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Bioethics

Vegetative States and PET Scans: Is More Information Better?

Ruth Macklin | Posted 04.18.2014 | Healthy Living
Ruth Macklin

One typically thinks of advances in medical science and technology as having unalloyed benefits. The ability to cure illness, the mitigation of pain a...

E-cigarettes: Is Liquid Nicotine Safe?

Ruth Macklin | Posted 04.04.2014 | Healthy Living
Ruth Macklin

The debate over e-cigarettes has been heating up. Are the smokeless, battery-powered, nicotine-dispensing devices a gateway to smoking for young people or a helpful way for smokers to quit? Public health experts can be found on both sides of the debate.

Is PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) 'Playing God'?

Ruth Macklin | Posted 03.04.2014 | Politics
Ruth Macklin

PGD is by now a well-established procedure in reproductive medicine. Although its use may continue to give rise to some ethical controversy, the benefits to couples and the children they produce outweigh the potential negative consequences feared by some.

How Do Financial Incentives Influence Doctors' Judgments?

Dr. Paul Marantz | Posted 04.05.2014 | Healthy Living
Dr. Paul Marantz

We should also recognize that we, too, are human, and when our recommendations have financial implications, we should ask ourselves: How might this influence our decision-making?

Texas Fetal Rights Case: Delayed Justice

Ruth Macklin | Posted 03.30.2014 | Politics
Ruth Macklin

Although this case was resolved satisfactorily -- probably not soon enough for the distraught family -- a question remains about the ethics of the Texas law.

Death Has Become a Choice

Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D. | Posted 03.24.2014 | Religion
Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D.

The long-term tragedy is that we will continue to see cases like this. As medical technologies develop and advance, we will be able to do more to sustain life. It is imperative that we recognize what we are doing and why.

When Fetal Rights Trump Those of Patient and Family

Ruth Macklin | Posted 03.16.2014 | Politics
Ruth Macklin

The case of Marlise Munoz may ultimately be decided on legal grounds -- that is, whether the Texas statute is applicable to a dead body containing a living fetus. The ethical question, however, remains.

The Ethics Of Brain Death

USA Today | Liz Szabo | Posted 01.25.2014 | Religion

(RNS) The cases of two young women — a California teen and a pregnant Texas mother — have generated sympathy for their families, but also have lef...

Case Of Brain Dead Teen Could Set Precedent

The Huffington Post | Lydia O'Connor | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living

The tragic case of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old girl declared brain dead at Children’s Hospital Oakland following a tonsillectomy last month, may se...

Who Needs Braces? Socially-Necessary vs. Medically-Necessary Treatment

Marc Ackerman | Posted 02.19.2014 | Healthy Living
Marc Ackerman

Unlike treating a disease with a known cause and having the ability to select a therapy that cures that disease, orthodontics is limited to managing the irregularity of teeth. In simple terms, we orthodontists are able to straighten your teeth, but we really have little idea how or why they went crooked in the first place.

The FDA and 23andMe: Regulating Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests

Ruth Macklin | Posted 02.16.2014 | Healthy Living
Ruth Macklin

Whatever the outcome of the lawsuit, the FDA's action and people's eagerness to obtain their genomic information indicate the need for public education. Except for specialists in human genetics, even many doctors lack sufficient training to interpret the results of genetic tests.

The Future of Testing Your Genetic Future

Robert Klitzman, M.D. | Posted 02.10.2014 | Healthy Living
Robert Klitzman, M.D.

This week, 23andMe, the Google-backed DTC genetic test company, stunned many observers by agreeing to stop sales of its $99 genetic test kit online, saying it will now release only ancestry information and raw data without interpretation.

Paying People for Kidneys: Is It Ethical?

Ruth Macklin | Posted 02.04.2014 | Healthy Living
Ruth Macklin

The shortage of available kidneys for transplantation leaves many people on burdensome dialysis for years, while others die awaiting a functioning kidney. Still, a thriving business takes place underground and in black markets worldwide.

The Lobotomists Are Back!

Dr. Peter Breggin | Posted 11.11.2013 | Healthy Living
Dr. Peter Breggin

Researchers at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada have published a new study of current psychosurgery at their facility, but the project suffers...

A Former IVF Baby on "Three-Parent IVF"

Jessica Cussins | Posted 01.23.2014 | Science
Jessica Cussins

There are large social and ethical considerations that mitochondrial replacement forces us to confront. Most importantly, this technology raises one of the thorniest questions humanity will ever face: are we willing to genetically modify future generations of humans?

The Ethical Burrito

Nathan Risinger | Posted 11.25.2013 | Business
Nathan Risinger

Occasionally an advertisement bucks trends, grabbing our attention without the aid of the biggest football game of the year. Against all odds Chipotle seems to have done just that.

Henrietta Lacks' Genes and All of Yours?

Robert Klitzman, M.D. | Posted 11.02.2013 | Healthy Living
Robert Klitzman, M.D.

Like Henrietta Lacks' family, millions of us will soon confront questions about our genomes. We should learn as much as we can, and plan more carefully now, before it is too late. Our genomic data may reveal aspects of our fate, but we can still potentially control how and when the information is used.

Jenny McCarthy's View

Nathan Risinger | Posted 10.19.2013 | Media
Nathan Risinger

Proselytizing of any shape or stripe should be viewed with a raised eyebrow and a challenging question. When this proselytizing is based on what one might charitably term pseudoscience (but truly resembles complete quackery) we should not simply be skeptical, we should be incredulous.

Kathleen Miles

'Not Everything In Life Is For Sale'

HuffingtonPost.com | Kathleen Miles | Posted 08.15.2013 | Los Angeles

California Gov. Jerry Brown's veto of legislation that would have allowed women to sell their eggs for medical research has infuriated some women's ri...

A Case for Oregon

Nathan Risinger | Posted 08.20.2013 | Healthy Living
Nathan Risinger

While any healthcare system must obviously be tailored to the needs of the constituency it serves, to what degree can we allow such a system to compromise the rights of the singular agent?

Religious Leaders Respond To Human Cloning Breakthrough

Posted 05.15.2013 | Religion

By David Gibson Religion News Service (RNS) News that scientists had for the first time recovered stem cells from cloned human embryos prompted d...

Protecting Our Children From Bioterrorism Requires Testing Of Anthrax Vaccine

Tia Powell | Posted 06.17.2013 | Healthy Living
Tia Powell

Last month, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues released a thoughtful report recommending against studying the anthrax vaccine in children. I might have agreed, had I not spent a year co-chairing an IOM report on protecting the public from a deadly anthrax attack.

Tenth Anniversary of the Mapping of the Human Genome: What It Means for Us All

Robert Klitzman, M.D. | Posted 06.16.2013 | Science
Robert Klitzman, M.D.

These miraculous discoveries present us with countless dilemmas and are far outpacing our abilities to grasp and address their ethical, legal and social implications. We need more public and professional education and attention to how it is affecting our lives and how it should affect our lives.

The BRAIN Initiative: Ethical Challenges Ahead

Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D. | Posted 06.10.2013 | Science
Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D.

If the BRAIN initiative is to achieve its goals and fulfill its lofty promise, it will need to address several other ethical challenges as well. These challenges involve values-laden decisions that will influence the research methods, analytic models, and policy recommendations arising from the initiative.

Do as I Say, Not as I Do

Nathan Risinger | Posted 05.25.2013 | Healthy Living
Nathan Risinger

Doctors are capable of making irrational and incorrect choices just like the rest of us. This provides us with a valuable lesson. Education, information and intelligence aren't always guarantors of responsible decision-making.