Tag: Ethical Method / Grounding

Blog Posts (62)

March 14, 2017

What are the Ethics of Avoidance?

Mark McQuain, in his February 21st blog post, discussed an interesting article which proposed that ethical decisions be made by robots. Although the author’s specific arguments invite numerous responses, underneath these arguments lies the question: why does modern man spend such effort to use technology to rid himself of yet another intrinsic function of his existence? It seems to me that this wish to pass... // Read More »
March 3, 2017

March for Science

If anything can be gleaned from the early days of the new administration in Washington, it is that a lot of Americans appear eager to march. The sheer numbers of marches chronicled since the election and into the nascent days of the victors’ succession would impress John Philip Sousa. The newest entry is the “March for Science,” an event to be held on April 22nd,... // Read More »
February 10, 2017

Apologies and Outcomes

What if a study shows that the course of action we know to be right doesn’t “work”? Or that it may even place us at a disadvantage? When bad things happen to patients in the course of medical treatment, doctors traditionally have avoided apologizing or even expressing sympathy to patients, for fear that such expressions would be used against them in malpractice court as an... // Read More »
February 7, 2017

Secular Bioethical Mumblings of The Supreme Court

In the blog yesterday, Neil Skjoldal reminded us that bioethics will likely again play a role in the upcoming nomination process of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Why is this the case? To paraphrase Professor H. Tristram Engelhardt, I believe it is due in part to the inability of moral strangers to resolve... // Read More »
February 5, 2017

Excuse Me, Doctor, What Exactly Do You Profess?

The late Edmund Pellegrino, M.D., revered medical educator, ethicist, and physician, often made the point that a professional professes something. Merriam-Webster  confirms that the etymology of the word, profession, includes the Latin for “public declaration.” The Hippocratic Oath, probably penned by members of the Pythagorean sect, according to Ludwig Edelstein (see Ancient Medicine: Selected Papers of Ludwig Edelstein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), has for... // Read More »
January 23, 2017

From a Nighttime Ride

Not long ago, on a nighttime ride through the Nicaraguan countryside, the members of our small medical team could not help but notice the sky. Away from the dense electrical grid of the US, we could see the stars as our ancestors did. Imagine, for example, the Jews in the Sinai– ascending the mountains under the clear desert sky of old…what an amazing sight they... // Read More »
January 4, 2017

The inconsistency of many who reject human dignity

I just finished reading Richard Weikart’s new book, The Death of Humanity: And the Case for Life. Weikart is a professor of history at California State University, Stanislaus and has presented several papers at CBHD summer conferences. His latest book looks at how western culture has lost an understanding of the concept of human dignity and the value of human life. He details the historical... // Read More »
December 22, 2016

Implications of the incarnation

As I systematically read through the Bible, but at a much slower pace than those who read through the Bible in a year, my reading of Scripture is frequently out of sync with the seasons of the church calendar. This Advent I have been reading through the last chapters of the gospel of Luke which include Jesus trying to get his followers to understand that... // Read More »
December 11, 2016

The 14-day rule: Time to double down?

The “world’s leading scientists” gathered at University College London on 7 December 2016 to explore extending the 14-day limit on embryo experimentation from 14 days to 28 days. Presently the consensus of that meeting is not known. The Guardian has published a nice summary of the background and future implications of the issue (link HERE). Jon Holmlund offered his comments in this blog back in... // Read More »
November 19, 2016

Pre-Existing Conditions 2.0

Back in 2005, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel co-wrote an article with Dr. Victor Fuchs entitled “Getting Covered”, where the authors described three factors necessary for major healthcare reform: the problem attracts political attention; major players agree upon a refined and feasible solution; and a transforming political event occurs. Their criteria were met with the election of Barack Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2008, resulting in... // Read More »

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