Get Published | Subscribe | About | Write for Our Blog    


Please join us for our next AJOB webinar on VACCINE MANDATES, moderated by David Magnus, with panelists Arthur Caplan, Seema Mohapatra, Matthew Wynia, and Kevin Schulman.

September 17th, 8:30a – 9:30a PST // 11:30a – 12:30p EST

Register here:

Can’t make it? No worries. We always record & post our webinars on YouTube.…

Full Article

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

With Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna/National Institutes of Health producing a viable vaccine for COVID-19 (along with two other companies on the precipice of also producing viable vaccines) and with distribution set to begin in just a few weeks for many health care providers, people have questions about when they will receive the vaccine. The New York Times has created a vaccine calculator in which you can input information about yourself such as your age and whether you have pre-existing conditions which make you vulnerable to COVID-19, and other information to then get an estimate of when you can expect to get the vaccine. On the CDC website the agency has answered a series of questions about the vaccine, including questions about the cost of the vaccine (no cost to the individual, although some providers can charge an administration fee that can be covered by public and private health insurance or government relief fund for people without insurance). Whereas…

Full Article

Haavi Morreim, JD, PhD 

My remembrance of Ken begins by borrowing from his obituary ( 

Kenneth Kipnis, philosopher, medical ethicist, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, died peacefully on August 26th, 2021, in Portland, Oregon. … 

Ken forged his career as a self-described “field ethicist” in the Socratic tradition. Working with professionals across a wide variety of disciplines — especially medicine, law, and public health — he sought to apply philosophical principles to complex moral dilemmas. His life’s work was to determine what, if anything, the study of philosophy had to offer those in profound ethical distress. 

Full Article

In this series, we ask bioethicists to respond to a question that embodies current challenges for bioethics, medicine, or health care. In this blog, bioethicists were asked to share their thoughts on “Now That The Pfizer Vaccine Has Full FDA Approval, What Does This Mean For The Covid-19 Pandemic?” Here are their responses:

Vivian V. Altiery De Jesus, MD, MBE and Shika Kalevor MBE, BSN, RN

Vivian V. Altiery De Jesus

Approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by the Federal Food Administration (FDA) is without doubt a milestone. But is this enough to gain public trust and hopefully eradicate COVID-19 just as the world eradicated smallpox? …

Full Article

by Ross E. McKinney, Norma Poll-Hunter and Lisa D. Howley

The following blog is an editorial found in the latest issue of American Journal of Bioethics. You can find it here:

Racism is a complex problem in the US that is institutionalized, personally mediated, and internalized (Jones 2000). Within medical education the recognition and response to structural racism is beginning to take shape in response to COVID-19 and recognition of the nature of anti-Black public acts. The verity of structural racism as a major cause of health-related disparities is clear, as is the need for a framework for understanding and informing medical education to address the problem.…

Full Article

By Brian M. Cummings, MD and John J. Paris, SJ, PhD

John Stuart Mill proclaimed, “Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”  Mill’s statement appears to come in conflict with public health expert mitigation recommendations. How can we mitigate a pandemic when individual sovereigns chose not to follow these recommendations.  The United States is experiencing a fourth surge of Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations related to the delta variant.  This is despite the profound effectiveness of available vaccines in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death related to Covid-19.   Masks are available to mitigate disease spread, yet remain controversial.  Media attention on expected ‘breakthrough’ infections provokes doubt about vaccination, endorsing hesitancy.  The…

Full Article

By Jennifer L Young, PhD, Julia E H Brown, PhD, Nicole Martinez-Martin, JD, PhD 

In a small but significant change of the tide, Britney Spears has been granted permission to have her own lawyer, to pursue her request to end her 13-year long conservatorship under the hands of her father. This has sparked a reassessment of the ethics of conservatorships, or legal guardianships, and how to distinguish between what Spears described as “conservatorship abuse” and a moral obligation to protect vulnerable people. 

After Britney Spears was hospitalized multiple times in 2008 for an unspecified mental health condition, her father filed for a conservatorship, ostensibly to protect her from causing harm to herself because of her deteriorating mental state.…

Full Article

By George J. Annas and Sondra S. Crosby

This editorial can be found in the latest issue of American Journal of Bioethics.

Lowering the standard of care in a pandemic is a recipe for inferior care and discrimination. Wealthy white patients will continue to get “standard of care” medicine, while the poor and racial minorities (especially black and brown people) will get what is openly described as substandard care rationalized by the assertion that substandard care is all that we can deliver to them in a crisis. (IOM 2009) Paul Farmer’s experience in responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a shocking, if extreme, example of how dangerous to patients this practice is.…

Full Article

by Keisha Ray, PhD

Originally presented at “Race and Bioethics: Amplifying Diverse Voices,” sponsored by Columbia University Bioethics. See it here: link

My co-panelists and I have been tasked with thinking about the ways that bioethics does, or in most cases, does not consider issues of race, including racism, and systemic health inequities. Although I am very happy to have this opportunity to speak about bioethics because it is something very dear to me, and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else, this opportunity feels like another moment where a bioethicist of color has to defend her work, her place in bioethics, and hope that White bioethicists see the value of her work and the value of Black bioethicists.…

Full Article

by G.M. Trujillo, Jr., Ph.D.

Critics and academics laud Jonathan Metzl’s Dying of Whiteness. But unlike many academic works, it caught public attention. Metzl toured the country to give talks, and white supremacists even tried to shut down one of his events. The book deserves the praise. It enables readers to grasp that no one is immune from the ills of racism, even white people. The book’s thesis is simple: “a host of complex anxieties prompt increasing numbers of white Americans … to support right-wing politicians and policies, even when these policies actually harm white Americans at growing rates.…

Full Article

Original art and artist’s blurbs are presented in collaboration with the students of the University of Illinois Chicago program in Biomedical Visualization. 

by Sydney Agger, BA

While Artificial Intelligence (AI) has shown promise as a diagnostic tool for individuals with depression, I wanted to create an illustration that evoked the feeling behind the ethical challenges described by Laacke et al. in his article about AI, social media, and depression. Throughout the process of creating this illustration my main goal was to maintain a sense of uneasiness between the figure being observed and their shadowy observer. Regardless of the AI figure’s good intentions, its presence feels intrusive as it makes observations without the seated individual’s explicit knowledge or permission.…

Full Article