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Author Archive: Neil Skjoldal

About Neil Skjoldal

08/06/2018

Every Day is a Gift

By Neil Skjoldal Into the genre of news reports about physician assisted suicide comes a powerful piece from The Washington Post.   It is the story of J. J. Hanson who was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme.  It traces his difficult journey as it relates to PAS.  Because of the poor prognosis, treatments at times seemed …

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07/02/2018

Goodbye, Korematsu

Supreme Court watchers always eagerly anticipate the last week of June because that is when the highest court in the land usually reaches decisions in its most controversial cases.  Last week did not disappoint — several of the decisions were reached by the slimmest of majorities (the infamous 5-4 vote). Then, to add to the …

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06/04/2018

Physician Assisted Suicide, Again

Last month, I sat through a presentation on the ethics of Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) in a local hospital.  I attended the presentation, not because I am unfamiliar with the arguments on the subject and ambivalent about my feelings on it, but because I wanted to observe how it was presented, what the reaction of the audience was to the presentation, and how it might... // Read More »

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05/07/2018

My Day at the Florida Bioethics Network Conference–2018

For the past several years, it has been my privilege to attend the annual conference of the Florida Bioethics Network.  As in prior years, this year’s conference showed the great range of topics that fall under the umbrella of bioethics.   Topics included the so-called “Tattoo DNR,” a discussion of medical marijuana, the potential promise of an electronic and interactive informed consent document, and even a discussion of... // Read More »

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04/02/2018

The Child I Want

I appreciate the honesty of Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus. Watching various states attempt to enact more and more restrictions on abortion, she wrote of her strong personal feelings regarding the importance of keeping abortion legal. The headline certainly grabs our attention: “I would’ve aborted a fetus with Down syndrome. Women need that right.” Noting how cute the new “Gerber Baby” is, Marcus reminds her... // Read More »

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03/05/2018

Parkland & Bioethics

I have lived in South Florida over 20 years now, and I do not remember anything grabbing and holding our community’s consciousness more than the February 14 shooting at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (in Broward County).  In its aftermath, the more we hear about the events of that day, the more alarming it becomes.  This is the sort of tragedy that... // Read More »

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02/05/2018

They didn’t choose brain damage

As we say goodbye to another NFL season, the inevitable stories about the devastating effects of CTE appear, showing the devastation that America’s favorite sport takes on its players. In a recent New York Times opinion piece, Emily Kelly, wife of former NFL player Rob Kelly, tells the story of her husband’s struggles since his retirement. What makes Kelly’s story interesting is that it addresses... // Read More »

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12/04/2017

The DNR Tattoo

National media outlets have reported the fascinating account of the unconscious 70-year old brought into the Jackson Hospital (Miami) emergency room with a “Do Not Resuscitate” tattoo on his chest. In correspondence to the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors involved in the case explain the process by which the medical team used to evaluate the case. At first, the team did not plan to... // Read More »

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11/06/2017

Stem Cell Clinics & the FDA

When any business over-promises and under-delivers, it is well on its way to failure.   Does this principle also hold true in the world of stem-cells?  In the last few months the promise of stem cell treatment has met the reality of government oversight. Does the government have the responsibility to rein in the larger-than-life claims of stem cell treatment clinics? In a letter dated August 24, 2017... // Read More »

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10/02/2017

Spiritual Pain

Recently, I’ve been thinking about spiritual pain. Given our current circumstances, it seems like it is more prevalent than we may have imagined. In a 2006 article in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, spiritual pain was defined as ‘a deep pain in your being … in your soul, that is not physical’ (Mako, Glek, & Poppito). I must admit that seemed a bit nebulous to... // Read More »

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