Bioethics Blogs The Presidential Election Edition

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Every four years the United States chooses a new chief executive. Although encoded in the Constitution, the idea that a person with such power would willingly surrender it and walk away to allow another to lead is remarkable. It was even more remarkable in 1797 when George Washington began this tradition of a peaceful transition of power, an action that was nearly unthinkable in a world ruled by monarchs. As the character of King George says in the musical Hamilton, “I wasn’t aware that was something a person can do.” Of course that tradition may be ending as Republican candidate Donald Trump stated that he reserves the right not to honor the election results.

Many states are in the middle of early voting and all states (except Oregon in which everyone mails in a ballot) are nearing Election Day on November 8. Thus, I thought that it was appropriate to view both of the major party candidates’ positions on health issues. Specifically, I will look at the candidate’s positions on abortion, the Affordable Care Act, Family Life Issues, Supreme Court nominations and the curious case of medical diagnosis from afar.


The candidate’s offer different perspectives on the issue of abortion, a contrast made clear in the third Presidential debate. Clinton has repeatedly stated that abortion is a woman’s decision and not one that the state should be making for her. She supports the work of Planned Parenthood, opposes any restrictions to abortion access, and supports repealing the Hyde Amendment (banning any federal dollars to be used for abortion).

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.