Tag: bioethics

Blog Posts (90)

August 7, 2014

More on Allocation vs Rationing

A comment to my post from last week started with the statement, “The whole discussion [of whether discussions of value are just Trojan Horses for unjust rationing] would be less strained if money wasn’t so scarce in health care.”  If by this is meant, conversations about medical expenses would be easier if the prices weren’t so high—well, sure.  If what is meant is more like,... // Read More »
August 7, 2014

Bioethics Commission 201: The Functions of a U.S. Bioethics Commission – Advice, Not Enforcement

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) advises the President as issues arise from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology. It seeks to identify and promote policies and practices that ensure scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in a socially and ethically responsible […]
August 5, 2014

Attending to Attention

It’s hard not to notice that the idea of “attention” is on a lot of people’s minds. In just one week my desk received a copy of The Hedgehog Review,, the monthly Turning Points Magazine & Devotional, and an e-mail message from a parent all dealing with this subject. Since the advent of a DSM diagnoses involving deficits of attention (initially linked to hyperactivity), the... // Read More »
July 31, 2014

“Value” vs “Rationing”

I put the two terms in quotation marks because I worry about how easy it is for us (including me) to use terms polemically when the underlying discussions are difficult. Wesley Smith, whose “Human Exceptionalism” blog I admire (over at National Review Online), recently posted his concern about the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO’s) efforts to define, among its leadership and membership at large,... // Read More »
July 26, 2014

Following in the Errant Footsteps of the VA

The recent revelation of the crisis—and failure–of caregiving in the VA health system raises grave concerns for American health care in general and should motivate physician leaders to re-evaluate their approach to ethical health care. Until recently, the VA health system was a recognized leader in health care quality, patient safety and ethics, outperforming most American hospitals in these areas. It had also established an... // Read More »
July 24, 2014

The upcoming debate over “CIRM 2”–CORRECTION

(I made an error about a past video involving the late actor Christopher Reeve in my post yetsterday. I strongly implied, at least, that such a video was used in the 2004 campaign for passage of California Prop. 71.  That would not be correct.  The video in question, easily found on YouTube, was aired [it indicates there] by Nuveen Investments during the 2000 Super Bowl.... // Read More »
July 24, 2014

Presidential Bioethics Commission 101

The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research was formed by Congress and charged with identifying fundamental principles for research involving human volunteers. It completed its work and was ended in 1979. That commission is recognized as the first contemporary U.S. bioethics commission and since its formation, bioethics has […]
July 18, 2014

Is complicity important in Hobby Lobby decision?

ontinued litigation will not unite the country but compromise can. Forcing individuals and their companies to act against deeply held religious belief should not be done and will only inflame partisan rancor.
July 16, 2014

Freedom and our connection to the root

It has been almost a month since the CBHD summer bioethics conference and I am still reflecting on some of the things I experienced there. One that left a lasting impact was the presentation by a sculptor, Karen Swenholt, which was sponsored by the Tennessee Center for Bioethics and Culture on Friday evening. As she presented slides of her art and talked about the meaning... // Read More »
July 15, 2014

A “diagnosis” a physician can no longer make?

If you were to follow the trends on gender identity discussion you would be unsurprised to see this article in The Slate: “Don’t Let the Doctor Do This to Your Newborn” The author begins by portraying a physician taking a newborn away from a worried mother for a “procedure,” which turns out to be gender “assignment.” This physician, described as stern, masked, dismissive, knuckle-cracking, paternalistic,... // Read More »