Bioethics @ TIU

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 »

More on Allocation vs Rationing

Posted August 7th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

A comment to my post from last week started with the statement, “The whole discussion [of whether discussions of value are just Trojan Horses for unjust rationing] would be less strained if money wasn’t so scarce in health care.”  If by this is meant, conversations about medical expenses would be easier if the prices weren’t so high—well, sure.  If what is meant is more like,… // Read More »

Attending to Attention

Posted August 5th, 2014 by Tom Garigan

It’s hard not to notice that the idea of “attention” is on a lot of people’s minds. In just one week my desk received a copy of The Hedgehog Review,, the monthly Turning Points Magazine & Devotional, and an e-mail message from a parent all dealing with this subject. Since the advent of a DSM diagnoses involving deficits of attention (initially linked to hyperactivity), the… // Read More »

“Value” vs “Rationing”

Posted July 31st, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

I put the two terms in quotation marks because I worry about how easy it is for us (including me) to use terms polemically when the underlying discussions are difficult. Wesley Smith, whose “Human Exceptionalism” blog I admire (over at National Review Online), recently posted his concern about the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO’s) efforts to define, among its leadership and membership at large,… // Read More »

Following in the Errant Footsteps of the VA

Posted July 26th, 2014 by Susan Haack

The recent revelation of the crisis—and failure–of caregiving in the VA health system raises grave concerns for American health care in general and should motivate physician leaders to re-evaluate their approach to ethical health care. Until recently, the VA health system was a recognized leader in health care quality, patient safety and ethics, outperforming most American hospitals in these areas. It had also established an… // Read More »

The upcoming debate over “CIRM 2”–CORRECTION

Posted July 24th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

(I made an error about a past video involving the late actor Christopher Reeve in my post yetsterday. I strongly implied, at least, that such a video was used in the 2004 campaign for passage of California Prop. 71.  That would not be correct.  The video in question, easily found on YouTube, was aired [it indicates there] by Nuveen Investments during the 2000 Super Bowl…. // 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 »