Bioethics @ TIU

Undermining the USPSTF: The most important stakeholders are the patients

Posted May 12th, 2017 by Joe Gibes

A strange “health care” drama plays out daily in our clinics and hospitals. A healthy person has a medical test done (even though he or she is healthy): a blood test, a chest x-ray or mammogram, maybe an ultrasound of some body part. The test comes back abnormal. The patient (for she has now gone from being a healthy person to being a patient) is… // Read More »

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 »

Testing, testing: Prenatal genetic screening

Posted June 10th, 2016 by Joe Gibes

The June 2016 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology includes a study of the conversations between patients and “Health Care Providers” about prenatal genetic screening (PGS). The objective of the study was to “assess how obstetric health care providers counsel patients regarding prenatal genetic screening and how these conversations influence patients’ screening decisions.” PGS refers to blood and ultrasound tests performed early in pregnancy to determine… // Read More »

Truth-telling and preventive interventions

Posted November 16th, 2012 by Joe Gibes

  Recent articles in two different medical journals address an important concept in medical ethics as it pertains to screening tests: truth-telling. The articles appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and the Annals of Family Medicine (AFM). The NEJM article relates how, in the zeal to encourage people to have screening tests such as mammography for breast cancer and colonoscopy for colon… // 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 »

Do doctors make you sick?

Posted March 2nd, 2012 by Joe Gibes

It seems the doctor’s role has changed in the past 50 years. At one time, doctors saw sick people and helped to make them well. They still do that, of course, but now their role has expanded: they see well people and help to make them sick. That, at least, is the contention of Dartmouth professor of medicine H. Gilbert Welch, who wrote in a… // Read More »

The ethics of PSA testing

Posted October 21st, 2011 by Joe Gibes

  The humble little PSA test has become a hot-button ethical issue. The PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test is a blood test that can detect prostate cancer at an earlier stage than can physical exam. It is not a perfect test; it misses about 25% of cancers. But it is the best thing we have for detecting prostate cancer early. The United States Preventive Services Task… // Read More »