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Author Archive: Ann Mongoven

About Ann Mongoven


Sloan Kettering Controversies: Trust is the Public Foundation of Medical Research

by Ann Mongoven, PhD, MPH

Recent controversies at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center raise ethical questions about medical research that deserve public attention. Jose Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., a famed cancer physician and researcher, resigned as chief medical officer following reports that he failed to disclose millions of dollars received from drug companies. Baselga claimed the lack of disclosure was unintentional. Then the New York Times and Pro Publica published reports raising questions about whether data-sharing between Sloan and biotechnology start-up Paige.AI constitutes a conflict of interest. Paige seeks to develop artificial intelligence programs that will improve pathology diagnostics.  Prominent board members and physicians within Sloan, a non-profit hospital and research center, invested in Paige.…

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What Do International Adoptive Parents Owe their Children’s Birthparents?

by Ann Mongoven, Ph.D. MPH

Another Mother’s Day is here.   Another candle is lit to honor the unknown birthparents of my Chinese-American daughter, adopted as an infant and now a young woman. She aches wondering about her birthparents. I ache being unable to convey the wonder of her to them.

In a chilling scene in Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale, the fertile handmaids—whose children have been stolen—become objects of international trade. After an environmental disaster results in widespread sterility, women’s fertility becomes a commodity bartered within a global dystopia. We who read and watch recoil.

Then we clamor off to the soccer games and music recitals of our children, who came to us from the bodies of others in other corners of the globe.…

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Charlie Gard: Three Issues That Did Not Make Social Media

by Ann Mongoven, Ph.D., MPH

All hearts go out to the Gard family in this time of grief for their son, Charlie.

The legal wrangling over Charlie’s care became a political football–unfortunately, about many things having little to do with Charlie.

Despite the involvement of Pope Francis, this was not a case about abortion rights or the sanctity of human life. Catholic tradition warns both that quality-of-life arguments can dehumanize the disabled, and that unduly burdensome medical care can become assaultive. There is no “Catholic” view of the case, and Catholic moral theologians disagree about it.

Despite the involvement of Donald Trump, this was not a case about the relative merits of the U.K.…

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