Bioethics @ TIU

Google Maps and Moral Authority

Posted September 15th, 2014 by Jerry Risser

At a recent conference held for the leadership of state veterinary medical associations, I had the opportunity to listen to the sobering economic statistics that veterinary medicine faces. These are not, by the way, altogether new or shocking (I’ve listened to them and read them well before the average new graduate entered the profession with the 2.7:1 debt to income ratio of the Class of… // Read More »

“Enhancement” and Moral Development

Posted September 14th, 2014 by Cody Chambers

Oxford ethicist Julian Sevulescu and Swedish philosopher Ingmar Persson argue in their book Unfit for the Future: The Urgent Need for Moral Enhancement that now is the time to introduce neurological and genetic changes in people so they are willing to go along with various agendas.  They note that climate change is a big issue, but when a number of people are apathetic about the… // Read More »

It’s not primarily about the guns

Posted September 12th, 2014 by Joe Gibes

A recent article in Dignitas and a recent post to this blog discuss gun violence as a public health issue. I don’t know if the broad category of gun violence properly falls under the heading of public health, but one aspect of it certainly does: accidental firearm injuries in the pediatric population. It is difficult to obtain reliable statistics to say how prevalent this problem is,… // Read More »

Keeping up with Clinical Research with Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Posted September 11th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

Unless one works daily in a specific area of biomedical research, it can be next to impossible to keep up with developments.  I have trouble keeping up with a reasonable amount of the progress in research for some cancers.  Trying to track stem cell research requires more bandwidth than I have.  Still, from time to time I do try to do at least a little… // Read More »

What Should We Forget?

Posted September 9th, 2014 by Tom Garigan

In January MIT announced a research study published in the journal Cell that reported a way to erase traumatic memories in lab mice using a drug that makes the brain “more plastic, more capable of forming very strong new memories that will override the old fearful memories.” MIT opened its story by referring to “nearly 8 million Americans [who] suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD),”… // Read More »

Limning the Limits

Posted September 8th, 2014 by Christian Vercler

Shortly after I submitted my last post “Limning Autonomy in Surgery” I was contacted by the blog editor letting me know that I had made a typo in my title and that he would go ahead and correct it for me. The problem is that I really do mean to use the word “limn.” When I was at Wheaton College a couple of my professors… // Read More »

Memorial to Lives Unworthy of Life

Posted September 7th, 2014 by Cody Chambers

Germany unveiled a World War II memorial this week.  It is the first to commemorate those with medical problems who were deemed unworthy of life (Lebensunwertes Leben) and were exterminated by the Nazi regime.  The memorial wall has been built at Tiergartenstraße 4 in Berlin, not only the site of the “Charitable Foundation for Cure and Institutional Care” but also the address that gave the German… // Read More »

Creating a “New Race,” a New Problem…or Both?

Posted September 6th, 2014 by Susan Haack

In my last post I spoke about an ethical issue mentioned in passing in a book that examined reproductive medicine from the perspective of organizational theory: that in this age of evidence-based medicine some of the most vital decisions—who lives and who does not—are based primarily on subjective grounds. A second issue mentioned in the book that I found greatly disturbing was that the use… // Read More »

Is an RCT of an Ebola drug ethical?

Posted September 4th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

The title question here is of course over-simplified.  The development of an experimental drug to treat a devastating disease, during an outbreak of that disease, raises many ethical concerns.  Perhaps the most urgent of these is how to make the drug available to as many people with the disease as possible, because the risk of the disease itself makes the risks of the drug more… // Read More »

Who cares about the well-being of women who have abortions?

Posted September 3rd, 2014 by Steve Phillips

Currently the states of Texas and Louisiana have laws about the regulation of abortion clinics that are being disputed in the federal courts (see articles by CNN and The Christian Science Monitor). These are not laws about banning abortions. They are laws about safety regulations for abortion clinics. Within the past week federal judges have blocked the implementation of a law in Louisiana that would… // Read More »