Bioethics @ TIU

Where Have All the Heroes Gone…?

Posted October 18th, 2014 by Susan Haack

The response of the CDC earlier this week to the development of Ebola in a Dallas nurse illuminates another sad consequence of the rise of bureaucratic medicine. In their very disturbing response to this tragic incident, the CDC arrogantly announced—prior to any investigation and without adequate evidence–that the cause of the transmission of the Ebola virus to Nina Pham, the nurse involved in the care… // Read More »

Metaphor: Shopping

Posted October 17th, 2014 by Joe Gibes

Story: a white couple ordered sperm from a sperm bank, stipulating that it be from a white man, for artificial insemination; however, in the delivery room, it was immediately apparent that they didn’t get what they ordered, as their newborn daughter was mixed-race. The couple is now suing the sperm bank for $50,000. In Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune, columnist Dahleen Glanton wrote a commentary on this… // Read More »

Ebola and the Challenge of Public Conversations

Posted October 16th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

Writing on this blog two days ago, Tom Garigan offered a pretty thorough critique of the CDC’s response to Ebola, and the agency’s defense of that response.  I write not to challenge that, or even address it directly.  I do note that Tom is not alone in his criticism of the way the public health officials are speaking to the public at large.  Complaints have… // Read More »

Contain AND Extinguish

Posted October 14th, 2014 by Tom Garigan

Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control, wrote an article published on October 9th entitled, “Why I don’t support a travel ban to combat Ebola outbreak.” In it he provides ten arguments against a travel ban; these arguments can be categorized as those claiming that such a ban would be ineffective, harmful, and unnecessary. Unfortunately for Dr. Frieden, they raise more questions… // Read More »

The Indignity of a Death with Dignity

Posted October 13th, 2014 by Jerry Risser

The story of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year old newlywed who has been given the diagnosis of terminal glioblastoma, an especially aggressive brain tumor, has gone viral over the past week. Many know the story already, but it centers on her decision to end her life by taking an oral medication prescribed by her physician, who will be sitting at her bedside with her husband and… // Read More »

The Price of Drugs

Posted October 12th, 2014 by Cody Chambers

Lesley Stahl of CBS recently did a story for 60 Minutes on the high price of cancer drugs.  Physicians at Memorial Sloan Kettering and M.D. Anderson have been seeking to remedy the “financial toxicity” of cancer drugs, something which has been mentioned in this bioethics blog as well. In Stahl’s story, Dr. Peter Bach of Sloan Kettering relates how a simple op-ed in the New… // Read More »

“I, Transhumanist”

Posted October 9th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

I rely on Wesley Smith’s Human Exceptionalism blog to keep up with things.  Maybe I rely on it all too much but once again I have to give him the “HT” for his mentions of the popular transhumanist Zoltan Istvan.  Last week, Smith commented on, and provided a link to, a piece by Istvan entitled “The Three Laws of Transhumanism and Artificial Intelligence.”  Now, I… // Read More »

The Religion of the American Immortal

Posted October 5th, 2014 by Cody Chambers

Penn bioethicist Dr. Zeke Emanuel has been a lightning rod in the health-care field for some time.  He has been the subject of a flurry of media reports on so-called “death panels” and has even received attention in this blog.  Recently, in an interview with Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour he related how he wants to “stop living at 75.” In the interview, Emanuel mentions… // Read More »

Prenatal Genetic Testing, and Down Syndrome

Posted October 3rd, 2014 by Joe Gibes

Lots of people don’t understand prenatal genetic testing, including both patients and doctors. For instance, many people think that the BUN genetic ultrasound or the “Quad screen” or the prenatal AFP tests can tell whether or not a baby has a genetic anomaly (they can’t; they can only indicate whether a fetus has an increased risk for a genetic anomaly), or that the tests are… // Read More »

On a recent secular defense of human dignity

Posted October 2nd, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

Over at his “Human Exceptionalism” blog, and in an essay in First Things, Wesley Smith recently gave a shout out to the work of Charles Foster of Oxford University, for his reassertion of the notion of human dignity.  The specific context is a discussion by Foster of “Dignity and the Ownership and Use of Body Parts” in the October 2014 issue of the Cambridge Quarterly… // Read More »