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Medical Ethics

Optogenetics: A Novel Technology With Questions Old and New

Ruth Starkman | Posted 09.25.2012 | Science
Ruth Starkman

Optogenetics is a combination of genetics and optics to manipulate single neurons using pulses of light delivered to the brain via fiber optic threads.

Health Care 101: Dealing With Your Difficult Patient

Brian Secemsky, M.D. | Posted 09.24.2012 | Healthy Living
Brian Secemsky, M.D.

A friendly reminder to those just starting out in their respective health care positions: Your patient demographic will not be solely be made up of sweet old grandmothers telling you how lovely you look in scrubs or a white coat.

Federal Medical Research Regulations Must Accommodate Modern Medicine

Ruth R. Faden | Posted 08.13.2012 | Science
Ruth R. Faden

For the first time since they were passed in the 1970s, the federal government is considering making significant modifications to the regulations. One big question is: Should these revisions include ways for research to be better integrated into regular medical care?

How Close Is Too Close?

Alexandra Pisano | Posted 05.10.2012 | Chicago
Alexandra Pisano

The surgeon saved your life. Do you hug him to say thank you? Do you let the nurse who delivered your healthy baby hug you?

Sharing Office Cubicles... and Diagnoses

Robert Klitzman, M.D. | Posted 07.08.2012 | Healthy Living
Robert Klitzman, M.D.

Coworkers occupy peculiar in-between roles in our lives. Most days, we spend at least half of our waking hours with them. Disclosing our personal problems to them can offer advantages, generating social support, or can prompt stigma and discrimination.

Why Do Some See My Daughter's Life As 'Wrongful'?

Amy Julia Becker | Posted 05.16.2012 | Parents
Amy Julia Becker

We live in a culture where disability is celebrated as a mark of human diversity (think of Becky on Glee) and even, in some cases, genius (think of Stephen Hawking). We also live in a culture where disability is viewed as an obstacle to be overcome through prenatal testing.

Every Sperm Is Sacred? Jewish Perspectives On Contraception

Rabbi Daniel Brenner | Posted 05.05.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Daniel Brenner

The questions that exist around reproductive health care and religious ethics are profound and challenging. Yet, some of the loudest voices in the media are labeling contraception coverage an attack on religious liberty.

What's The Difference Between A Doctor And G-d?

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet | Posted 04.25.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet

A little while back my father was diagnosed with glioblastoma grade IV. In a word, it is the most aggressive form of brain cancer. The doctors gave him a year. They also gave him options.

A Little Girl's Kidney, A Nation's Heart

Susan Senator | Posted 03.17.2012 | Parents
Susan Senator

Why do doctors get to decide whether a child's cognitive abilities make her a candidate for an organ transplant? That is what has me so upset over Amelia's doctors: the implication that some humans are better than others.

The Psychiatric Drugging of America's Foster Children

Dr. Peter Breggin | Posted 12.22.2011 | Healthy Living
Dr. Peter Breggin

There were approximately 662,000 children in foster care in the U.S. in 2010. Now, there is a Government Accounting Office report confirming that foster children in five states are receiving shocking amounts of psychiatric drugs.

The Fine Line Between Shared and Manipulated Medical Decisions

Michael L. Millenson | Posted 01.11.2012 | Business
Michael L. Millenson

Are hard-edged smoking cessation or weight loss programs justified because they help keep down everyone's insurance costs? What is the balance between personal freedom and societal obligations?

Castration Ethics

Priya Malhotra | Posted 10.30.2011 | Chicago
Priya Malhotra

Stealing a patient's penis without his permission -- regardless of the vegetable it resembles -- seems pretty harmful to me.

When Compassion Becomes the Unifying Language: A Story of Language Barriers in Medicine

Tomekia Lynn Strickland, M.D. | Posted 10.05.2011 | Black Voices
Tomekia Lynn Strickland, M.D.

In the role of physician, it didn't matter that we were new acquaintances, born of different races and who spoke different languages. I spoke with my heart and I spoke with my hands a message of hope, trust and recovery.

Should Meat Be Sold With Warning Labels?

Nil Zacharias | Posted 09.10.2011 | Home
Nil Zacharias

In spite of ample evidence highlighting the problems with excessive meat consumption, physicians are not provided any specific guidance about counseling their patients on reducing meat consumption.

Busted: A Fugitive Fraudster Husband

Abigail Pesta | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Abigail Pesta

What do you do when your husband disappears from your bed one night, leaves you with $6 million in debt, and turns out to be a total fraud? If you're Michelle Kramer, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get a Ph.D. in psychology.

Planned Parenthood Slammed for Telling the Truth

Leah Anthony Libresco | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Leah Anthony Libresco

Lila Rose's pro-choice group, Live Action, continues to release videos from their 'sting operations against Planned Parenthood. They're trying to pos...

Women Are Casualties in High Profile Abortion Fight

Leah Anthony Libresco | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Leah Anthony Libresco

Activists with no background in medicine may not understand the consequences of their critiques or challenges.

Reasons For the Anti-Vaccine Movement's Appeal

Dr. Elaine Schattner | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Dr. Elaine Schattner

There are a few lessons that can be learned about communication in medicine and news from the recently retracted vaccine and autism paper.

San Francisco May Vote On Circumcision Ban

Posted 06.15.2011 | Los Angeles

San Francisco residents may vote on a ballot measure next year that would outlaw circumcision. The initiative, which requires 7,000 signatures befo...

Study Calls For Sensitivity In Muslims' Medical Care

Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion

Whitney Jones Religion News Service (RNS) U.S. doctors need to take religious values into account while providing health care, especially when the...

The Nazi Virus

Robert Koehler | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Robert Koehler

Even as we were prosecuting Nazis at Nuremberg for their barbaric behavior, including their notorious medical experiments on death camp inmates, we were, it turns out, conducting our own medical experiments on a vulnerable and unsuspecting population.

On The Bridge: A Conversaton Between A Pro-Lifer And An Embryonic Stem Cell Researcher

Christine A. Scheller | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Christine A. Scheller

I was a pro-lifer whose child had an incurable disease. What I wanted to know was: what would I do if hESCs could cure my child'sNeurofibromatosis?

The Professionalization of Torture

Human Rights First | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Human Rights First

By Melina Milazzo Pennoyer Fellow, Law and Security Program This week, the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) published a commentary enti...

Lies, Damn Lies and Medical Research

Dana Ullman | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Dana Ullman

Just because a drug treatment seems to eliminate a specific symptom does not necessarily mean that it is "effective." In fact, getting rid of a specific symptom can be the bad news.

Dr. Jack Cassell Should Find Another Job

Scott Mendelson, M.D. | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Scott Mendelson, M.D.

This morning I read that Dr. Jack Cassell, a urologist practicing in Florida, placed a sign in his office window telling people who had voted for Obama to seek care "elsewhere".