Bioethics @ TIU

What Is Driving Our Health Care?

Posted August 31st, 2014 by Cody Chambers

Katie Jennings recently wrote in Politico Magazine of the American Medical Association’s role in American health care policy, particularly concerning pricing for services (see “The Secret Committee Behind Our Soaring Health Care Costs”).   Since the 1990s, an AMA committee has been in charge of determining the value of services provided by physicians, including determining Medicare prices.  Jennings points out that the committee serves as “a… // Read More »

“Release to Elsewhere” and (vs?) the Reality

Posted August 28th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

World magazine suggests that the movie version of Lois Lowry’s youth novel The Giver is an important entrée to discussions about human dignity, abortion, and euthanasia. My wife and I saw it last weekend.  Our response to the above:  Maybe, but probably not. The overwhelming message of the movie seems to be about human freedom:  If people have freedom, they will make bad choices, but… // Read More »

Direct cell reprogramming to grow a new organ and the ice bucket challenge

Posted August 27th, 2014 by Steve Phillips

A recent article in The Guardian reports on an interview with Clare Blackburn of the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh where they have recently been able to induce a direct transformation of mouse skin fibroblasts into thymic epithelial cells. When these induced thymic epithelial cells were mixed with other thymus cell types and transplanted into mice they grew… // Read More »

(Gun) Violence as a Public Health Issue

Posted August 26th, 2014 by Tom Garigan

In the Summer 2014 edition of Dignitas Greg Rutecki provides a thought-provoking article calling for reframing the gun control debate as a public health issue. He brings attention to the measures taken in Australia following a 1996 mass shooting (35 dead) in 1996, which subsequently appeared to produce a striking drop in homicides, as well as suicides by firearms. Although we could have reasonable debate… // Read More »

Limning Autonomy in Surgery

Posted August 25th, 2014 by Christian Vercler

Several years ago while still a surgery resident I was stuck with a needle while operating on a patient with hepatitis C and HIV. The infectious disease team at that institution started me immediately on the latest anti-retroviral cocktail to decrease my chances of becoming infected with HIV. I took the cocktail for about a week and then, unable to tolerate the horrible gastrointestinal side-effects,… // Read More »

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides…

Posted August 23rd, 2014 by Susan Haack

I just finished reading a very dry book on organizational theory as applied to reproductive medicine. The book was a Swedish observational study evaluating the sociomaterial aspects of that subspecialty, particularly Swedish IVF clinics. While the book did not directly address ethical issues in reproductive medicine, it did note some of them in passing. One that caught my eye was issue of the choice of… // Read More »

Breast Cancer, BRCA Mutations, and Attitudes about PGD

Posted August 21st, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

If you knew you had a gene mutation that confers a high risk of cancer, would you use IVF and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to prevent passing on the mutation to your offspring? That is the question that cancer doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston put to 155 young women, still of childbearing potential, with breast cancer.  The doctors actually asked their patients… // Read More »

This week’s WHO statement on Ebola

Posted August 14th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

Earlier this week (Monday, August 11), the WHO convened a panel of ethicists, physicians, scientists, and members of the general public to review the ethics of providing experimental treatments for people afflicted in the current Ebola outbreak.  The WHO issued a brief statement the following day.  The statement itself is a bit sketchy; the WHO said that a (presumably much more detailed) report of the… // Read More »

How emerging adults think about morality

Posted August 13th, 2014 by Steve Phillips

Every year around this time Taylor University where I teach and work with the Center for Ethics holds what we call Colleagues College, two days when the faculty gets together to learn about some aspect of teaching in a Christian liberal arts university. This year we are focusing on the characteristics of the group that sociologist have begun to call emerging adults. Emerging adults are… // Read More »

A Vision of the “New Medicine”

Posted August 9th, 2014 by Susan Haack

I confess that at times I feel like a broken record, lamenting the same story repeatedly; but I’m watching as the bulldozer of progress plows under a profession near and dear to my heart, a loss that will impact all of us, for better or for worse. The power behind these changes is nebulous and pervasive—and impossible to obstruct or thwart. While there is no… // Read More »