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02/04/2016

How Philosophy Training Helps Me Overcome the Persuasive Power of Advertising

Advertising is about persuasion. Companies spend billions of dollars per year trying to convince us to buy their products. But sometimes, rigorous philosophical training can help us avoid that influence. Consider the following ad: Only deep immersion in Immanuel Kant … Continue reading

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02/04/2016

Can Our Minds Live Forever?

Can you freeze your brains and preserve the pattern of information that represents you—your thoughts, memories and personality—your self

A story in Scientific American reports on a company that is trying.  It has started with rabbit brains.

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD. Bookmark the permalink.

02/03/2016

Restricting Choices of Childbearing Women

by Bela Fishbeyn, M.S.

In this month’s issue of AJOB, Howard Minkoff and Mary Faith Marshall argue that we ought to acknowledge the inherent complexity and personal nature of risks involved in childbirth, and thus defer, when possible, to the decisions made by autonomous mothers-to-be. They place this in opposition to the claim that, “women have the right to choose how and where to give birth, but they do not have the right to put their baby at risk,” and discourage deference to the evaluations of clinicians and judges. However, for mothers-to-be to access autonomy presupposes access to options that may not exist in the world, and in our current system that overwhelmingly favors medicalized birth, access to other birth options is limited.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Reproductive Medicine and tagged , , , , , . Posted by Bonsai Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.

02/03/2016

Can’t Afford Medical Care? Welcome to America!

David Blumenthal and colleagues recently wrote a wonderful piece in the New England Journal on the future of Medicare. In it, they present a powerful picture comparing how often people in 11 countries have difficulty accessing medical care because of … Continue reading

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02/03/2016

When Is CPR Futile?

Here in the February 2016 AMDA newspaper CARING FOR THE AGES, is a reasonable and informed analysis of when CPR may or should be refused in the long-term care setting.

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD. Bookmark the permalink.

02/03/2016

A Letter to Dick Wolf & Chicago Med

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

When I was a graduate student in my clinical bioethics masters program I was rotating through a pediatric subspecialty, following a physician. The first half of the day was great. The doctor introduced me to patients, explained what was going on with them, explained his plans and his hopes for each patient. About two-thirds through one particular day he asked me for my stethoscope. I thought “Uh-oh, He doesn’t understand.” When I responded that I did not have one, he said “What kind of medical student are you.” I shrugged my shoulders. When we left that patient’s room I re-explained to him (as I had in my email asking if I could shadow him) that I was a student in the medical school studying clinical ethics, but I was not a medical student.…

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This entry was posted in Clinical Ethics, Featured Posts, Media and tagged , , . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.

02/03/2016

Bioethics & the Status of Women Filmmakers

There are currently less than 7% of films created by women making it to major film festivals —that is 7%, per year, worldwide. This percentage has remained low and static for 25 years. Film festival screenings constitute theatrical releases. Theatrical releases are required for film and/or television distribution.

Low access to film festivals limit women’s ability to earn livings behind the camera in their industry. The number of screen stories genuinely reflecting women’s experiences is also disproportionately diminished. Omission of the perspective of women in film complicates matters in the purview of bioethics: beneficence, autonomy and justice. 

23 percent of people surveyed consider entertainment television as the top three sources of their health information. That health information is being controlled through a male perspective as shots are usually called by male producers, directors and writers. It is a bioethical tenant that equality does not equal sameness. This was learned when in 1993, the US federal government mandated women and racial minorities be included in drug research. Clinical observation showed women and minorities were being harmed by lack of inclusion as women’s responses to pain and pain medications were significantly different from those of men. These new observations coincided with increasing the critical mass of women and peoples of color in the medical profession. Women in film seems to represent a parallel situation.

Women filmmakers are denied the opportunities to reflect functional abdominal pain, menopause, postpartum depression, caregiver burnout, forced sterilization. We are not seeing these stories; yet women struggle to comprehend their meanings in gyms, carpools and walks on dirt roads to schools around the world.

What is to be done? The 38th Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) in October 2015, piloted its “Mind the Gap” programming. This is a conscious efforts to seek and evaluate more films by women. The “Mind the Gap” goal is to change the disproportionately low numbers of films in major festivals, representing women working behind the camera, —directors, writers, cinematographers and producers. However, it is also an attempt to participate in a dialog about the origin of the problem. Mind the Gap includes a commitment to search for those films which do manage to be made by women, despite nearly insurmountable barriers. The hope is to help establish models which can be replicated to improve women filmmakers access to the industry. 

The MVFF is among the oldest and most respected USA film festivals. It is juried through the coveted Audience Awards, bestowed by a historically film savvy 60,000 MVFF patrons. In 2015, some 170 films were screened. Programmers of the MVFF are legendary for their curatorial capacity. Many of the independent, international, documentary, short and feature films seen at this festival are U.S, North American or World Premieres. MVFF’s influence derives from consistently programming and hosting major award winners well before the beginning of the award nomination season.
In the October 2015 MVFF, roughly thirty-three percent of films screened were developed by women behind the camera. That is a better female to male ratio than most top tier film festivals: compare Toronto, Cannes, Berlin, Sundance. However, the California Film Institute, the parent organization sponsoring the MVFF, has even higher aspirations. The CFI-MVFF goal is a fifty-fifty, female to male film director ratio, a far cry from the current international paltry 7% representation of women’s films in festivals. 

Among the 2015 MVFF premieres, with significant women’s content and as it happens also other forms of diversity, which you may not find in the Oscar lineup, were: Under the Same Sun (dir. Mitra Sen), A LIGHT BENEATH THEIR FEET (dir. Valerie Weiss), INTERWOVEN (dir.V.W. Scheich), and THE ASSASSIN (dir.You Hsiao-Hsien.)

Read: 
Smith, S., Pieper, K. et al, Gender & Short Films: Emerging Female Filmmakers and the Barriers Surrounding Their Careers examining short films and directors. http://annenberg.usc.edu/pages/~/media/MDSCI/MDSC%20LUNAFEST%20Report%2010515.ashx, accessed February 1, 2016.

Smith, Stacy L., Choueiti, M. et al. Inequality in 700 Popular Films: Examining Portrayals of Gender, Race,
accessed February 1, 2016

MVFF Mind the Gap http://www.mvff.com/mind-the-gap/ accessed February 1, 2016.


NIH Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research US Public Health Service http://archive.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/59fr14508.htm Accessed Feb 1, 2016

Cross Reference: 

http://www.bioethicsscreenreflections.com/2015/10/a-light-beneath-their-feet-bridges.html



http://www.bioethicsscreenreflections.com/2015/10/the-assassin-and-bioethics-death-and.html

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged . Posted by September Williams, MD. Bookmark the permalink.

02/02/2016

A Health Insurance Double Whammy

In case you missed it, I am recirculating a picture put together by the Kaiser Family Foundation , which reveals two unsettling facts about health insurance in United States. First, the cost of employer-based health insurance has risen 61% since … Continue reading

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02/02/2016

Founding Father Thomas Paine on Medical Futility and Brain Death

Thomas Paine wrote The American Crisis during the American Revolution,  in 1778.  But he makes an interesting observation about medical futility: "To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason . . . is like ...

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD. Bookmark the permalink.

02/01/2016

Best Email of the Week

I got an unusual email message a little while ago. It was from someone I had never met before, and it wasn’t obvious to me, at first, why this person was contacting me. The email began like this: “I am … Continue reading

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