Tag: bioethics

Blog Posts (161)

February 24, 2015

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 »
February 23, 2015

Printing Resources & Prosthetic Hands

When discussing issues of technological development, specifically for use in the field of medicine, one aspect of bioethical consideration includes the determining the allocation of this new resource. In many (not all) situations, the allocation can be driven by cost: those who can afford the resource get it, while those who cannot afford it do not. While this does not completely seem out of line... // Read More »
February 21, 2015

Bodies as Property vs. Bodies as Gift

This past week I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Daniel Sulmasy speak on the topic of bioethics in public policy, sharing in part about his experience with the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Problems. In the process of sharing, he made the striking statement that people do not own their genomes. This was later unpacked in the Q&A time where he emphasized... // Read More »
February 20, 2015

Thank you for treating me like a person

I went down with the resident to the emergency department to hear the patient’s story (aka “Take a history”) and perform a physical exam as part of the patient’s admission to the hospital. As we were getting ready to leave, the patient said, “Thank you for treating me like a person.” What does it say about our medical system when “treating someone like a person”... // Read More »
February 16, 2015

Non-Embryonic Stem Cells and Malaria Treatment

A recent study from MIT (available here) has found that stem cells developed from blood and skin samples can be manufactured into liver like cells. The implications of this are exciting on two different levels: 1) this is another success for ethically derived stem cells; 2) this study is being used to develop treatment for malaria – a disease that has a lifelong impact on those it... // Read More »
February 14, 2015

Autonomy and Autism

In 2000, the United States declared that the measles virus had been eradicated. Yet, within the first week of 2015, there were approximately 121 cases reported in 17 different states. This trend is closely linked to parents choosing not to vaccinate their children. Anti-vaxxers have many reasons for choosing not to vaccinate their children, especially the high prices of vaccines and the potential health and safety hazards for... // Read More »
February 12, 2015

Which Doctor Should Carry Out the End of Life Conversation?

Yesterday, Steve Phillips echoed my support for Dr. Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal.  One of Dr. Gawande’s key points is how difficult it can be for doctors to talk with their patients about care at the end of life, when the doctor cannot “fix” the problem.  Steve also raised the difficulty of these discussions in his January 28 post on this blog. This past Tuesday,... // Read More »
February 11, 2015

Something to live for

I just finished reading Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal and would recommend it to anyone interested in the issues surrounding death and dying. In the book Gawande comes across as both a caring physician and an engaging author. He weaves together the things he has learned about how we die and stories of the lives of a number of people as the live out the... // Read More »
February 10, 2015

“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 »
February 9, 2015

Three-Parent IVF

The ways to make a baby have been expanded once again. While the ways to bring a baby into this world can be the source of much bioethical debate, it was generally accepted that two people would be part of the process. After a recent decision in the British House of Commons, this given has changed – three parent in vitro fertilization (IVF) has been... // Read More »