Tag: bioethics

Blog Posts (101)

September 3, 2014

Who cares about the well-being of women who have abortions?

Currently the states of Texas and Louisiana have laws about the regulation of abortion clinics that are being disputed in the federal courts (see articles by CNN and The Christian Science Monitor). These are not laws about banning abortions. They are laws about safety regulations for abortion clinics. Within the past week federal judges have blocked the implementation of a law in Louisiana that would... // Read More »
August 31, 2014

What Is Driving Our Health Care?

Katie Jennings recently wrote in Politico Magazine of the American Medical Association’s role in American health care policy, particularly concerning pricing for services (see “The Secret Committee Behind Our Soaring Health Care Costs”).   Since the 1990s, an AMA committee has been in charge of determining the value of services provided by physicians, including determining Medicare prices.  Jennings points out that the committee serves as “a... // Read More »
August 28, 2014

“Release to Elsewhere” and (vs?) the Reality

World magazine suggests that the movie version of Lois Lowry’s youth novel The Giver is an important entrée to discussions about human dignity, abortion, and euthanasia. My wife and I saw it last weekend.  Our response to the above:  Maybe, but probably not. The overwhelming message of the movie seems to be about human freedom:  If people have freedom, they will make bad choices, but... // Read More »
August 27, 2014

Direct cell reprogramming to grow a new organ and the ice bucket challenge

A recent article in The Guardian reports on an interview with Clare Blackburn of the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh where they have recently been able to induce a direct transformation of mouse skin fibroblasts into thymic epithelial cells. When these induced thymic epithelial cells were mixed with other thymus cell types and transplanted into mice they grew... // Read More »
August 26, 2014

(Gun) Violence as a Public Health Issue

In the Summer 2014 edition of Dignitas Greg Rutecki provides a thought-provoking article calling for reframing the gun control debate as a public health issue. He brings attention to the measures taken in Australia following a 1996 mass shooting (35 dead) in 1996, which subsequently appeared to produce a striking drop in homicides, as well as suicides by firearms. Although we could have reasonable debate... // Read More »
August 25, 2014

Limning Autonomy in Surgery

Several years ago while still a surgery resident I was stuck with a needle while operating on a patient with hepatitis C and HIV. The infectious disease team at that institution started me immediately on the latest anti-retroviral cocktail to decrease my chances of becoming infected with HIV. I took the cocktail for about a week and then, unable to tolerate the horrible gastrointestinal side-effects,... // Read More »
August 23, 2014

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides…

I just finished reading a very dry book on organizational theory as applied to reproductive medicine. The book was a Swedish observational study evaluating the sociomaterial aspects of that subspecialty, particularly Swedish IVF clinics. While the book did not directly address ethical issues in reproductive medicine, it did note some of them in passing. One that caught my eye was issue of the choice of... // Read More »
August 21, 2014

Breast Cancer, BRCA Mutations, and Attitudes about PGD

If you knew you had a gene mutation that confers a high risk of cancer, would you use IVF and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to prevent passing on the mutation to your offspring? That is the question that cancer doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston put to 155 young women, still of childbearing potential, with breast cancer.  The doctors actually asked their patients... // Read More »
August 14, 2014

This week’s WHO statement on Ebola

Earlier this week (Monday, August 11), the WHO convened a panel of ethicists, physicians, scientists, and members of the general public to review the ethics of providing experimental treatments for people afflicted in the current Ebola outbreak.  The WHO issued a brief statement the following day.  The statement itself is a bit sketchy; the WHO said that a (presumably much more detailed) report of the... // Read More »
August 13, 2014

How emerging adults think about morality

Every year around this time Taylor University where I teach and work with the Center for Ethics holds what we call Colleagues College, two days when the faculty gets together to learn about some aspect of teaching in a Christian liberal arts university. This year we are focusing on the characteristics of the group that sociologist have begun to call emerging adults. Emerging adults are... // Read More »