Hot Topics: Clinical Ethics

Blog Posts (86)

October 12, 2018

BioethicsTV (October 8-12, 2018): #TheResident #TheGoodDoctor #ChicagoMed #GreysAnatomy

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

“Exploring ethical issues in TV medical dramas”

Jump to The Resident (Season 2; Episode 3): Saline shortage, pressure to bill; Jump to The Good Doctor (Season 2; Episode 3): Structural discrimination against women; surrogate decision-making; Jump to Chicago Med (Season 4; Episode 3): Best interest of a child; faith versus science; Jump to Grey’s Anatomy (Season 15; Episode 4): Fraud, assault, lies, and the ethics police

Medical dramas this week seemed to focus on two themes: 1.…

October 5, 2018

Crowdsourcing: A New Resource for Advanced Training in Bioethics

by Lindsay Zausmer Feuerman, BA and Amy McGuire JD, Ph.D.1

An increasing number of universities offer undergraduate courses and even majors in the fields of bioethics and medical humanities.…

September 21, 2018

We Convey More Than We (Literally) Say

by Jason N. Batten, Bonnie O. Wong, William F. Hanks & David Magnus

This issue of the American Journal of Bioethics features a target article by Blumenthal-Barby and Ubel that focuses on patients who are unrealistically optimistic, in denial, or self-deceived.…

August 7, 2018

The Clinical Dialectic: What Makes Life Worth Living?

STUDENT VOICES | CHYNN ETHICS PRIZE THIRD-PLACE WINNER By Brett Taylor Can too much of a good thing become bad? During the spring semester of my junior year, I had overexerted myself while working out. In doing so, I destroyed my muscles to the point that their constituent proteins were coursing through my bloodstream and […]
July 31, 2018

Credentialing Exam is A Battle for Power and Soul of Bioethics

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Like most members of the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities (ASBH), I received an email last week geared toward enticing me to sign up to take the new Healthcare Ethics Consultant accreditation exam.…

July 6, 2018

Certifying Clinical Ethics: Fracturing Bioethics

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

After an effort of nearly a decade, bioethics is taking a big step toward professionalization. Under the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities, the Healthcare Ethics Consultant Certification Commission has launched a health care ethics consultant certification program (HEC-C).…

June 13, 2018

Over-Screening, Rigid Protocols, and Changing Guidelines: A Personal Journey Through the Looking-Glass

by Craig Klugman

A new JAMAarticle reports on a US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation against routine ECG in patients without symptoms of heart disease: “For asymptomatic adults at low risk of CVD events (individuals with a 10-year CVD event risk less than 10%), it is very unlikelythat the information from resting or exercise ECG (beyond that obtained with conventional CVD risk factors) will result in a change in the patient’s risk category….

June 4, 2018

Outsider/Insider

This post also appears as an editorial in the June 2018 issue of The American Journal of Bioethics.

by Albert R.

April 26, 2018

War Against Science 3.0: The EPA, Doublespeak, and Obfuscation

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Transparency is a good thing. In ethics courses, we teach that doctors should be transparent to their patients, being truthful and disclosing information.…

April 24, 2018

BioethicsTV (April 16-20): #TheResident, #ChicagoMed, #GreysAnatomy

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Resident (Season 1; Episode 10): Self-doctoring; nonmaleficence; the problem with hospitals…; Chicago Med (Season 3; Episode 16): Compassionate lying; choosing gender; medical error; Grey’s Anatomy (Season 14; Episode 20): #METOO

The Resident (Season 1; Episode 10): Self-doctoring; nonmaleficence; the problem with hospitals…

After Conrad has a run-in with a skateboard while jogging, he hobbles into the hospital with a sprained ankle.…

View More Blog Entries

Published Articles (103)

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 18 Issue 3 - Sep 2018

Telling the Truth About Pain: Informed Consent and the Role of Expectation in Pain Intensity Nada Gligorov

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 9 - Sep 2018

The Ethics of Smart Pills and Self-Acting Devices: Autonomy, Truth-Telling, and Trust at the Dawn of Digital Medicine Craig M. Klugman, Laura B. Dunn, Jack Schwartz & I. Glenn Cohen

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 9 - Sep 2018

In Defense of “Denial”: Difficulty Knowing When Beliefs Are Unrealistic and Whether Unrealistic Beliefs Are Bad J. S. Blumenthal-Barby & Peter A. Ubel

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 9 - Sep 2018

We Convey More Than We (Literally) Say Jason N. Batten, Bonnie O. Wong, William F. Hanks & David Magnus

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 8 - Aug 2018

When Parents Refuse: Resolving Entrenched Disagreements Between Parents and Clinicians in Situations of Uncertainty and Complexity Janine Penfield Winters

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 8 - Aug 2018

The Harm Principle Cannot Replace the Best Interest Standard: Problems With Using the Harm Principle for Medical Decision Making for Children Johan Christiaan Bester

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 8 - Aug 2018

Are Organ Donors Really Dead: The Near-Irrelevance of Autoresuscitation Robert M. Veatch

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 8 - Aug 2018

Best Interest, Harm, God’s Will, Parental Discretion, or Utility John D. Lantos

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 7 - Jul 2018

Provider Conscientious Refusal of Abortion, Obstetrical Emergencies, and Criminal Homicide Law Lawrence Nelson

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 7 - Jul 2018

Uterus Transplantation: The Ethics of Using Deceased Versus Living Donors Bethany Bruno & Kavita Shah Arora

View More Articles

News (251)

December 11, 2018 9:15 am

The CRISPR Baby Scandal Gets Worse by the Day (The Atlantic)

Before last week, few people had heard the name He Jiankui. But on November 25, the young Chinese researcher became the center of a global firestorm when it emerged that he had allegedly made the first crispr-edited babies, twin girls named Lulu and Nana. Antonio Regalado broke the story for MIT Technology Review, and He himself described the experiment at an international gene-editing summit in Hong Kong. After his talk, He revealed that another early pregnancy is under way.

It is still unclear if He did what he claims to have done. Nonetheless, the reaction was swift and negative. The crispr pioneer Jennifer Doudna says she was “horrified,” NIH Director Francis Collins said the experiment was “profoundly disturbing,” and even Julian Savulescu, an ethicist who has described gene-editing research as “a moral necessity,” described He’s work as “monstrous.”

December 9, 2018 12:47 pm

Why Are Scientists So Upset About the First Crispr Babies? (The New York Times)

A Chinese scientist recently claimed he had produced the world’s first gene-edited babies, setting off a global firestorm. If true — the scientist has not yet published data that would confirm it — his actions would be a sensational breach of international scientific conventions. Although gene editing holds promise to potentially correct dangerous disease-causing mutations and treat some medical conditions, there are many safety and ethical concerns about editing human embryos.

Here are answers to some of the numerous questions swirling around this development.

December 6, 2018 4:15 pm

Should We Edit the Human Germline? Is Consensus Possible or Even Desirable? (The Hastings Center)

On the one hand, reports of a rogue scientist, He Jiankui, who contravened the scientific and ethical norms that should guide the development of human genome editing reinforces the need for clarity about those norms and international monitoring of advances in the field. On the other hand, it shows the weaknesses and limitations of voluntary efforts – like the summit – to guide scientists’ practices. They lack any real enforcement power on their own, and have largely served to ensure that human genome editing research can continue, rather than promote reflection on whether we should edit the human germline in the first place.

December 6, 2018 9:00 am

If you’re single with cancer, you may get less aggressive treatment than a married person (The Washington Post)

If you are divorced, widowed or never married and develop cancer, watch out. You may get less aggressive treatment than your married friends.

We’ve often heard about studies showing that married adults are more likely to survive cancer than singles. But buried in those same studies is another finding that hasn’t made the headlines. When surgery or radiotherapy is the treatment of choice, patients with spouses are more likely to get it.

December 5, 2018 9:15 am

Genetically Modified People Are Walking Among Us (The New York Times)

It felt as if humanity had crossed an important line: In China, a scientist named He Jiankui announced on Monday that twins had been born in November with a gene that he had edited when they were embryos.

But in some ways this news is not new at all. A few genetically modified people already walk among us.

December 3, 2018 2:12 pm

Medical Detectives: The Last Hope for Families Coping With Rare Diseases (KQED Science)

All over the country, specialized strike teams of doctors are giving hope to families who are desperately searching for a diagnosis.

The medical sleuths have cracked more than a third of the 382 patient cases they’re pursuing, according to a recent paper in the New England Journal of Medicine.

December 3, 2018 9:00 am

Watching My Patient Die, Remotely (The New York Times)

As more and more hospitals have adopted electronic medical records, their records have become linked and you can follow your patients, virtually, hundreds of miles away.

November 30, 2018 11:59 am

China Halts Work by Scientist Who Says He Edited Babies’ Genes (New York Times)

BEIJING — China said on Thursday that it had suspended the work of a scientist who claims to have created the world’s first genetically edited babies, saying his conduct appeared to be unethical and in violation of Chinese law.

The scientist, He Jiankui, announced on Monday that he had used the gene-editing technique Crispr to alter embryos, which he implanted in the womb of a woman who gave birth to twin girls this month. At an international conference on Wednesday, he asserted that he was proud of what he had done.

November 29, 2018 9:15 am

Who owns your medical data? Most likely not you. (The Washington Post)

Do you think you own your own medical data? Your hospital and doctor records, lab and radiology tests, genetic information, even the actual tissue removed during a biopsy or other surgical procedure? Well, you don’t.

It’s a good bet that the fine print of the consent form you signed before your latest test or operation said that all the data or tissue samples belong to the doctor or institution performing it. They can study it, sell it or do whatever they want with it, without notifying or compensating you, although the data must be depersonalized in their best effort to make sure you are anonymous.

November 27, 2018 1:46 pm

Researcher, American professor behind baby gene editing claims now under investigation (USA Today)

A Chinese researcher claiming to have led a team that genetically edited human babies is now under investigation, as well as an American professor who might have helped him.

He Jiankui, an associate professor at Shenzhen’s Southern University of Science and Technology of China, revealed his gene editing work on Monday to an organizer of an international conference on gene editing in Hong Kong. He told the Associated Press he altered the DNA of twin girls born this month to resist HIV and AIDS virus. He said he’s altered embryos for seven couples in fertility treatments, but only had one pregnancy result.

View More News Items