Bioethics.net » Politics http://www.bioethics.net Where the World Finds Bioethics Wed, 22 Jun 2016 12:18:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Reducing Tobacco Use Through Withdrawal Policies: When Should We Ban the Use of a Harmful Product? http://www.bioethics.net/2016/06/reducing-tobacco-use-through-withdrawal-policies-when-should-we-ban-the-use-of-a-harmful-product/ http://www.bioethics.net/2016/06/reducing-tobacco-use-through-withdrawal-policies-when-should-we-ban-the-use-of-a-harmful-product/#comments Tue, 14 Jun 2016 21:15:04 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=59469 Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD

In the first-year clinical skills course at our medical school, we offer a session on tobacco cessation. In this part of our course, we emphasize to our medical students the significant costs tobacco use incurs. The costs to health are now well documented. The financial costs are substantial as well. We teach our students that they can have a positive impact upon their patients’ health by utilizing motivational interviewing techniques and applying the 5 A’s of change (ask, advise, assess, assist, arrange).…

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Should we medicate healthy children to fight social inequality? http://www.bioethics.net/2016/06/should-we-medicate-healthy-children-to-fight-social-inequality/ http://www.bioethics.net/2016/06/should-we-medicate-healthy-children-to-fight-social-inequality/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2016 18:53:23 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=59333 by Sebastian Sattler, PhD

A proposed solution seeks a quick fix, without tackling the deep roots of the problem.

It’s a statistic that seems almost unbelievable: the richest one percent now has more wealth than the rest of the world combined, according to an Oxfam report. Inequality exists between nations such as Great Britain and Sudan, within different social strata in countries such as the United States, and on lower levels of societal entities, like within the city of Chicago.…

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Response to Zika and the Olympics Letter http://www.bioethics.net/2016/05/response-to-zika-and-the-olympics-letter/ http://www.bioethics.net/2016/05/response-to-zika-and-the-olympics-letter/#comments Tue, 31 May 2016 18:21:21 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=59326 The following letter was received by bioethics.net in response to our link to a letter written by professionals urging the Olympics to be postponed this year because of the threat of Zika.


 by Ralph R. Frerichs

It may seem strange to hear WHO’s Margaret Chan or CDC’s Thomas Frieden quickly reject any suggestion that the Olympics be postponed or moved to avoid expanding Brazil’s Zika epidemic, not even offering caveats of future research findings.  Yet all this has occurred before, and not that many years ago.…

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Why America Needs Bioethics Right Now http://www.bioethics.net/2016/05/why-america-needs-bioethics-right-now/ http://www.bioethics.net/2016/05/why-america-needs-bioethics-right-now/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 19:23:01 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=59296 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

From the title, you probably assumed I’m going to talk about the fast changing pace of medical technology, whether we should be working on human embryos, claims that scientists will be able to do head transplants within 2 years, or even whether the Olympics should be postponed because of Zika. This blog has also paid attention to some of the orphan issues of bioethics: public health, social justice, health disparities, climate change and medicine in war, torture and guns.…

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Rio Olympics Later:­ For the Good of Both Public Health and Sport http://www.bioethics.net/2016/05/59288/ http://www.bioethics.net/2016/05/59288/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 14:00:51 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=59288 by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

It is imperative that an open, transparent discussion of the risks of holding the Olympics as planned in Brazil occur as soon as possible.  Not general assurances from WHO but a frank discussion among independent experts—if Rio is going to happen the world deserves a full discussion of why and at what potential risks and liabilities.

For more information, click through http://rioolympicslater.org/. The text of this letter and link have been added below.


Thanks to Anis-Instituto de Bioética for this art, and please visit their Zika documentary and pages

To sign this letter, please send an email to zikaletter@gmail.comwith your title (dr, prof, etc), department and institutions.

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The Politics of Fetal Pain http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/the-politics-of-fetal-pain http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/the-politics-of-fetal-pain#comments Mon, 23 May 2016 18:50:45 +0000 http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/the-politics-of-fetal-pain

Earlier this year, Utah passed a fetal pain bill that requires the use of general anesthesia on women seeking abortions at 20 weeks gestation or later.  This bill, which relies on a controversial claim that fetuses may feel pain as early as 20 weeks, has been heavily criticized as an attempt to abrogate abortion rights rather than serving a legitimate protective purpose. 

The issue of fetal pain has long been a source of contention in the scientific community, and the dispute has led to several states restricting or prohibiting abortions 20 weeks or later on the basis of potential fetal pain.  While many argue that this law is just one of many across the country aimed not at protecting health, but at restricting or eliminating abortion rights, this law, in fact, seems to be justified in its goal of minimizing the possible experience of suffering by the fetus. 

While studies have not proven that a fetus can feel pain prior to the third trimester, reasonable doubt about the possibility of fetal experience of pain exists.  As E. Christian Brugger argues in his article entitled “The Problem of Fetal Pain and Abortion: Toward an Ethical Consensus for Appropriate Behavior,” there is no moral certitude that fetuses do not feel pain after 20 weeks, and “a preponderance of evidence supports the conclusion that fetal-pain experience beginning in the second trimester of pregnancy is a real possibility.”  Brugger makes the argument, drawing from several researchers of fetal neuroanatomy that all the neural structures for both pain perception and consciousness are in place by 18-20 weeks.  Furthermore, he argues that those who deny fetal consciousness until much later in pregnancy may be relying on outdated assumptions which place the seat of consciousness in the cerebral cortex, despite growing evidence that the upper brainstem and subcortical tissues may actually play a greater role.

If it is reasonable to believe that the fetal experience of pain is possible after 20 weeks, it seems equally reasonable to consider requiring anesthetic or analgesia for such fetuses to prevent unnecessary suffering.  Despite statements from ACOG and others supporting the assertion that fetal pain is not likely before the third trimester, even the possibility that the fetus may experience significant pain and distress supports the notion that, in the face of uncertainty, we should err on the side of preventing such pain.

Opponents of such requirements argue that anesthesia can pose significant and disproportionate risks to the woman with no corresponding benefit, and that the use of anesthesia will increase the cost of abortion significantly, potentially limiting access to the procedure for many women for financial reasons.  While mandating anesthesia or analgesia is not without risks, these risks are not disproportionate if the benefit is eliminating possible pain experienced by the fetus. 

Whether or not the primary purpose of this law is to curtail abortion rights, its effect is, in fact humane; that is, it is an attempt, in light of scientific and moral uncertainty, to prevent unnecessary fetal pain if, in fact, the fetus can and does experience it.  This compassionate approach seems eminently reasonable, and should be supported.

 

The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our website.

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House GOP presses ahead with Zika measure http://www.bioethics.net/news/house-gop-presses-ahead-with-zika-measure/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/house-gop-presses-ahead-with-zika-measure/#comments Thu, 19 May 2016 12:46:44 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=59185 http://www.bioethics.net/news/house-gop-presses-ahead-with-zika-measure/feed/ 0 Expanding The Moral Community: Why is it so hard? http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/expanding-the-moral-community-why-is-it-so-hard http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/expanding-the-moral-community-why-is-it-so-hard#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:30:53 +0000 http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/expanding-the-moral-community-why-is-it-so-hard

Much of American history can be described as the struggle to expand the moral community in which an increasing number of human beings are seen as having basic rights under the constitution. We forget sometimes that though the inclusion of all people was perhaps implied in our early documents, as in “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” from the Declaration of Independence, it has taken historical time and struggle to come closer to realizing that ideal. This struggle has been the quest for recognition of more and more individuals not assumed initially to have the right to vote and exercise control over their lives, which included African Americans, women, minorities, and more recently the LGBT community. The growing recognition of more and more individuals as being full fledged citizens has been a slow, often painful, birthing process of freedom, in the sense of unleashing human potential and possibilities, within the democratic process.

 

The recent uproar over the Anti-LGBT law passed in North Carolina is a reminder of how difficult it is for many states and communities to accept and accommodate historically marginalized people into the mainstream of society. This law was a quick reaction by the right wing North Carolina legislature and governor to an ordinance passed in Charlotte, similar to what other cities around the country are doing, allowing transgender people to use restrooms according to their gender identity. Perhaps this law also should be seen as a reaction to the Supreme Court ruling in 2015 legalizing same-sex marriage, which has been propelling society toward greater openness and acceptance of LGBT life styles, integrating them into the mainstream. Many who favor the Anti-LGBT law claim that individuals born as male, but are now identifying as female, could pose a risk to women and girls in public bathrooms, though there seems to be no substantial evidence whatsoever of such a risk. My sense is that the individuals who support this law in fact are using risk as a smokescreen in attempting to preserve what they perceive as waning values and norms in society: In the name of conservatism they hang on to an exclusionary vision of society that no longer fits the conditions of expanding freedom and opportunity.

 

So what some see as waning values and norms, others see as moral progress toward more robust democratic ideals and values. This inherent, historical struggle of opposing social and political forces has resulted with unexpected rapidity in the social and legal acceptance of gays and lesbians in the past 20 years in the United States. Most young people today especially those living in metropolitan areas, like Charlotte, where cultural diversity is a daily reality, readily accept that people naturally have different sexual orientations and gender identities, which people should be free to express in their lives. This liberal openness to diversity likely stems from the fact that they live in the midst of, and have normal interactions and friendships with, people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, which prompts them to look upon them as neighbors and as normal people. On the other hand, my guess is that many of the advocates of the Anti-LGBT Bill in North Carolina have little or no contact (of which they are aware) and no or limited relationships with LGBT individuals. Also, part of the resistance to greater inclusion of the LGBT community could be stem from the anxiety of having to recognize one’s own uncomfortable feelings and inclinations about sexuality and gender.

 

An additional factor to explain the reluctance of many self-identified conservatives to accept alternative sexual and gender orientations may be related to religion. Particularly, in the “bible belt” regions, regardless of whether or not they are followed by church leaders and members, clear notions of basic moral norms of right and wrong are assumed. Sadly, religious morality has been historically integrated with and used to justify a range of regional cultural values and norms—even heinous ones such as the use of Christianity to justify the institution of slavery. But in fairness even many Christians outside the bible belt follow Catholic natural law theory based on certain features about human nature from which basic norms are predicated about what is “normal” as well as “right” and “wrong” in a content rich, objective sense. In short, the point is if one believes that members of the LGBT community are engaging in a personal life style that is assumed to be inherently immoral, a barrier to inclusion is created.

 

So we in America today are in the midst of a culture war between conservative communities in rural and smaller towns on the one side espousing religious assumptions about human nature (which affects how they perceive risks) and liberals celebrated diversity in more progressive, metropolitan areas on the other. Advocates on either side of this divide bring to bear ideas and theories in an effort to convince others of their position. However, my sense is that articulating arguments to defend the root moral assumptions of either side is unlikely to change the minds of individuals on the other side. The result seems to be communities of individuals living in parallel universes with alternate moral vocabularies who “talk at” each other. Though I am for a liberal, moral vocabulary to account for moral progress within the democratic process, the real change that many of us liberals seek really is at the emotional, and even spiritual, level relating to how human beings are able to show empathy and respect for their fellow human beings in their communities.

 

We know human identity is based largely on social identity within a particular group or groups related to broad social categories such as religion, race, ethnicity, social class, etc. and to more specific ones such as professions, sports teams, political parties, etc. One of the inherent features of social identity is that individuals have a sense of self-identity by virtue of their group affiliations, which is also defined in terms of groups with which they are not affiliated and to which they stand in opposition. When group identities become rigid, to the point of engendering animus toward other groups, barriers are created which can marginalize the rights of individuals in those groups. But through exposure to, and openness to personal relationships with, individuals outside one’s own group, group identity becomes more flexible and open to change—this is an inner change of heart and disposition toward others.

 

Perhaps many of those who self-identify as conservatives in North Carolina who favor the Anti-LGBT law, and who also are predominantly Christian, should remember the ministry of the central character of their faith tradition. The thrust of Jesus’ ministry as defined by scholars like John Dominic Crossan is one of radical inclusion and hospitality. Jesus spent his time interacting with, eating with, and drinking wine with those on the margins of society who were outcasts and viewed as unclean and dangerous according the prevailing hygiene laws. His message to these people was that they too can be included in the moral community and be loved like all others. This is a robust message of compassion and love.

 

Ultimately, struggle for expanding inclusion can only succeed when opponents of bills like the Anti-LGBT Bill are able to show members of the LGBT community the kind of compassion and love Jesus showed to those on the margins of society in his day. The struggle of inclusion really is the struggle to expand what one thinks of as the moral community, or more simply, the neighborhood.

 

 

 

The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our website.

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Paternalists at the Gate: Those With Privilege Fight to Keep It http://www.bioethics.net/2016/04/paternalists-at-the-gate-those-with-privilege-fight-back/ http://www.bioethics.net/2016/04/paternalists-at-the-gate-those-with-privilege-fight-back/#comments Wed, 06 Apr 2016 18:08:45 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=58607 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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Should Therapists Analyze Presidential Candidates? http://www.bioethics.net/news/should-therapists-analyze-presidential-candidates/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/should-therapists-analyze-presidential-candidates/#comments Wed, 09 Mar 2016 14:02:21 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=58283 http://www.bioethics.net/news/should-therapists-analyze-presidential-candidates/feed/ 0 Amusing Ourselves to Death? The Tension between Entertainment Values and Civic Virtues http://www.bioethics.net/2016/02/amusing-ourselves-to-death-the-tension-between-entertainment-values-and-civic-virtues/ http://www.bioethics.net/2016/02/amusing-ourselves-to-death-the-tension-between-entertainment-values-and-civic-virtues/#comments Wed, 24 Feb 2016 06:59:53 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=58116 Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD

“In Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.”

–Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

With the rise of Donald Trump as a political force, we should take stock of some prescient work of the last 30 years. In 1985, cultural critic Neil Postman wrote his landmark book Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (a 20th anniversary edition was issued in 2005 with an introduction by his son Andrew Postman).…

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Zika: Time for the next wave of sensationalized worry http://www.bioethics.net/2016/02/zika-time-for-the-next-wave-of-sensationalized-worry/ http://www.bioethics.net/2016/02/zika-time-for-the-next-wave-of-sensationalized-worry/#comments Tue, 23 Feb 2016 23:06:23 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=58110 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

On the season (series?) finale of the X-Files (Season 10, episode 6) this week, all of humanity is being attacked by the Spartan virus, a disease that seems to turn off the human immune system and permits other diseases to kill us. This episode is built on our fears of an inevitable worldwide pandemic and, of course, the recent concerns over Zika virus.

Zika is a virus spread by the Aedes mosquito. An adult who is infected may experience a “mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache.” Zika has been known since 1947 when the virus was found in a rhesus macaque being used for research on yellow fever in Uganda.…

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Breast cancer screening recommendations clarify science but muddy political waters http://www.bioethics.net/news/breast-cancer-screening-recommendations-clarify-science-but-muddy-political-waters/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/breast-cancer-screening-recommendations-clarify-science-but-muddy-political-waters/#comments Wed, 20 Jan 2016 23:29:47 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=57771 http://www.bioethics.net/news/breast-cancer-screening-recommendations-clarify-science-but-muddy-political-waters/feed/ 0 Powerball Fever Is Born of Epic Inequality http://www.bioethics.net/2016/01/powerball-fever-is-born-of-epic-inequality/ http://www.bioethics.net/2016/01/powerball-fever-is-born-of-epic-inequality/#comments Tue, 12 Jan 2016 22:03:12 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=57687 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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Base Gun Policy on Science, Not Rhetoric http://www.bioethics.net/2016/01/base-gun-policy-on-science-not-rhetoric/ http://www.bioethics.net/2016/01/base-gun-policy-on-science-not-rhetoric/#comments Thu, 07 Jan 2016 08:49:29 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=57634 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This year, my university required all instructors to talk about “live shooter” plans in our classes. Although this institution does not permit guns anywhere on campus, we are supposed to be prepared because we live in a world where mass shootings occur in schools and where in more places people carry firearms.

This week, President Obama took executive action to address this public health epidemic. During the press conference, the President announced guidance for federal agencies that fell into three categories: asking Congress for more funds, expanding who is covered under the background check requirements, and greater enforcement of existing laws.…

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The Bell Tolls for Death by Neurologic Criteria: Aden Hailu http://www.bioethics.net/2015/12/the-bell-tolls-for-death-by-neurologic-criteria-aden-hailu/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/12/the-bell-tolls-for-death-by-neurologic-criteria-aden-hailu/#comments Fri, 04 Dec 2015 06:42:54 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=57372 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

A judge in Reno, Nevada this week denied a request by St. Mary’s Regional Hospital to conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine that a patient is dead. Aden Hailu was a 20-year-old student at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) when she was hospitalized April 1 with abdominal pain. During exploratory surgery, she had a heart attack that led to low blood pressure and lack of oxygen to the brain. Hailu never awoke. A ventilator is now maintaining her body, an IV introduces fluids and nutrients, and medications are maintaining blood pressure.…

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What Should Clinicians and Bioethicists Tolerate? http://www.bioethics.net/2015/11/what-should-clinicians-and-bioethicists-tolerate/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/11/what-should-clinicians-and-bioethicists-tolerate/#comments Tue, 17 Nov 2015 17:18:40 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=57216 by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby

Last week I attended a talk by German philosopher Rainer Forst on “Toleration and Democracy”. Professor Forst, a student of Habarmas, was named “the most important political philosopher of his generation” in 2012. Forst began by noting the tension between toleration and democracy. On the one hand, democracy demands something more than mere tolerance of others and their perspectives—something more along the lines of recognition and respect. In this way, and paradoxically, every tolerance is a form of intolerance.…

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“More Welders, Less Philosophers” http://www.bioethics.net/2015/11/more-welders-less-philosophers/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/11/more-welders-less-philosophers/#comments Wed, 11 Nov 2015 08:14:12 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=57167 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

I couldn’t believe it when GOP Presidential Candidate Marco Rubio said that “we need more welders and less philosophers” during the November 10 GOP Presidential Candidate debates. For the moment, I’ll put the incorrect grammar aside (it should be “fewer philosophers, not less”). As someone who is employed in an area of applied philosophy, I certainly found this offensive. As a bioethicist I work to help people think more and I hope that I have a positive influence on the world.…

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A Bioethicist on Mars http://www.bioethics.net/2015/11/a-bioethicist-on-mars/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/11/a-bioethicist-on-mars/#comments Mon, 02 Nov 2015 07:18:08 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=57079 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The film, The Martian, is an exciting Robinson Crusoe space adventure. Based on the book of the same name by Andrew Weir, the film stays fairly close to the original source. Astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars when he is impaled by a metal rod in the middle of a sudden and violent storm. Thought dead due to a malfunction of his suit, his fellow astronauts leave him and make an emergency evacuation to return to Earth.…

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Michigan Catholic hospital failed to help woman with brain tumor: complaint http://www.bioethics.net/news/michigan-catholic-hospital-failed-to-help-woman-with-brain-tumor-complaint/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/michigan-catholic-hospital-failed-to-help-woman-with-brain-tumor-complaint/#comments Wed, 14 Oct 2015 21:42:44 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=56837 http://www.bioethics.net/news/michigan-catholic-hospital-failed-to-help-woman-with-brain-tumor-complaint/feed/ 0 The Democratic Debate on Health: Not Much http://www.bioethics.net/2015/10/the-democratic-debate-on-health-not-much/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/10/the-democratic-debate-on-health-not-much/#comments Wed, 14 Oct 2015 06:48:44 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=56827 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Unlike in last month’s GOP debate, in the Democratic Presidential Candidate debate last night, health care issues were not a central factor. If you recall, the GOP debaters went round in circles about whether children should be vaccinated. In the DNC debate, health care issues were raised in a brief mention of Obamacare (i.e. “Affordable Care Act (ACA)) and in greater depth in discussing insurance coverage of undocumented individuals.

When talking about Obamacare, Bernie Sanders stated that he preferred universal health care coverage over the ACA’s private insurance approach.

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Planned Parenthood revises reimbursement policy after video uproar http://www.bioethics.net/news/planned-parenthood-revises-reimbursement-policy-after-video-uproar/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/planned-parenthood-revises-reimbursement-policy-after-video-uproar/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2015 21:54:38 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=56839 http://www.bioethics.net/news/planned-parenthood-revises-reimbursement-policy-after-video-uproar/feed/ 0 State of the Armed Union http://www.bioethics.net/2015/10/state-of-the-armed-union/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/10/state-of-the-armed-union/#comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:57:52 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=56732 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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Helming the bioethics ship of state http://www.bioethics.net/2015/10/helming-the-bioethics-ship-of-state/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/10/helming-the-bioethics-ship-of-state/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:51:23 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=56690 by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

10/2/15   The President issued an executive order extending the term of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (PCSBI) through September, 2017 https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/30/executive-order-continuance-or-reestablishment-certain-federal-advisory

This is a very interesting announcement since the last day Barack Obama will be the President of the United States is January 20, 2017.   Astute observers will note that the Commission will be advising a new President for nine months, perhaps longer. While there has been a good deal of speculation about who that next President will be, there has, sadly, been far from adequate attention paid to who the next leaders of the commission would be under a new President.…

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Drug Price Hikes and the Misguided Profit Imperative http://www.bioethics.net/2015/09/drug-price-hikes-and-the-misguided-profit-imperative/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/09/drug-price-hikes-and-the-misguided-profit-imperative/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 18:55:13 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=56602 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Headlines this past week were abuzz with news that Daraprim—a drug that has fought parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis for 62 years—saw its price hiked by 5500%, nearly overnight. For decades Daraprim has been a front line drug available for $13.50 a table. When Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the company that makes the drug last month, the new owners raised the price to $750 per pill. Often used by HIV patients, the per year cost would be $634,500.…

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Clinton plan to cut health costs includes tax credits, more sick visits http://www.bioethics.net/news/clinton-plan-to-cut-health-costs-includes-tax-credits-more-sick-visits/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/clinton-plan-to-cut-health-costs-includes-tax-credits-more-sick-visits/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 22:32:51 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=56584 http://www.bioethics.net/news/clinton-plan-to-cut-health-costs-includes-tax-credits-more-sick-visits/feed/ 0 Is Bioethics Too Powerful? http://www.bioethics.net/2015/09/is-bioethics-too-powerful-lessons-from-research/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/09/is-bioethics-too-powerful-lessons-from-research/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 22:21:32 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=56517 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In an August 2015 Boston Globe opinion piece, Steven Pinker—professor of psychology at Harvard—wrote that bioethics should “Get out of the way” of medical research and technological advancement. He states that bioethics “bog[s] down research in red tape, moratoria, or threats of prosecution base on nebulous but sweeping principles such as ‘dignity,’ ‘sacredness,’ or ‘social justice’.” He goes on to say that bioethics “thwarts” research by “sowing panic about speculative harms” such as making analogies to Nazi medical experiments or referring to science fiction.…

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Science anyone? http://www.bioethics.net/2015/09/science-anyone/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/09/science-anyone/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 15:07:14 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=56504

by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

Plenty of pundits are analyzing the Wednesday night GOP debate in terms of who won and who lost. They are missing the point. There was a huge loser in the back and forth among the contenders—the public health of the American people. Why?–the resurrection in the debate of the heinous canard that vaccination causes autism.

Donald Trump led the assault on the health of our children by proclaiming that “”We’ve had so many instances … a child went to have the vaccine, got very, very sick, and now is autistic.” Really?

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What’s next for Kim Davis? Judge says she can’t withhold marriage licenses http://www.bioethics.net/news/whats-next-for-kim-davis-judge-says-she-cant-withhold-marriage-licenses/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/whats-next-for-kim-davis-judge-says-she-cant-withhold-marriage-licenses/#comments Wed, 09 Sep 2015 20:12:40 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=56407 http://www.bioethics.net/news/whats-next-for-kim-davis-judge-says-she-cant-withhold-marriage-licenses/feed/ 0 What are you doing for black philosophy? http://www.bioethics.net/2015/09/what-are-you-doing-for-black-philosophy/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/09/what-are-you-doing-for-black-philosophy/#comments Tue, 08 Sep 2015 19:44:09 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=56366 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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Ben Carson Conducted Research on Fetal Tissue — And Defends It http://www.bioethics.net/news/ben-carson-conducted-research-on-fetal-tissue-and-defends-it/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/ben-carson-conducted-research-on-fetal-tissue-and-defends-it/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 17:53:23 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=56134 http://www.bioethics.net/news/ben-carson-conducted-research-on-fetal-tissue-and-defends-it/feed/ 0 Is Donald Trump entertaining? http://www.bioethics.net/2015/07/is-donald-trump-entertaining/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/07/is-donald-trump-entertaining/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 23:06:20 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=55773 by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

Is Donald Trump entertaining? Many in the media seem to think so. Coverage of Trump is intense. The Huffington Post, trying to marginalize him and his candidacy, has decided to confine coverage of his Presidential campaign to their entertainment section. But Trump is no joke. Treating him as such is inexcusable.

Promoting racism should never get a pass. Bioethicists familiar with the ways in which racism has fueled totalitarian politics and prejudice in medicine know this all too well.…

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Cancer survivors may face barriers to adoption http://www.bioethics.net/news/cancer-survivors-may-face-barriers-to-adoption/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/cancer-survivors-may-face-barriers-to-adoption/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 21:28:26 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=55751 http://www.bioethics.net/news/cancer-survivors-may-face-barriers-to-adoption/feed/ 0 Doubts About Study of Gay Canvassers Rattle the Field http://www.bioethics.net/news/doubts-about-study-of-gay-canvassers-rattle-the-field/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/doubts-about-study-of-gay-canvassers-rattle-the-field/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 16:38:29 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=55340 http://www.bioethics.net/news/doubts-about-study-of-gay-canvassers-rattle-the-field/feed/ 0 Peruvian women haunted by forced sterilization seek state apology http://www.bioethics.net/news/peruvian-women-haunted-by-forced-sterilization-seek-state-apology/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/peruvian-women-haunted-by-forced-sterilization-seek-state-apology/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 19:07:54 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=55274 http://www.bioethics.net/news/peruvian-women-haunted-by-forced-sterilization-seek-state-apology/feed/ 0 U.S. Complicity and Japan’s Wartime Medical Atrocities: Time for a Response http://www.bioethics.net/articles/u-s-complicity-and-japans-wartime-medical-atrocities-time-for-a-response/ http://www.bioethics.net/articles/u-s-complicity-and-japans-wartime-medical-atrocities-time-for-a-response/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 17:29:42 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=articles&p=55390 http://www.bioethics.net/articles/u-s-complicity-and-japans-wartime-medical-atrocities-time-for-a-response/feed/ 0 U.S. anti-legalization group urges more access to marijuana research http://www.bioethics.net/news/u-s-anti-legalization-group-urges-more-access-to-marijuana-research/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/u-s-anti-legalization-group-urges-more-access-to-marijuana-research/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 15:15:44 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=55278 http://www.bioethics.net/news/u-s-anti-legalization-group-urges-more-access-to-marijuana-research/feed/ 0 U.S. says insurers must cover FDA-approved birth control methods http://www.bioethics.net/news/u-s-says-insurers-must-cover-fda-approved-birth-control-methods/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/u-s-says-insurers-must-cover-fda-approved-birth-control-methods/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 19:39:37 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=55184 http://www.bioethics.net/news/u-s-says-insurers-must-cover-fda-approved-birth-control-methods/feed/ 0 Tension between gay, religious rights plays out at top U.S. court http://www.bioethics.net/news/tension-between-gay-religious-rights-plays-out-at-top-u-s-court/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/tension-between-gay-religious-rights-plays-out-at-top-u-s-court/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:05:01 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=54911 http://www.bioethics.net/news/tension-between-gay-religious-rights-plays-out-at-top-u-s-court/feed/ 0 Decline in U.S. science spending threatens economy, security: MIT http://www.bioethics.net/news/decline-in-u-s-science-spending-threatens-economy-security-mit/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/decline-in-u-s-science-spending-threatens-economy-security-mit/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 17:59:21 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=54908 http://www.bioethics.net/news/decline-in-u-s-science-spending-threatens-economy-security-mit/feed/ 0 How Do Scientists’ Beliefs Differ from Those of Laypeople? http://www.peterubel.com/uncategorized/scientists-beliefs-differ-laypeople/ http://www.peterubel.com/uncategorized/scientists-beliefs-differ-laypeople/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 12:51:03 +0000 http://www.peterubel.com/?p=7403 Do you think it is safe to eat genetically modified foods? I do, because I believe that most foods we eat have been genetically modified. Cows wouldn’t be cows if humans hadn’t changed them genetically, through breeding practices. That also … Continue reading

The post How Do Scientists’ Beliefs Differ from Those of Laypeople? appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

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South Carolina Shooting Increases Calls for Police Body Cameras http://www.bioethics.net/news/south-carolina-shooting-increases-calls-for-police-body-cameras/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/south-carolina-shooting-increases-calls-for-police-body-cameras/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 17:27:16 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=54637 http://www.bioethics.net/news/south-carolina-shooting-increases-calls-for-police-body-cameras/feed/ 0 Abortion Wars: Arizona Mandates Unscientific “Truths” http://www.bioethics.net/2015/04/abortion-wars-arizona-mandates-unscientific-truths/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/04/abortion-wars-arizona-mandates-unscientific-truths/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 06:18:04 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=54543 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Arizona legislature has apparently gone through medical school and graduated. They have passed a new law of the land. A person in Arizona is no longer permitted to buy health insurance on the health exchange if the plan provides coverage for abortion (except for the cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger).

A second provision of the law is what has troubled most people. The law now requires that a physician tell his or her patient that a medically induced abortion can be reversed.…

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Happy Birthday Obamacare! https://thebioethicsprogram.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/happy-birthday-obamacare/ https://thebioethicsprogram.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/happy-birthday-obamacare/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:41:05 +0000 http://thebioethicsprogram.wordpress.com/?p=523 ]]> https://thebioethicsprogram.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/happy-birthday-obamacare/feed/ 0 Transgender people face discrimination in healthcare http://www.bioethics.net/news/transgender-people-face-discrimination-in-healthcare/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/transgender-people-face-discrimination-in-healthcare/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 22:23:08 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=54299 http://www.bioethics.net/news/transgender-people-face-discrimination-in-healthcare/feed/ 0 The Unique Challenge of Healthcare Reform in the US, and Why it Might All Fall Apart http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/the-unique-challenge-of-healthcare-reform-in-the-us-and-why-it-might-all-fall-apart http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/the-unique-challenge-of-healthcare-reform-in-the-us-and-why-it-might-all-fall-apart#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 03:03:21 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?guid=83331c8f80da9092f3738e79b2ceae84 http://www.bioethics.net/2015/03/the-unique-challenge-of-healthcare-reform-in-the-us-and-why-it-might-all-fall-apart/feed/ 0 War Against Science 2.0: If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Ban ‘Em http://www.bioethics.net/2015/03/war-against-science-2-0-if-you-cant-beat-em-ban-em/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/03/war-against-science-2-0-if-you-cant-beat-em-ban-em/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 22:47:27 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=54275 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

That’s the good thing about science: It’s true whether or not you believe in it. That’s why it works-Neil deGrasse Tyson

The data of climate change is very strong: warmest average years on record, increasing extreme weather, higher carbon dioxide levels, changes in sea level, increasing droughts, decreasing snowpacks and sea ice, melting glaciers and permafrost, warmer oceans and increasing ocean acidity. With so much data in support of a changing climate, it is getting harder to be a climate denier.…

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Brazil passes femicide law to tackle rise in gender killings http://www.bioethics.net/news/brazil-passes-femicide-law-to-tackle-rise-in-gender-killings/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/brazil-passes-femicide-law-to-tackle-rise-in-gender-killings/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 22:35:44 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=54307 http://www.bioethics.net/news/brazil-passes-femicide-law-to-tackle-rise-in-gender-killings/feed/ 0 And the Ban Played On http://www.bioethics.net/2015/03/and-the-ban-played-on/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/03/and-the-ban-played-on/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:59:29 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=54167 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Have you taken the “Celibacy Challenge?” This satirical national campaign is in response to a proposal from the FDA that would amend the lifetime blood donation ban of men who have sex with men (MSM) to only a one-year ban. The hitch is that the men would have to refrain from sex with men for one year. They could have sex with women during that year, just not men.

This proposed one-year celibacy ban is in line with the rules of other nations.…

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How Medicine Has Fared Under ISIS http://www.bioethics.net/2015/02/how-medicine-has-fared-under-isis/ http://www.bioethics.net/2015/02/how-medicine-has-fared-under-isis/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 02:51:46 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=54105 by Craig M. Klugman, Ph.D.

Like much of the world, I find myself reading daily news stories about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). This is a militant group that has conquered much of the territory of Syria and Iraq. They have created an Islamic state, or caliphate, run by sharia law. According to news reports, Western youth are heading to Syria to join ISIS attracted by the ideas, the adventure, belonging to a group, or generally feeling disillusioned.…

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