Bioethics @ TIU

More about Charlie Gard

Posted July 20th, 2017 by Jon Holmlund

Dr. Robert Truog, the bioethicist and transplant physician who has pushed the envelope on the definition of death, has weighed in on the Charlie Gard case in a “Perspectives” piece that is generally available (i.e., without a subscription) from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).   By all means read it. Dr. Truog approaches the case from the standpoint of limiting medical research—indeed, that’s… // Read More »

Healthcare Insurance vs. Healthcare coverage?

Posted July 4th, 2017 by Mark McQuain

Kimberly Strassel wrote an interesting piece in the WSJ entitled “The Simplicity of a Health Deal” (Link here – subscription required). I don’t think she was saying that crafting legislation to resolve all of America’a healthcare issues was easy, she was making the political point to Senate Republicans that, like it or not, no future legislation will be possible unless they agree to continue the… // Read More »

Two Random Thoughts about Health Care Policy and Justice

Posted June 22nd, 2017 by Jon Holmlund

I haven’t yet read the Senate Republicans’ draft health care bill, just out today.  Until I do I’m not going to comment about it directly. The matter is a bioethics concern solely from the perspective of justice, really.  What is the wisest, most just policy?  And here one is forced, I think, into a fairly utilitarian assessment of what approach provides the best outcome for… // Read More »

Single-Payer in California?

Posted June 15th, 2017 by Jon Holmlund

I’m not sure that even advocates of single-payer health care will find the spectacularly overreaching “Healthy California Act” (California Senate Bill 562) a good idea.  Follow the link and read the text yourself—I link, you decide. While the bill appears at points to read like a re-assertion of current federal programs, and perhaps some related private insurance (e.g., Medicare Advantage), in fact it looks to… // Read More »

Health care disparities: a pro-life issue

Posted June 9th, 2017 by Joe Gibes

This month’s Health Affairs carries an article examining the correlation between one’s income and one’s perceptions about one’s own health and health care. Worldwide, those with the lowest incomes feel that their health is worse than those with the highest incomes do. They also are more likely than those with higher incomes to skip necessary treatment because they can’t afford it, and are more concerned that if… // Read More »

Euthanasia in Canada: Early Returns

Posted June 1st, 2017 by Jon Holmlund

Last week’s New England Journal of Medicine carried a report from physicians in Toronto about early results implementing “Medical Assistance in Dying,” or “MAiD,” the preferred euphemism for doctor-assisted suicide or euthanasia, in Canada. “MAiD” became legally sanctioned throughout Canada in 2016.  It includes not only assisted suicide—where a doctor provides a patient with a drug prescription intended to be lethal if taken as directed—but… // Read More »


Posted May 18th, 2017 by Jon Holmlund

Brief comments on four short articles from this week, on disparate topics: James Capretta of the American Enterprise Institute (meaning he is politically right of center) pleads in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) for compromise between Republicans and Democrats on further healthcare policy reform.  Arguing that the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) may never pass, he believes that a better result… // Read More »

Undermining the USPSTF: The most important stakeholders are the patients

Posted May 12th, 2017 by Joe Gibes

A strange “health care” drama plays out daily in our clinics and hospitals. A healthy person has a medical test done (even though he or she is healthy): a blood test, a chest x-ray or mammogram, maybe an ultrasound of some body part. The test comes back abnormal. The patient (for she has now gone from being a healthy person to being a patient) is… // Read More »

But at least we don’t have socialized medicine

Posted March 11th, 2017 by Joe Gibes

I just read T. R. Teid’s 2009 book The Healing of America. It’s a timely read in light of the bar brawl over health care that’s brewing in the U.S. legislature this week. Of particular interest are his snapshots of the health care systems of the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, and Switzerland, systems about which I held many cherished misconceptions. All of these countries… // Read More »

Party politics, people’s lives

Posted January 6th, 2017 by Joe Gibes

As health care financing rises yet again to the top of our national legislative agenda, some fundamental questions ought to be strongly considered. First, and most fundamental: Is some level of healthcare a right, that the government is therefore obligated to protect? Is it better viewed as a common good, like roads and fire protection services, that everybody pays for through taxes and everybody benefits… // Read More »