Tag: bioethics

Blog Posts (263)

September 28, 2015

The Lost Narrative

In their article “Autonomy vs. Selflessness at the End of Life” published in the Summer 2015 edition of Ethics & Medicine, Hannah Martin and Daryl Sas provide a useful foray into the battle over the meaning of human dignity. The authors describe an alternative to the “flat” version of human dignity espoused by proponents of physician-assisted suicide (PAS)—a version based solely on self-determination. In other... // Read More »
September 25, 2015

A Modest Proposal to Solve the Physician-Assisted Suicide Debate

Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune carries an editorial by Steve Chapman entitled “The Case for the ‘right to die.’” Aside from missing the central point of the whole question, Chapman does a creditable job of marshalling arguments and bioethicists to support his support for physician-assisted suicide. However, he does neglect the central point, which, of course, is that doctors do not and should not kill — including not giving... // Read More »
September 25, 2015

A bit more about “3-parent babies”

It is reported that the UK’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) issued guidelines last week to govern the practice of mitochondrial transfer, which the UK government approved in February.  In this case, the term “mitochondrial transfer” refers to any of several possible techniques that could be used to allow women with certain rare but debilitating diseases of the mitochondria—the “energy factories” of the cell—to... // Read More »
September 23, 2015

Frozen embryos: the product of acting before we think

A recent article in the LA Times about a current divorce case in which there is dispute about what will happen to five frozen embryos created by the couple reminds us that our society is conflicted about what to think about cryopreserved embryos. This is an example of how technology and its ability to enable us to do whatever we desire to do gets ahead... // Read More »
September 18, 2015

Restoring Study 309: Figures don’t lie, but . . .

This week the BMJ published an article written under the “Restoring invisible and abandoned trials initiative.” This 2013 initiative was undertaken to bring unpublished trials to light and to correct misreported trials, “. . .to see whether access to and reanalysis of a full dataset from a randomized controlled trial would have clinically relevant implications for evidence based medicine.”  The BMJ article details the reanalysis of... // Read More »
September 17, 2015

An “Under the Radar” but Preventable Problem Missed?

Sometimes, the simple, lower-tech problems are wrongly neglected and (no pun intended) rise up to bite us. I say “no pun intended” because, according to Nature, snakebite is re-emerging as a serious public health problem in rural Africa and India, and the tropics in general.  I live in San Diego, where we have rattlesnakes, but it’s usually easy to stay away from them and not... // Read More »
September 17, 2015

Is Bioethics Too Powerful?

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In an August 2015 Boston Globe opinion piece, Steven Pinker—professor of psychology at Harvard—wrote that bioethics should “Get out of the way” of medical research and technological advancement.…

September 14, 2015

Oh, Those Darned Terms!

In a recent post Jon Holmlund cited Thomas B. Edsall’s op-ed in the New York Times, “The Republican Conception of Conception.” Edsall was referring to the concept that life begins at conception. It is his hope that Republicans either stake a consistent position regarding the morality of post-conception “contraception” and incur the disfavor of the electorate, or abandon their “moral purity” in favor of “pragmatism” and... // Read More »
September 14, 2015

The Age of Contractualism in Bioethics?

by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

Various ethical theories underlie approaches to resolving bioethical dilemmas. Consequentialist theories hold that the moral evaluation of an action is based solely upon the goodness or badness of its consequences for all of the relevant parties.…

September 10, 2015

Physician-Assisted Suicide Almost Law in California

Previously considered “dead” for this year (including by me), the legislative proposal to legalize physician-assisted suicide in California was “resurrected” and introduced in a special session addressing health care financing. Yesterday (Wednesday, September 9), the bill passed the California State Assembly, 42-33.  It is certain to pass the State Senate, which readily approved the original bill that had been voted down by a different Assembly... // Read More »