Bioethics @ TIU

Fair-minded Medicine

Posted September 28th, 2014 by Cody Chambers

“Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” – 1 Corinthians 5:9 I attended a funeral this past week, and I spoke with a relative who is an attorney practicing patent and intellectual-property (IP) law.  Since he works closely with science and technology, I mentioned Joe Gibes’s… // Read More »

So when do you hope to die?

Posted September 25th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

Perhaps you’ve seen it already:  the ever-more-present Dr. Emanuel has a piece in The Atlantic entitled “Why I hope to die at 75.”  Follow the link and you can read it for free online. I confess that, upon learning of the title and the author, my mind was flooded with wisecracks.  I publicly repent of those and will repeat none of them here. I don’t… // Read More »

Wit, conflict of interest, and John Donne

Posted September 24th, 2014 by Steve Phillips

Last weekend the Taylor University theater department performed Wit, a Pulitzer Prize winning play written by Margaret Edson in 1993. I had the interesting experience of being the medical consultant for the play. The main character Vivian is a professor of English literature who specializes in the Holy Sonnets of John Donne and is dying of metastatic ovarian cancer. The entire play takes place in… // Read More »

Epistemological Uncertainty & Autonomy

Posted September 22nd, 2014 by Christian Vercler

In the September 17, 2014 issue of JAMA Scott Stonington, MD, PhD wrote a remarkable piece entitled “Whose Autonomy?” This short piece should be required reading for everyone in medicine. Stonington discusses the idea of family roles and puts this in light of his anthropological work in northern Thailand. He uses his fieldwork experience to introduce the idea that, when ill, people may not express… // Read More »

Population Health: the New Medicine

Posted September 20th, 2014 by Susan Haack

Below is a modified copy of my response to an informational article that was recently sent by the CEO of our hospital to our medical staff. Many suggested that I make this letter available publicly. Little do they know that I do so on a regular basis! “I want to thank our CEO for forwarding this article to us while simultaneously pointing out its significance… // Read More »

Antidepressants: Society duped?

Posted September 19th, 2014 by Joe Gibes

Has our society has been duped about antidepressant medication? It’s estimated that around 10% of the American population is taking an antidepressant. However, a growing body of research seems to indicate that antidepressant medication isn’t much better in the treatment of depression than placebo (sugar pills). The treatment effects of antidepressants may be statistically significant when compared to placebo, but not clinically significant. In other words, if you… // Read More »

“Financial Toxicity”

Posted September 18th, 2014 by Jon Holmlund

Reflecting on cases from her own practice, a practicing oncologist recently suggested this in the Journal of Clinical Oncology:  consider high price a “toxicity,” or adverse side effect, of an expensive drug for cancer, just like nausea, infections, or having one’s hair fall out are toxicities.  Cancer doctors, especially in clinical trials, assess the severity of drug toxicities using an internationally-accepted, periodically-updated scale developed by… // Read More »

Ebola and the cultural understanding of disease

Posted September 17th, 2014 by Steve Phillips

Last night the student group that works with the Center for Ethics at Taylor University sponsored a discussion of the ethical issues related to the current Ebola outbreak in western Africa. They discussed issues including when it can be appropriate to use an experimental treatment that has not been tested for safety in humans, how to decide who should be given an experimental treatment that… // Read More »

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 »