Bioethics @ TIU

Care Dis-integration

Posted May 22nd, 2018 by Tom Garigan

The May 3rd edition of the New England Journal of Medicine brings us a powerful story. It is a tale of a patient, named Kenneth, written by his physician brother. Central to the story is a delay in diagnosis, brought on by unfamiliarity with the patient as a whole person, biases against those with mental illness, presumptions and other errors familiar to those of us… // Read More »

A pause for doctor-assisted suicide in California

Posted May 17th, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

Readers of this blog probably saw this week’s news that a California judge blocked the state’s End of Life Options Act, the one that legalized doctor-assisted suicide in California.  The law passed after apparent failure in a regular California Legislature session, when its sponsors brought it up again in a special session that was supposed to be about Medicaid funding.  The judge said that inserting… // Read More »

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s DNA Treasure

Posted May 15th, 2018 by Mark McQuain

Last month, investigators used big data analysis, public DNA genealogy websites and “Discarded DNA” to identify the Golden State Killer (WSJ subscription needed), an individual believed responsible for over 12 murders, greater than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries in California between 1974 through 1986. While justice may be served if the legal case remains solid, there are some interesting bioethical issues that warrant discussion…. // Read More »

Choosing to die

Posted May 9th, 2018 by Steve Phillips

When people present an argument for the moral permissibility of euthanasia they commonly start with a case in which a person is suffering from a terminal illness and has uncontrolled pain. They say that we should have no moral reason to say that it is wrong to assist those in such a condition who choose to end their life as a means of ending their… // Read More »

My Day at the Florida Bioethics Network Conference–2018

Posted May 7th, 2018 by Neil Skjoldal

For the past several years, it has been my privilege to attend the annual conference of the Florida Bioethics Network.  As in prior years, this year’s conference showed the great range of topics that fall under the umbrella of bioethics.   Topics included the so-called “Tattoo DNR,” a discussion of medical marijuana, the potential promise of an electronic and interactive informed consent document, and even a discussion of… // Read More »

More on genetic medicine

Posted May 3rd, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

The third and final installment from The Code, a series of 3 short documentaries on the internet about the origins of genetic medicine, is entitled “Selling the Code.”  This is about genetic testing to try to predict risks of diseases, among other things.  Doctors use some of this testing in clinical care and a burgeoning amount of research.  A number of companies, such as 23andMe,… // Read More »

Deep Brain Stimulation: the New Mood Modifier?

Posted May 1st, 2018 by Mark McQuain

A patient of mine recently had a deep brain stimulator (DBS) placed to reduce her severe tremors. The stimulator has worked very well to almost eliminate her tremor but has resulted in a side effect that causes her personality to be more impulsive. Her husband notices this more than the patient. Both agree that the reduction in the tremor outweigh the change in her personality… // Read More »

Euthanasia and those who live with disabilities

Posted April 25th, 2018 by Steve Phillips

This week the students in the medical ethics class that I teach are looking at the issue of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. An article in The Catholic Register reminded me of the important role that people with disabilities have played in the public discussion of euthanasia. The article discusses the concerns that Taylor Hyatt, policy analyst and outreach coordinator for the disability rights group… // Read More »

New Moral Anesthesia for Abortion

Posted April 17th, 2018 by Mark McQuain

“Is it possible, once again, to hold in tension seemingly opposite ideas about abortion?” This is the main question asked by Dr. Lisa Harris in the lead editorial in the April 12, 2018 NEJM. Her concern is that in her view, since the creation in January of the new Conscience and Religious Freedom division at HHS, subsequent comments by HHS leaders “suggest that they are… // Read More »

The Ethics of Pet Cloning

Posted April 3rd, 2018 by Mark McQuain

Anyone who passes through a grocery checkout line on a weekly basis is unable to remain ignorant of the latest thoughts and insights from Hollywood. With ethical pronouncements from Hollywood, I usually find it reliable to point my moral compass in the opposite direction, at least until I have time to further evaluate the issue. Such was the case with a recent National Enquirer scoop… // Read More »