Bioethics @ TIU

The upcoming debate over “CIRM 2”

Posted July 24th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

Amidst the recent results and retractions, Nature also published a “news” report fretting over the prospects for renewal of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) because the initially-promised miracle cures from embryonic stem cells have not materialized. Recall:  the CIRM was established in 2004 after passage of California Proposition 71, which created the institute and authorized the issuance of $3 billion in state bonds… // Read More »

Information technology and medicine

Posted July 23rd, 2014 by Steve Phillips

If you browse through the posts on this bog you will find that many of us have concerns about how information technology has inserted itself between physicians and patients and can interfere with the relationship that we see as essential in medical care. I have been an advocate of electronic medical records for a number of years and helped with the design of the outpatient… // Read More »

Great but “unaffordable” new drugs

Posted July 17th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

I’ve posted several times on the challenges posed by new drugs that work, but cost the moon.  It’s one thing when an expensive drug is only marginally effective.  It’s another when the drug looks really good, like Kalydeco for cystic fibrosis or Sovaldi for hepatitis C.  I’ve suggested here and here that both drugs are worth high prices, although pushback from payers on the price… // Read More »

Freedom and our connection to the root

Posted July 16th, 2014 by Steve Phillips

It has been almost a month since the CBHD summer bioethics conference and I am still reflecting on some of the things I experienced there. One that left a lasting impact was the presentation by a sculptor, Karen Swenholt, which was sponsored by the Tennessee Center for Bioethics and Culture on Friday evening. As she presented slides of her art and talked about the meaning… // Read More »

A “diagnosis” a physician can no longer make?

Posted July 15th, 2014 by Tom Garigan

If you were to follow the trends on gender identity discussion you would be unsurprised to see this article in The Slate: “Don’t Let the Doctor Do This to Your Newborn” The author begins by portraying a physician taking a newborn away from a worried mother for a “procedure,” which turns out to be gender “assignment.” This physician, described as stern, masked, dismissive, knuckle-cracking, paternalistic,… // Read More »

Med Student vs. Dr. Oz

Posted July 14th, 2014 by Christian Vercler

Since my last post was about Dr. Oz I thought I may as well post an update: Benjamin Mazer, a medical student at the University of Rochester has introduced a policy to the Medical Society of the State of New York in an attempt to regulate the kinds of wild claims that Dr. Oz makes on his show. His proposal is to treat health claims… // Read More »

Safeguarding Our Stories, Our Selves

Posted July 12th, 2014 by Susan Haack

While having a “sit-down-family-meal” with a son and his family over the recent holiday weekend–something that happens far too infrequently in families today—our six-year-old grandson attempted to leave the table during the post-meal conversations but was restrained by his mother. “Conversations are boring,” was his frustrated response to his unpleasant imprisonment. His response brought to mind a similar attitude in another 10-year-old grandson who refuses… // Read More »

The Recent Stem Cell News

Posted July 11th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

Last week’s edition of Nature includes developments in the world of stem cell research, also noted in the general press: First: A group from Portland, San Diego, and Stockholm published work (payment required to read article) seeking to define the “best” human pluripotent stem cells on cellular and molecular grounds.  They compared: Stem cells taken from an embryo, created in IVF and destroyed for the… // Read More »

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: A thin margin indeed

Posted July 8th, 2014 by Tom Garigan

The recent Supreme Court decision, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, has been hailed as a victory for religious rights, but in the Supreme Court’s majority opinion there are ominous signs for bioethics. First, no commentator so far has mentioned that the Supreme Court decision implies that the only legally viable objection to underwriting abortifacient interventions must be religious in nature. The thin margin of decision by… // Read More »