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EDITORIAL

What's in a Name? The Ethical Importance of Respecting a Patient's “Unexplained” Medical Concerns
Kayhan Parsi & Nanette Elster

In the first-year clinical skills course medical students take here at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, one of the key aspects of the medical interview that students learn is the patient’s perspective of their illness. In addition to documenting the patient’s main concerns, history of present illness and past medical history (a curious redundancy), we stress wi...

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Peering into the Future of Peer Review
Kayhan Parsi & Nanette Elster

If you try googling the term “peer review is,” one of the top search results is “broken.” This reflects some of the frustration and even cynicism about the peer review process. Regarding the shortcomings of peer review, one is reminded of the famous quote attributed to Churchill (“democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”) Yet peer review is still regarded ...

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From Frankenstein to Hawking: Which is the Real Face of Science?
Jonathan D. Moreno

If Stephen Hawking knew that he was facing his last days he would surely have been amused that his death would come on Albert Einstein’s birthday and almost exactly two hundred years after the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. As a matter of character and reputation the imaginary Victor and the richly real Stephen couldn’t have been more different, but together they rep...

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Target Article

Why Bioethics Should Be Concerned With Medically Unexplained Symptoms
Diane O'Leary

Biomedical diagnostic science is a great deal less successful than we’ve been willing to acknowledge in bioethics, and this fact has far-reaching ethical implications. In this article I consider the surprising prevalence of medically unexplained symptoms, and the term’s ambiguous meaning. Then I frame central questions that remain answered in this context with respect to informed conse...

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Responding to Those Who Hope for a Miracle: Practices for Clinical Bioethicists
Trevor M. Bibler, Myrick C. Shinall Jr. & Devan Stahl

Significant challenges arise for clinical care teams when a patient or surrogate decision-maker hopes a miracle will occur. This article answers the question, “How should clinical bioethicists respond when a medical decision-maker uses the hope for a miracle to orient her medical decisions?” We argue the ethicist must first understand the complexity of the miracle-invocation. To this end, we p...

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