments on its date seeking users.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Informed Consent, Media, Research Ethics. Posted by Keisha Ray. Bookmark the permalink.

06/23/2014

Low sperm counts, fertility drugs, and the NFL

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

The use of performance enhancing drugs in professional sports is well known by the general public. The high profiled cases of Jose Canseco, Shawne Merriman, Roger Clemens, Alexander Rodriguez, and many, many others has contributed to the attention to this issue. Performance enhancing drug use has prompted league commissioners to beef up policies on drugs in their respective leagues in the form of banned substance policies and punishment for violating those policies.

The lists of banned substances are meant to regulate one of the few controllable features of sports—advantages due to drugs. To do this, the lists contain typical performance enhancing drugs such as human growth hormones and anabolic steroids, however, the lists also include drugs for ailments such as asthma and hypertension.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Sports Ethics. Posted by Keisha Ray. Bookmark the permalink.

05/20/2014

What we are forgetting in the case of Jahi McMath: Culture and its impact on medical decision-making

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Like many others, I followed the very unfortunate case of Jahi McMath. McMath is a 13 year-old black child who went into cardiac arrest and suffered irreparable brain damage after undergoing a tonsillectomy to relieve sleep apnea. Her story was frequently in the news as a battle between Children’s Hospital Oakland, where her surgery was held and whose recommendation to discontinue all life-saving practices conflicted with her parents’ desires to keep her on life support. This battle of conflicting desires has different components, with the major components being legal and medical. Medical practitioners, children’s rights advocates, right to life groups, legal experts, and bioethicists have all weighed in on the relevant issues that a case like Jahi McMath raises in each milieu.…

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This entry was posted in Cultural, End of Life Care, Featured Posts, Health Care and tagged , , . Posted by Keisha Ray. Bookmark the permalink.