Tag: bioethics

Blog Posts (103)

September 20, 2014

Population Health: the New Medicine

Below is a modified copy of my response to an informational article that was recently sent by the CEO of our hospital to our medical staff. Many suggested that I make this letter available publicly. Little do they know that I do so on a regular basis! “I want to thank our CEO for forwarding this article to us while simultaneously pointing out its significance... // Read More »
September 19, 2014

Antidepressants: Society duped?

Has our society has been duped about antidepressant medication? It’s estimated that around 10% of the American population is taking an antidepressant. However, a growing body of research seems to indicate that antidepressant medication isn’t much better in the treatment of depression than placebo (sugar pills). The treatment effects of antidepressants may be statistically significant when compared to placebo, but not clinically significant. In other words, if you... // Read More »
September 17, 2014

Ebola and the cultural understanding of disease

Last night the student group that works with the Center for Ethics at Taylor University sponsored a discussion of the ethical issues related to the current Ebola outbreak in western Africa. They discussed issues including when it can be appropriate to use an experimental treatment that has not been tested for safety in humans, how to decide who should be given an experimental treatment that... // Read More »
September 15, 2014

Google Maps and Moral Authority

At a recent conference held for the leadership of state veterinary medical associations, I had the opportunity to listen to the sobering economic statistics that veterinary medicine faces. These are not, by the way, altogether new or shocking (I’ve listened to them and read them well before the average new graduate entered the profession with the 2.7:1 debt to income ratio of the Class of... // Read More »
September 14, 2014

“Enhancement” and Moral Development

Oxford ethicist Julian Sevulescu and Swedish philosopher Ingmar Persson argue in their book Unfit for the Future: The Urgent Need for Moral Enhancement that now is the time to introduce neurological and genetic changes in people so they are willing to go along with various agendas.  They note that climate change is a big issue, but when a number of people are apathetic about the... // Read More »
September 12, 2014

It’s not primarily about the guns

A recent article in Dignitas and a recent post to this blog discuss gun violence as a public health issue. I don’t know if the broad category of gun violence properly falls under the heading of public health, but one aspect of it certainly does: accidental firearm injuries in the pediatric population. It is difficult to obtain reliable statistics to say how prevalent this problem is,... // Read More »
September 11, 2014

Keeping up with Clinical Research with Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Unless one works daily in a specific area of biomedical research, it can be next to impossible to keep up with developments.  I have trouble keeping up with a reasonable amount of the progress in research for some cancers.  Trying to track stem cell research requires more bandwidth than I have.  Still, from time to time I do try to do at least a little... // Read More »
September 9, 2014

What Should We Forget?

In January MIT announced a research study published in the journal Cell that reported a way to erase traumatic memories in lab mice using a drug that makes the brain “more plastic, more capable of forming very strong new memories that will override the old fearful memories.” MIT opened its story by referring to “nearly 8 million Americans [who] suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD),”... // Read More »
September 8, 2014

Limning the Limits

Shortly after I submitted my last post “Limning Autonomy in Surgery” I was contacted by the blog editor letting me know that I had made a typo in my title and that he would go ahead and correct it for me. The problem is that I really do mean to use the word “limn.” When I was at Wheaton College a couple of my professors... // Read More »
September 7, 2014

Memorial to Lives Unworthy of Life

Germany unveiled a World War II memorial this week.  It is the first to commemorate those with medical problems who were deemed unworthy of life (Lebensunwertes Leben) and were exterminated by the Nazi regime.  The memorial wall has been built at Tiergartenstraße 4 in Berlin, not only the site of the “Charitable Foundation for Cure and Institutional Care” but also the address that gave the German... // Read More »