Bioethics @ TIU

All We Need is (Unconditional) Love

Posted April 26th, 2017 by Chris Ralston

On March 24, 2017, Joe Gibes posted an entry on this blog, entitled “A ‘disabled’ person speaks out against a particular form of discrimination.”[1] That post featured links to several stories about Kathleen Humberstone, a young woman with Down Syndrome who spoke at a recent UN event commemorating World Down Syndrome Day, which was observed on March 21. After reading through Joe’s post and the… // Read More »

A “disabled” person speaks out against a particular form of discrimination

Posted March 24th, 2017 by Joe Gibes

Amidst lots of dark and tragic stories, a bright ray on the BBC website this week: Kathleen Humberstone, a 17 year-old English girl with Down syndrome, addressed the UN in Geneva to mark World Down Syndrome Day. Rather than reading anything I have to say, a far better use of your time would be to read what Ms. Humberstone said. You can find the full text here; if you scroll down… // Read More »

The Gift of Finitude

Posted March 1st, 2017 by Chris Ralston

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about finitude. About limits. Incompleteness. Even failure. Like the friend of a friend who is dying and has just been admitted to hospice, whose young teenaged daughter is facing the prospect of a life without her mother. Like the colleague who is grieving the loss of both a spouse and a parent within a month of each other. Like… // Read More »

On (Being) Better than Human, Part 3A

Posted May 20th, 2013 by Chris Ralston

As I noted in Part 1 of this series (see my 03/25/13 post), in Better than Human Allen Buchanan considers four major lines of objection to the “enhancement enterprise.” As Buchanan summarizes them, each of these objections claims that biomedical enhancement is “different” in morally significant ways from other kinds of (nonbiomedical) enhancement. Specifically, these objections assert that: (1) biomedical enhancements are different because they… // Read More »

Journeys of Transformation

Posted March 4th, 2013 by Chris Ralston

In my last post, “A Preview of Coming Attractions” (02-11-13), I signaled the start of a multi-part series of review essays covering three recently published books addressing ethical issues surrounding enhancement technologies and practices. I had intended to launch that series with today’s post. Before starting that series, however, I want to go on a brief discursus, one that will, I believe, turn out to… // Read More »

Eugenics and the genetic testing of embryos and fetuses

Posted October 11th, 2012 by Steve Phillips

In a recent article in the Australian media Julian Savulescu, a noted Oxford ethicist who is a visiting professor at Monash University in Melbourne, makes the contention that selecting which babies are born by doing genetic testing on embryos or fetuses and only allowing those that are desired to live to birth in the way that it is allowed in Australia shares the moral problems… // Read More »

Down Syndrome and Thanksgiving

Posted November 25th, 2011 by Joe Gibes

  Despite today being the retail abomination known as “Black Friday,” I will continue in the vein of Thanksgiving and write about a person I am thankful for. My nephew’s name is Jacob, and he has Down Syndrome. He just turned 18. He is one of the most loyal and loving people I have the privilege of knowing. He gives incredible, bone-crushing hugs. His cell… // Read More »

Kaddish “I Am Here”

Posted April 27th, 2011 by Cody Chambers

This past fall, I had the privilege of attending the Houston Symphony’s production of Kaddish.  The Kaddish Project seeks to commemorate the noble struggle of individual Holocaust survivors, including four who have made their homes in Houston.  Much of my research at Trinity focused on the concept of personhood, that we are more than just biological systems but instead are “someones,” persons.  I couldn’t help… // Read More »

Sterilization Decision Illustrates the Importance of Intent

Posted April 27th, 2011 by Steve Phillips

In a recent British court case the mother of a 21-year-old woman who was pregnant with her second child asked that doctors perform a sterilization procedure at the time of her planned C-section.  The woman has a mental disability and the court is being asked to determine if she is capable of making her own decision regarding sterilization. If it is determined that she is… // Read More »