Bioethics @ TIU

Racial inequalities in cancer survival

Posted December 9th, 2017 by Joe Gibes

Three studies published in a supplemental issue of the journal Cancer this month come to disturbing conclusions: in the United States, the survival rates for colon, breast, and ovarian cancer are lower for black people than for white people. The news isn’t all bad: overall cancer survival rates are going up. The three studies mentioned here draw from two larger studies of worldwide cancer survival, the CONCORD… // Read More »

Ethical Health Care Reform

Posted July 21st, 2017 by Joe Gibes

Recently I heard a Christian TV personality refer to Obamacare as “iniquitous.” This started me thinking, What would make a health care funding reform scheme “iniquitous”? Or, although the words aren’t synonymous, what would make such a scheme unethical? What should go into ethical health care reform? The answers to these questions are legion and conflicting. There are some who see government intervention as inherently… // 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 »

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 »

Another election, another round of health care reform

Posted November 6th, 2016 by Joe Gibes

Now that we Chicagolanders don’t have the World Series to distract us anymore, we have to go back to thinking about the upcoming election. Health care financing is of course one important issue in the presidential race. One side wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), the other wants to keep it and work to fix it. Whoever wins, it’s evident… // Read More »

The people who don’t deserve health care

Posted December 12th, 2014 by Joe Gibes

By all accounts, since the beginning of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare), many previously uninsured people now have medical insurance. The ACA has expanded access to health care. However, many millions still do not have medical insurance: some by choice, but many because they still can’t afford it, even under the provisions of the ACA. And there are many others… // Read More »

Liberal Limitations of Autonomy

Posted October 19th, 2013 by Susan Haack

I’ve recently spent many hours pouring over publications of the American College of Obstetrician/Gynecologists (ACOG)–something I rarely do–in preparation for my board recertification exams next week. In all fairness, and despite my negative attitude toward this newly instituted requirement, I confess that I have learned, or relearned, a few facts of practical clinical importance. However, I have also discovered many glaring inconsistencies in ACOG’s recommendations… // Read More »

Thoughts on varied subjects: commercial surrogacy, professionalism, and Obamacare

Posted October 4th, 2013 by Joe Gibes

A potpourri of stories from this week that prompted bioethical musings, in no particular order . . . The BBC News website ran a fascinating, heartbreaking story this week about women in India who are paid to gestate other women’s babies: commercial surrogacy, a billion-dollar-a-year industry in India. The main figures in the story — a woman named Vasanti living in a dormitory for commercial surrogates,… // Read More »

Reflections on the Olympic opening ceremonies

Posted August 11th, 2012 by Joe Gibes

Of all the quirky elements that went into the opening ceremony of the London Olympics (think Shakespeare, James Bond, Voldemort, and — Mr. Bean?), the quirkiest to me was the tribute to the National Health Service (NHS). Wondering whether the acclamation was the idiosyncratic view of the ceremony’s director or reflected the attitude of the British public, I went online to do a (thoroughly unsystematic)… // Read More »