» Cultural Where the World Finds Bioethics Wed, 22 Jun 2016 12:18:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Aboriginal Health Care and Bioethics: A Reflection on the Teaching of the Seven Grandfathers Tue, 26 Apr 2016 19:59:43 +0000 0 Legal history ignored by opponents of medically assisted death Tue, 26 Apr 2016 18:00:59 +0000 by Stuart Chambers, Ph.D.

In a recent article in the National Review, author and lawyer Wesley Smith takes issue with what he describes as an unprincipled attack against Not Dead Yet (NDY), an American disability rights organization. From a legal and medical standpoint, both NDY and Smith support the withholding and withdrawing of medical treatment but remain steadfast in their opposition to legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia.

As with NDY, Smith vigorously defends this stance based on the omission/commission moral distinction.…

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Paternalists at the Gate: Those With Privilege Fight to Keep It Wed, 06 Apr 2016 18:08:45 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

One of the main concepts that most medical ethics instructors teach to their students is that of autonomy—self governance. I usually explain that this evolved in response to the age of paternalistic medicine. During the civil rights movement, where voiceless groups were demanding a voice, patients were among those who received a voice through autonomy. However, recent legislation suggests that the age of paternalism has returned anew, but this time medical authority is wielded by legislators and not physicians trying to ensure their continued privilege in society.…

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What can celebrities do for bioethics? Wed, 30 Mar 2016 20:01:09 +0000 by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Television, film, theater, sports, and music celebrities (and other famous people who only seem to be famous for being famous) capture the public’s attention with tales of the celebrity lives and the perks and downfalls that come with being a public figure. Occasionally, their narratives include topics that are frequently discussed in bioethics. Although it’s great to have the public engaged in topics that we discuss behind closed doors in our offices, classrooms, and laboratories, many times, much to bioethicists and medical practitioners’ irritation, because of their celebrity status they have a large platform to damage the work the medical profession and bioethicists have done to establish a relationship with the public.…

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Military Suicide Capsules and Medical Ethics Mon, 21 Mar 2016 19:43:54 +0000 by Steven H. Miles, MD

In December 2013, a Hearing Panel for the Health Professions Council of South Africa found Wouter Basson MD culpable for unprofessional conduct because of his work to produce chemical weapons, to medically assist rendition by commandos (kidnappings), and to provide cyanide containing suicide capsules to Special Forces’ operatives leaving for clandestine meetings. I served as an expert witness for the prosecution in the Basson matter in the area of medical ethics and military medicine.

The French philosopher-sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) is partly responsible for the confusion about strategic military suicide.…

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The Unbearable Whiteness of Bioethics: Exhorting Bioethicists to Address Racism Mon, 21 Mar 2016 16:42:50 +0000 by Kayhan Parsi, Ph.D.

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” (Cicero)

Fight the Power” (Public Enemy)

Recently, our medical school hosted Dr. Linda Rae Murray to give a talk on structural racism and medicine. A former president of the American Public Health Association, Dr. Murray gave a powerful presentation on the history of racism in the United States and its lingering impact upon health disparities. In one of her more provocative slides, she graphically conveyed the long history of racism toward African Americans in the United States (before and after the founding of the republic).…

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Gun Toting Docs: A Tool of the Trade? Tue, 15 Mar 2016 04:31:57 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Last month the dean of the architecture school at the University of Texas announced he was leaving, in part because he disagrees with the new Texas campus carry law that forbids banning guns from classrooms and offices. How does this relate to medicine?

  • In July 2014, a psychiatrist going against hospital policy, pulled the gun he was carrying and wounded his armed patient (whether the argument would have escalated to a deadly shootout—1 person died—if guns had not ben present can never be known).
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Study: Smoking pot doesn’t make you anxious or depressed Fri, 19 Feb 2016 15:01:57 +0000 0 A Generation Gap Between Privacy & Confidentiality Wed, 17 Feb 2016 07:45:51 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

I was sitting in a quiet coffee house when a woman at the other end of the café says loudly into her phone, “ I can send in a copy of the pregnancy test but I really need to have this ultrasound scheduled. The doctor is worried about doing my procedure if I’m pregnant.” Although a private business, a coffee house has a long tradition of being a public space. So why would someone have such a privileged, intimate conversation in public where others can clearly hear (especially when we’d prefer not to).…

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Powerball Fever Is Born of Epic Inequality Tue, 12 Jan 2016 22:03:12 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Like many Americans and Canadians, I hold in my hand a ticket for a chance to win to the record $1.5 billion lottery. For a couple of bucks, you can dream: My spouse and I talked about being able to pay off student loans, buy a new house, maybe buy a vineyard in France. The media write articles on the long lines, the high hopes, and how this money will help fund schools and public programs.

My question is why is the idea of winning huge amounts money so attractive that it encourages people in droves to spend their money on a 1 in 292 million chance of winning big?…

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The Ethics of Moral Outrage Wed, 06 Jan 2016 15:44:33 +0000 by Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD

Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy. –Aristotle

The year 2015 produced a mind numbing number of events that triggered intense social media anger. From the dentist who killed Cecil the Lion to the CEO who jacked up HIV/AIDS drugs, it seemed everyone had an excuse to be angry.…

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Imposter Syndrome Tue, 05 Jan 2016 15:54:54 +0000 by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

As a junior scholar, Imposter Syndrome is as a part of my daily life as some people’s morning coffee is a part of their morning routine. Despite considering myself to be a very confident person, Imposter Syndrome is an omnipresent force in my life. Imposter Syndrome is the belief that you are not qualified for a task, job, or promotion despite evidence to the contrary usually in the form of experience, education, degrees, etc. It’s a feeling of phoniness, a feeling that you do not deserve the accolades you have received coupled with the fear that everyone knows you’re a fake.…

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U.S. mentally ill 16 times more likely to be killed by police: study Thu, 10 Dec 2015 23:30:44 +0000 0 U.S. teens don’t exercise enough at school Wed, 09 Dec 2015 23:40:19 +0000 0 U.S. appeals court rules against Wisconsin abortion doctor law Tue, 24 Nov 2015 19:27:03 +0000 0 Live Long & Prosper is the New “Good” Mon, 23 Nov 2015 21:49:48 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

One of my family’s Thanksgiving traditions is one common to many, that we go around the table and name something for which we are thankful. This week my list includes several things relevant to bioethics:

For most Americans though, they are often thankful for things that make them happy such as their family and their health.…

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Using social media in clinical research: Case studies address ethical gray areas Mon, 16 Nov 2015 23:28:17 +0000 0 Can This Procedure Reverse an Abortion? Mon, 09 Nov 2015 21:45:54 +0000 0 Marijuana is literally the least of the nation’s drug worries, the police have announced Fri, 06 Nov 2015 17:46:07 +0000 0 France ends law banning blood donation from gay men Wed, 04 Nov 2015 22:15:02 +0000 0 Ingestible Drug Adherence Monitors: Trending Toward a Surveillance Society? Sun, 01 Nov 2015 22:45:30 +0000 0 Personal Care Products With Parabens May Be Dangerous, Even At Low Levels; What To Look For On Labels Wed, 28 Oct 2015 22:19:03 +0000 0 Michigan Catholic hospital failed to help woman with brain tumor: complaint Wed, 14 Oct 2015 21:42:44 +0000 0 Planned Parenthood revises reimbursement policy after video uproar Tue, 13 Oct 2015 21:54:38 +0000 0 Perceived discrimination linked to smoking and poor diet Thu, 08 Oct 2015 18:23:25 +0000 0 State of the Armed Union Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:57:52 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D

In the first 274 days of 2015, there were 294 mass shootings (yes, that is more than 1 per day). As a nation, there were over 39,000 gun incidents leading to 10,104 deaths and 20,544 injuries so far in 2015.

For points of comparison

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Black patients fare better than whites when both get same healthcare, study finds Fri, 25 Sep 2015 20:34:30 +0000 0 Black patients fare better than whites when both get same healthcare, study finds Thu, 24 Sep 2015 17:02:49 +0000 0 Poverty may increase odds of repeat hospitalizations Wed, 16 Sep 2015 20:01:04 +0000 0 Rise in crowdfunding lets patients seek help for medical treatment Tue, 15 Sep 2015 19:54:29 +0000 0 What are you doing for black philosophy? Tue, 08 Sep 2015 19:44:09 +0000 by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

“What are you doing for black philosophy?” This was the only line in a Facebook message that I received a few days ago from someone I did not know. My immediate reaction was one of anger. I kept thinking how dare someone ask me what I’m doing for black philosophy. That anger grew as I clicked the sender’s name and a profile did not come up. I drew the conclusion that this person is likely just an internet troll who found the profile of a seemingly black person with some relation to philosophy, sent this message to aggravate me, and then deactivated or deleted his or her profile.…

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U.S. government to extend healthcare nondiscrimination law to transgender people Thu, 03 Sep 2015 19:42:21 +0000 0 Women, minorities still underrepresented in medical specialties Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:05:26 +0000 0 Legal case tests religious hospitals’ right to deny procedures Mon, 24 Aug 2015 17:33:58 +0000 0 The Private as Public: What it Means for Bioethics Sat, 22 Aug 2015 05:54:36 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Today I was sitting in an outdoor coffee house and listened to the sounds around me. I heard the jackhammer from the street construction and the beep of a truck backing up. There was the gentleman working on his computer at the next table, playing music from his cell phone, out loud for everyone to hear. There were two women behind me (one actually moved so that she was next to me) speaking in very loud voices while one was convincing the other to use her as a web designer (and complaining about their boyfriends).…

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Yes, It’s True: Women Really Are Freezing Their Tails Off at Work Mon, 10 Aug 2015 17:46:53 +0000 0 Man dies after police hogtie him at Mississippi concert Mon, 03 Aug 2015 20:44:57 +0000 0 Investigating Two Claims Against Planned Parenthood: Center of Medical Progress’s Secret Videos Mon, 27 Jul 2015 22:00:39 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Before you being reading, I have a disclaimer: Growing up, my mother worked for Planned Parenthood. As a nurse, she practiced in their clinics offering well women services, counseling, and contraception. After many years, she went on to direct their clinic’s in vitro fertilization program. I also heard the word “Planned Parenthood” stated with a quick northeastern accent. Said that way, as a child, I thought the place was called “Plant Parenthood” and wondered what plants had to do with women’s health.…

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India set to become world’s most populous country by 2022 – U.N. Mon, 27 Jul 2015 20:34:20 +0000 0 High on the menu: cannabis spaghetti features at Italian foodfest Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:02:18 +0000 0 On the Origins of Research Ethics: China and the West Thu, 16 Jul 2015 07:23:16 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D

When I was a graduate student, I was fortunate to be one of five students chosen by the China Medical Board to attend an international bioethics conference between the U.S. and China in Beijing. We listened to talks on the philosophical bases of ethics in each country and culture. The U.S. laid its philosophical history on the doorsteps of the ancient Greek traditions such as Plato and Aristotle as well as later European thinkers such as Kant, Mill, and Bentham.…

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Cancer survivors may face barriers to adoption Tue, 14 Jul 2015 21:28:26 +0000 0 A Scientific Ethical Divide Between China and West Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:40:08 +0000 0 In California, Vaccination is the Law Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:52:08 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This week, California governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 277. This law mandates vaccinations for all children who attend a school (public or private) in the state. The only exemption is when a physician certifies that a vaccine “is not considered safe for the child.” The big change in this new law is the removal of the “personal belief” exemption from vaccination. No longer can a religious or philosophical belief exempt a child from receiving an immunization.…

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Can An Advance Directive Ever Justify Cessation of Eating in an Alzheimer’s Patient? Wed, 17 Jun 2015 12:00:39 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Margot Bentley did what end-of-life care advocates say we should all do—she completed an advance directive. She wrote hers in 1991 when she was working as a nurse and stated that she did not resuscitation, surgery, respiratory support, or nutrition and hydration.

Today she is at the center of a legal battle in Canada. At age 83, she has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for the last 16 years. She is non-responsive. Her family wants to follow her wishes by stopping feeding and taking her home to die comfortably.…

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Bullied kids are more likely to be depressed years later Thu, 11 Jun 2015 21:26:37 +0000 0 Doubts About Study of Gay Canvassers Rattle the Field Fri, 05 Jun 2015 16:38:29 +0000 0 Quantified Self: Your Life in Data Thu, 04 Jun 2015 08:04:00 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

How much did you sleep last night? How many calories did you burn? How many steps did you walk? What was your average resting heart rate? How many calories did you consume? What was your blood oxygen level? If you were a part of the “Quantified Self” movement, then you would have all of these numbers logged on your wearable, your mobile, your phone, your tablet, and your laptop.

The Quantified Self movement is an attempt to use technology to keep track of all physiological aspects of a person’s life.…

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“Should I feel badly that I acted unethically?” Fri, 29 May 2015 21:01:29 +0000 Ms. Barnard is a business woman who has opened a medical clinic across the street from an existing facility. She suspects that the Other Clinic is “playing unfairly” by not having a physician on site. Since a physician costs a lot of money to employ, the Other Clinic could be undercutting the competition if this were true as well as violating their state license. Ms. Barnard asks her employee, Roger, to visit Other Clinic posing as a patient and seeing if indeed there was a physician present.…

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U.S. anti-legalization group urges more access to marijuana research Thu, 28 May 2015 15:15:44 +0000 0