Blog RSS Blog.

Author Archive: Tom Garigan

About Tom Garigan


In Memoriam

Memorial Day serves as a holiday so that, we might hope, we pause to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We might take a holiday from thinking about things bioethical as well. But could this day hold a lesson for the field of bioethics? To set aside a day to remember those who died in defense of freedom is not simply... // Read More »

Full Article

This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , , , . Posted by Tom Garigan. Bookmark the permalink.


Withering Man

After reading articles such as this one, one must wonder at the speed and degree of the shift in public views about the nature of man. Not only are ideas vigorously promoted that in previous years would have been dismissed as nonsensical, the language used to portray views held widely for centuries has changed to one of derision, and at best mere astonishment that such... // Read More »

Full Article

This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Tom Garigan. Bookmark the permalink.


Unenhanced Thoughts about Neural Enhancement

An April 20th post in the Hastings Center’s “Bioethics Forum” brings attention the recent report by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (PCSBI) entitled, “Gray Matters: Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.” Chapter 2, “Cognitive Enhancement and Beyond” is a useful summary of issues surrounding “cognitive enhancement,” and provides a brief overview of three scientific goals: maintaining or improving... // Read More »

Full Article


A Not-So-Open Discussion

Courtney Thiele posted on March 3oth about an article in the Washington Post describing “a new push to de-stigmatize the nation’s most controversial medical procedure by talking about it openly and unapologetically.” A clinic in Maryland called “Carafem” dispenses abortion pills, and “promises a ‘spa-like’ experience for women with an open and unabashed approach to pregnancy termination.” (quotations from the Washington Post’s article) This clinic... // Read More »

Full Article


Good Ethics Requires Bad News

Some bad news took me by surprise this week, taking the form of an article in the Annals of Family Medicine entitled, “Why Medical Schools Are Tolerant of Unethical Behavior.”  The authors described a medical school graduation ceremony in which the speaker thanked professors and healthcare professionals not just for competent and humane care, but for providing examples of “pure unethical behavior.” I wondered if... // Read More »

Full Article


Speaking about dignity

Several years ago, while on the verge of delivering the baby of a seventeen year old, I was taken aback by the number of friends that she had asked to accompany her at the event…an event formerly considered far more private than one in which fifteen or so friends might attend (it was a large delivery room). And speaking of private, the wording and location... // Read More »

Full Article


“Grace” as a principle for the medical profession

The other day I was speaking to another physician about grace. This was at church, not surprisingly, but later I wondered why such discussions don’t occur in the hospital. When I recall the more remarkable physician-patient encounters I have seen, the word that comes to mind as the common theme is grace. We can see it in the physician calmly and pleasantly treating the irascible... // Read More »

Full Article


Academic Medicine: In need of an examination?

Being a physician in an academic setting, my attention was drawn to this recent article in Academic Medicine: “Time Well Spent: The Association Between Time and Effort Allocation and Intent to Leave Among Clinical Faculty” by Pollart et al. I had mixed gut reactions to this topic; ranging from the notion that this is an awesome topic long overdue for attention, to the questioning of... // Read More »

Full Article

This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , , . Posted by Tom Garigan. Bookmark the permalink.


Dying and Dignity

On November 1st, Brittany Maynard, a 29 year-old Oregonian with an incurable brain tumor, took her own life using a medication prescribed by a physician specifically for this purpose. The medication, legal under the Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act, was prescribed weeks earlier. The case is well-known because Brittany became a spokesperson for efforts to expand “assisted suicide” laws to other states. Through her own... // Read More »

Full Article

This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , , . Posted by Tom Garigan. Bookmark the permalink.


If no travel restrictions, then….quarantine?

As the Ebola epidemic rages on, the debate about travel limitations has moved inevitably to the next stage: whether there ought to be a quarantine imposed on healthcare providers and others returning from service in endemic areas. We have been reading two opposing views, one emphasizing, as did Governor Christie of New Jersey, that “the obligation of elected officials is to protect the public health... // Read More »

Full Article