by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
I am a man writing about abortion. I am a bioethicist outraged that a bunch of JDeities believe they know more about medicine than doctors, and more about a woman’s body than a woman living in her body. I am a citizen incensed that a bunch of legislators are trying to force their narrow view of morality on a nation that has prided itself on freedom and individual liberty. I am a scholar petrified that these moves are intended to favor one religion over all others and to subjugate women to second class citizen status.
The story begins in 2003 when the U.S.…
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
Max Goodwin is at home resting from his chemotherapy after stepping down temporarily from his medical director position. Dr. Bloom knocks on the door to talk to him and finds Max covered in blood, his wife’s. Georgia is fairly far along in her pregnancy and has experienced previa: She is bleeding out. Max calls for an ambulance which seems to be impossibly far away and unable to get there.…
One of the keynote speakers will be Margaret P. Battin, PhD MFA from the University of Utah. Her presentation is "Death and Sex, Using Thought Experiments with Modern Technology to Address Issues like Abortion, Infectious Disease, and Alzheimer Disease."
Take three perennial issues in bioethics that are related to death and sex: abortion, the control of transmissible infectious disease, and the challenges of long-term dementia, especially Alzheimer disease.
Battin will supplement the usual ways we address such issues by employing a distinctive type of conjectural reasoning, the “thought experiment with normative force.” (This isn’t like the usual philosophers’ thought experiments about whether you’re a brain in a vat or have a famous violinist hooked up to your kidneys for 9 months. Not at all.) This strategy can provide insight into the nature of practical efforts to address real-world issues and expose problematic underlying assumptions that often block such efforts.
Battin will pursue three thought experiments in rapid succession: one about abortion, another about infectious disease, and a third about advance directives for those with Alzheimer disease. Central in each thought experiment will be attention to the predictable objections they raise, the conceptual gains they yield, and the common issues they address.
The federal government's proposed rule to disqualify families from public housing if any member is undocumented will harm children, families, and cities.
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