Hot Topics: Philosophy & Ethics
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
One of the changes that the Trump administration tried to make to the Affordable Care Act was to eliminate the requirementthat employer insurance plans cover the full cost of contraception.…Full Article
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
Ben Sasse, Senator (R-NB) and professor of history, writes in his new book Them: Why We Hate Each Other—and How to Healthat in a world that is more interconnected through screens, we are more separate and alone than ever: “We’re literally dying of despair” he states.…Full Article
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
“I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can…to sell the product for the highest price” Nirmal Mulyeto the Financial Times
I have been haunted by the above quote, first reported in the Financial Times on September 11.…Full Article
by John D. Lantos, Ph.D
The impassioned and well-reasoned essays in this edition of the journal all agree with two claims: (1) children have moral claims that should be protected and recognized, and (2) we need ongoing discussions on how to determine and weigh the interests of children when we make decisions for them.…Full Article
by John J. Paris, SJ
The widely publicized conflicts between families and physicians over treatment decisions for profoundly compromised children in the recent Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans cases revive topics as old as the history of Western medicine on who should determine medical treatment and on what standard.…Full Article
This post also appears in the November 2017 issue of the American Journal of Bioethics.
by John Lantos, Ph.D.
In this issue of AJOB, Navin and Wasserman (2017) argue that parents should have more discretion in clinical decision making than they currently do.…Full Article
bioethics.net is proud to present this live release of the talks given by the 2017 ASBH Lifetime Achievement Award honorees. If you are at the ASBH Meeting, you can read along; if you were unable to attend, then you can see their talks here.…Full Article
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.Full Article
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored” – Aldous Huxley, Proper Studies (1927)
A recent exchange on the bioethics listserv began with a panicked message that the Presidential bioethics commissions website (bioethics.gov) has gone dark.…Full Article
Performance-Enhancing Drugs, Sport, and the Ideal of Natural Athletic Performance
Responding to Those Who Hope for a Miracle: Practices for Clinical Bioethicists
The Impact of a Landmark Neuroscience Study on Free Will: A Qualitative Analysis of Articles Using Libet and Colleagues' Methods
When Does Consciousness Matter? Lessons From the Minimally Conscious State
Temporal Naturalism, Free Will, and the Cartesian Myth: Time Is NOT Illusory and We Are NOT ‘Talking Heads’
Cogitas Ergo Es? Metaphysical Humility in Disorders of Consciousness
Is That the Same Person? Case Studies in Neurosurgery
Saving Life, Limb, and Eyesight: Assessing the Medical Rules of Eligibility During Armed Conflict
I Miss Being Me: Phenomenological Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation
WASHINGTON — Pound for pound, the deadliest arms of all time are not nuclear but biological. A single gallon of anthrax, if suitably distributed, could end human life on Earth.
Even so, the Trump administration has given scant attention to North Korea’s pursuit of living weapons — a threat that analysts describe as more immediate than its nuclear arms, which Pyongyang and Washington have been discussing for more than six months.Full Article
Last year, more than 1 million Americans attempted suicide, and 47,000 succeeded. While some people display warning signs, many others do not, which makes suicide difficult to predict and leaves family members shocked — and anguished that they couldn’t do something.
Medical providers and tech companies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and Facebook, are increasingly applying artificial intelligence to the problem of suicide prediction. Machine learning software, which excels at pattern recognition, can mine health records and online posts for words and behaviors linked to suicide and alert physicians or others to impending attempts. The potential upside of this effort is huge, because even small increases in predictive accuracy could save thousands of lives each year.Full Article
The Sarah Cannon Research Institute, based in Nashville, received nearly $8 million in payments from drug companies on behalf of its president for clinical operations, Dr. Howard Burris, largely for research work. Dozens of his articles published in prestigious medical journals did not include the required disclosures of those payments and relationships.Full Article
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.”Full Article
Microsoft Corp. called for new legislation to govern artificial intelligence software for recognizing faces, advocating for human review and oversight of the technology in crucial cases.
“This includes where decisions may create a risk of bodily or emotional harm to a consumer, where there may be implications on human or fundamental rights, or where a consumer’s personal freedom or privacy may be impinged,” Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith, wrote in a blog post published Thursday in conjunction with a speech on the topic at the Brookings Institution think tank.
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.Full Article
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.Full Article
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.Full Article
A vaccine and new treatments are on hand, but the outbreak is in an area rife with unpredictable gunfire, bandits and suspicion of outsiders.Full Article