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Author Archive: Neil Skjoldal

About Neil Skjoldal

09/02/2019 A meaningful life
The MIT Technology Review recently published an interview with Ezekiel Emanuel, chair of the University of Pennsylvania’s department of medical ethics and health policy, entitled “A doctor and medical ethicist argues life after 75 is not worth living.”  It appears to be a follow-up to a provocative article that Emanuel wrote in The Atlantic five years ago, “Why I …

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In November 2018, journalist Julie Brown of the Miami Herald published an important three-part report called “Perversion of Justice,” describing the case of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.  Brown’s reporting strongly indicates that Epstein’s punishment appeared relatively small when compared to the crimes that were actually committed.  The report, in part, led to further examination of the case and a …

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07/01/2019 Fertility Fraud
By Neil Skjoldal Last week, Canadian fertility specialist Dr. Norman Barwin lost his medical license after complaints that he had used his own sperm to artificially inseminate his patients without permission. Bionews.org reports that there were understandably strong reactions from the families affected by his horrific actions.  And now it has come to light that …

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05/06/2019 Parental Rights
By Neil Skjoldal What rights do parents have when it comes to the medical care of their children? This bioethical question has recently arisen in the case of Noah McAdams, a 3-year-old who has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  According to news reports, the recommended treatment in his case is chemotherapy.  His parents decided …

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04/01/2019 Bad News
By Neil Skjoldal Many of us have witnessed the giving of bad news to a patient.  It is never a pleasant experience.  Unfortunately, some medical professionals are simply not skilled enough to share bad news in a way that is both compassionate and comprehensible.  And even if they are, it is still bad news after …

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By Neil Skjoldal In a provocative article entitled, “China Uses DNA to Track its People, With the Help of American Expertise,” The New York Times tells the story of how the Chinese government is using DNA information in part to make the Uyghurs, “a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, more subservient to the Communist Party.” To accomplish this …

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02/04/2019 Gender & Pain
By Neil Skjoldal Last week, The Washington Post  published a summary of a recent article in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology entitled “Gender Bias in Pediatric Pain Assessment.” The participants of the study were shown a video with a child described as a girl or boy enduring pain.  The authors  “then asked adults to rate how much pain …

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01/07/2019 Facebook & Ethics
Most of us probably know that Facebook keeps track of its users.  Its programmers have created algorithms that can guess our preferences in all sorts of areas, even in politics.  Most of us probably also know that Facebook has come under scrutiny for its actions (or non-actions) during the previous election cycle. Its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has made …

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By Neil Skjoldal With the death of President George H. W. Bush this past weekend, the country seems united in eulogizing him for, among other things,  having lived “a well-lived life,” because amidst his accomplishments, he was able to reach 94 years of age.  This brought to mind a recent article published in The NY …

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By Neil Skjoldal I recently had the opportunity to watch the 2018 documentary Three Identical Strangers, which tells the story of triplets Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland, and David Kellman.  They were separated shortly after birth in the 1960s and adopted by three different families through the Louise Wise adoption agency in New York City.  The …

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