Bioethics @ TIU

New short videos on genetic topics

Posted April 5th, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

This week, an email from the Hastings Center promoted The Code, a series of 3 short documentaries on the internet about the origins of genetic medicine.  The three are being released one week at a time.  The first, released this week, briefly (12 minutes) reviews the determination, or sequencing, of the entire human genome, a project conducted in the 1990’s, and completed in 2000, by… // 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 »

The Child I Want

Posted April 2nd, 2018 by Neil Skjoldal

I appreciate the honesty of Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus. Watching various states attempt to enact more and more restrictions on abortion, she wrote of her strong personal feelings regarding the importance of keeping abortion legal. The headline certainly grabs our attention: “I would’ve aborted a fetus with Down syndrome. Women need that right.” Noting how cute the new “Gerber Baby” is, Marcus reminds her… // Read More »

Toward true public engagement about gene editing

Posted March 29th, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

The March 22, 2018 edition of Nature includes two thoughtful, helpful commentaries about improving the public dialogue around “bleeding edge” biotechnologies.  In this case, the example is gene editing, of which one commentator, Simon Burall from the U.K., says, “Like artificial intelligence, gene editing could radically alter almost every domain of life.”  Burall’s piece, “Don’t wait for an outcry about gene editing,” can be found… // Read More »

The death and resurrection of Jesus and how we view death

Posted March 28th, 2018 by Steve Phillips

This is the week when we who are Christians particularly focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus. As I have been reflecting on this I have been thinking about how Jesus’ death and resurrection impact how I think about bioethics. I think that the largest impact is on how I think about death. Whether we realize it or not, much of bioethics is impacted… // Read More »

Resources regarding ethics of gene editing

Posted March 23rd, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

Recently, two resources have become available regarding gene editing and the issues raised by it. First, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine have made available an archive of its February 22 webinar about human gene editing.  The home page for the Academies’ human gene-editing initiative is here.  A link to the archived webinar is here.  The slides can also just be viewed here…. // Read More »

The Bioethics of a Modern Death Mask

Posted March 20th, 2018 by Mark McQuain

By the time you read this, a company called Nectome will have pitched its business plan to investors at Y Combinator as a company who has designed a technology called Aldehyde-Stabilized Cryopreservation to preserve all of your connectome, which is all of your brain’s interconnected synapses. Doing this, they argue, can preserve your memories, allowing the company to effectively “upload your mind”. One problem with… // Read More »

Doctor-assisted death: resisting the slippery slope

Posted March 9th, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

The New England Journal of Medicine has two new “op-ed”-style pieces raising concerns about extending physician-assisted suicide (PAS) from people with end-stage terminal illness to people who may express a desire to die because of (non-terminal) mental illness.  (Regrettably, both require subscription access.)  PAS in these cases is being exercised in Belgium and the Netherlands, and is being considered in Canada In one article, the… // 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 »

Parkland & Bioethics

Posted March 5th, 2018 by Neil Skjoldal

I have lived in South Florida over 20 years now, and I do not remember anything grabbing and holding our community’s consciousness more than the February 14 shooting at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (in Broward County).  In its aftermath, the more we hear about the events of that day, the more alarming it becomes.  This is the sort of tragedy that… // Read More »