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 »

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 »

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 »

Belgian Euthanasia: Volunteers No Longer Necessary?

Posted March 6th, 2018 by Mark McQuain

A recent resignation letter by one member of Belgium’s Euthanasia Commission suggests the slippery slope of who meets the criteria for legal euthanasia is becoming even more slippery. Dr. Ledo Vanopdenbosch sent his resignation letter to members of the Belgian Parliament who oversee the commission. His concern was with one of the main requirements of the law, which demands that the individual patient formally request… // Read More »

Psychiatric advance directives

Posted February 28th, 2018 by Steve Phillips

Even though I teach bioethics and teach about advance directives, I was not aware that there was such a thing as a psychiatric advance directive until I read this article in the online magazine STAT, which I found while browsing the articles listed on Bioethics.com. The concept of a psychiatric advance directive makes so much sense that I am amazed that I hadn’t thought about… // Read More »

Reviewing the ethics of paying human research subjects

Posted February 22nd, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

Sometimes it is both necessary and proper to pay a person to participate in a clinical trial, of a drug or some other medical intervention, or a data-collection study, or something else that involves people.  An article in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine reviews many of the relevant ethical issues. A link to the article is here.  Correction to initial post:  subscription or… // Read More »

DIY CRISPR Kits – Gene Editing for the Rest of Us

Posted February 20th, 2018 by Mark McQuain

One might think with the amazing advance of technology and easy access to nearly infinite data via the Internet that we, as a society, would see a reduction in false claims of benefit for novel medical procedures and untested medications. Sadly, it seems to be just the opposite. I seem to be spending gradually more time with my patients reviewing the results of their internet… // Read More »

Citizenship, Surrogacy and the Power of ART

Posted February 6th, 2018 by Mark McQuain

A recent LA Times article by Alene Tchekmedyian explores a complicated case involving birthright citizenship, surrogacy and same-sex marriage. Briefly, a California man, Andrew Banks, married an Israeli man, Elad Dvash, in 2010. At the time, same-sex marriage was not legal in the US leaving Elad unable to acquire a green card for residency (via the marriage) so the couple moved to Canada where Andrew… // Read More »

Fertility with frozen eggs: not a sure thing

Posted February 1st, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

In case you didn’t see it, the Washington Post has this story about how more women are trying to improve their overall chances of having a baby—particularly in the later reproductive years of their 30’s and 40’s—but success is far from certain.  Human oocytes (eggs) are fragile things, and it was not until recent years that freezing techniques developed to a point that would allow… // Read More »

What’s really happening with doctor-assisted suicide?

Posted January 18th, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

Recently, Wesley Smith posted on the National Review’s “Corner” blog new concerns that Oregon’s “Death With Dignity” law may not be as tightly regulated as advertised.  Specifically, a Swedish fellow named Fabian Stahle, who evidently is troubled by the prospect that his country might embrace doctor-assisted suicide, claims to have carried out an e-mail exchange with someone in the Oregon Health Authority to ask how… // Read More »