Tag: schools

Bioethics Blogs

Teaching Disability Studies in the Era of Trump by Pamela Block

In spring semester of 2017 we (Pam Block and Michele Friedner) co-taught the graduate course “Conceptual Foundations of Disability Studies.” Though the readings were the same as in previous iterations of the course, the emphasis and tone of the class shifted, not just because of the co-teaching but because we were now teaching in a context in which the rights and lives of disabled people are at increased risk. This essay will focus on one class session devoted to a discussion of how disability studies and eugenics are strikingly intertwined in some ways, and why it is salient and important to think about eugenics in the present moment, especially in relation to the current United States presidency.

Eugenics opens up a way to talk about immigration; traits and qualities of and in people; desirability; deservedness; “good” and “bad” science; and the making of facts. Eugenics comes to mind when we think of silencing and containing nasty women and ejecting bad hombres. While we are not arguing that Trump himself advocates eugenics, we argue that a study of the history of eugenics offers an entry point to considering the emergence of past and present norms and normals, especially in relation to perspectives on bodily variation. We also think that a discussion of eugenics affords different ways of conceptualizing what disability studies scholars Snyder and Mitchell (2010) call “able-nationalism,” (riffing off of Puar’s (2007) work on homonationalism). That is, a discussion of eugenics allows for consideration of how disability—and the values attached to it– is mobilized in different time periods, in the service to the nation.

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.

Bioethics Blogs

When Women are Surrogate Mothers: Is that work?

Alana Cattapan, Angela Cameron, and Vanessa Gruben warn that speaking about “compensation” is a way of avoiding difficult conversations about payment to surrogates.

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A recent Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) news article reported that the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) has called for the federal government to reconsider the ban on payment for surrogacy in Canada. The article suggests that industry professionals and academics alike are coming around on compensation for surrogacy, with support growing all the time.

In Canada, payment for surrogacy, egg donation, and sperm donation is banned under the 2004 Assisted Human Reproduction Act. Under the Act, surrogates (like egg donors and sperm donors) can be reimbursed for receipted expenses. With a note from their doctor, surrogates can also receive some money for lost work-related income during pregnancy.

The Act states that this reimbursement of expenses must follow the relevant regulations. Until now, however, these regulations have never been drafted. After more than a decade, Health Canada is now in the throes of making them. This is occurring as surrogacy in Canada is expanding to accommodate more and more people from countries where surrogacy is more expensive, harder to access or banned completely.

Women Working in a Field by Winslow Homer 1867.

It is in this context that the CFAS (which is a part-medical association, part-industry organization representing the fertility industry and its doctors, lawyers, scientists and ethicists) has called for the government to reconsider the ban on payment.

 It is important to know that the market in surrogacy in Canada is a profitable one.

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.

Bioethics Blogs

Some Comments about Being a Philosopher of Color and the Reasons I Didn’t Write a (Real) Paper for this (Seemingly) Ideal Venue for my Work

by Sean A. Valles

ABSTRACT. This special issue conspicuously lacks work by Philosophers of Color (with the exception of this commentary). I have been given this opportunity to discuss the impediments that kept me from submitting my relevant work, offered as a small step toward recognizing the impediments faced by other Philosophers of Color. I highlight factors including direct and indirect consequences of a disproportionately White community of US philosophers, and some underrecognized risk-reward calculations that Philosophers of Color face when choosing an article project. I urge further discussion of the topic, starting with an exhortation to choose the right phenomenon and accordingly frame the right question: Why are White philosophers deliberating the “ethical and social issues arising out of the 2016 US presidential election” in a prestigious journal, while Philosophers of Color are deliberating the same issues in tense classrooms, closed offices, and on-/off-campus forums?

This is not a real article. But in this special issue on the 2016 US election and Trump it is, to my knowledge, the only contribution written by a Philosopher of Color. It is a commentary about the fact that it is the only contribution written by a Philosopher of Color.

After Editor-in-Chief Rebecca Kukla expressed consternation that the issue was full of excellent papers, but written by a roster of White philosophers, I offered to say something about why I didn’t submit any of my relevant philosophical work (on nativism, racism, health policy, Latinx health, etc.), and why it didn’t surprise me that almost none of the other well-qualified Philosophers of Color did either.

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.

Bioethics News

June 2017 Newsletter

Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI) is dedicated to fostering public awareness and understanding of bioethical issues, and to exploring solutions to bioethical challenges.
Through its events and activities, which include annual summer schools on global bioethics, GBI seeks to keep the international community, policy decision-makers, the media, and the general public aware of important bioethical issues which is essential for making informed decisions and fostering public debate. Using various platforms, we at GBI are able to promote our motto “Doing bioethics in real life!”.
GBI is an active member of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and enjoys a special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the UN’s central platform for debate, reflection, and innovative thinking on sustainable development. Check out our website here.
Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI) launches
its third edition Summer School Program

NYC (June 19-30), 2017New York, New York June 19, 2017: GBI starts its summer school program sponsored by Pace University, College of Health Professions and New York
Medical College. Lead by experts in the field of Bioethics, students and professionals will witness Bioethics in various forms such as film screenings, field trips, and lectures/seminars, ending with a completion ceremony. Topics addressed in the program are: embryonic stem cell research, cloning, gene therapy, end-of-life care, genetics, reproductive technologies, human subject research, organ transplantation and access to health care.

“I am absolutely confident you leave this program enriched, “said Dr. Bruce Gelb, President of GBI. You will find that what you learn over the coming days, will impact how you interact and engage with the world in many aspects of life.”

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.

Bioethics Blogs

Confronting Medicine in the Holocaust & Beyond

By Hedy S. Wald

Galilee, Israel, May 7-11, 2017. I was privileged to be at the Second International Scholars Workshop on “Medicine in the Holocaust and Beyond.” Why so meaningful?  Why so needed? 140 purposeful, passionate scholars from 17 countries delved into the past history of medicine at its worst in order to inform the future.  From 1933-1945, presumed healers within mainstream medicine (sworn to uphold the Hippocratic Oath) turned into killers (1).  Yes, medical ethics in Nazi-era medical school curricula existed, yet included “unequal worth of human beings, authoritative role of the physician, and priority of public health over individual-patient care”(2).  In Western Galilee College, (Akko), Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Health Sciences (Safed), and Galilee Medical Center and Ghetto Fighters’ Museum, (both in Nahariya), historians, physicians, nurses, medical and university educators, medical students, ethicists and more gathered to grapple with this history and consider how learning about medicine in the Holocaust can support healthy professional identity formation with a moral compass for navigating the future of medical practice with issues such as prejudice, assisted reproduction and suicide, resource allocation, obtaining valid informed consent, and challenges of genomics and technology expansion (3)…

The conference, in essence, served as a lens for the here and now, reinforcing my contention (and others’) that history of medicine in the Holocaust curricula including confronting the Nazi physicians’ and scientific establishment’s euthanasia of “lives unworthy of life,” forced sterilizations, horrific experimentation on their victims, and medicalized genocide (leading to the destruction of a third of the European Jewish population and many others) is a “moral imperative” in healthcare professions education (1,4).

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.

Bioethics News

Donor Spotlight

The Berman Institute takes on some of the greatest challenges facing the world today—challenges that lie at the heart of progress and our humanity. As one of the largest and most distinguished bioethics programs in the world, it is Johns Hopkins University’s home for bioethics scholarship and teaching, working with and within the schools of Public Health, Medicine, Advanced International Studies, Nursing, and, Arts and Sciences. The Institute’s work helps foresee and inform debates on complex moral challenges; discerns ethically acceptable alternatives in medical, scientific, and public health policy; and helps to prepare the next generation of health professionals as well as scholars in bioethics.

 

Our work would not be possible without the generosity of our donors. Philanthropy is the foundation on which Johns Hopkins and the Berman Institute were built, and continues to fuel them today, powering the engine of discovery and helping us to build a better world.

 

Long standing Johns Hopkins Berman Institute National Advisory Board member and supporter, Stephanie Cooper Greenberg, shares her observations on the institute’s role in navigating these complicated times.

“In the world we live in, there’s never been more need for the Berman Institute of Bioethics and its remarkable scholars who help us understand and decode the intricacies of fast moving science and medicine that affect our daily lives. When a bioethical challenge crops up on the front page or in the course of daily living, I know that those at the Berman Institute have already thought it through, and have helped me and others better understand the heart of the issue, what’s at stake, and helps me, and others, make an informed opinion.

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.

Bioethics News

Join our supporters. Make a gift today.

The Berman Institute takes on some of the greatest challenges facing the world today—challenges that lie at the heart of progress and our humanity. As one of the largest and most distinguished bioethics programs in the world, it is Johns Hopkins University’s home for bioethics scholarship and teaching, working with and within the schools of Public Health, Medicine, Advanced International Studies, Nursing, and, Arts and Sciences. The Institute’s work helps foresee and inform debates on complex moral challenges; discerns ethically acceptable alternatives in medical, scientific, and public health policy; and helps to prepare the next generation of health professionals as well as scholars in bioethics.

Our work would not be possible without the generosity of our donors. Philanthropy is the foundation on which Johns Hopkins and the Berman Institute were built, and continues to fuel them today, powering the engine of discovery and helping us to build a better world.

Long standing Johns Hopkins Berman Institute National Advisory Board member and supporter, Stephanie Cooper Greenberg, shares her observations on the institute’s role in navigating these complicated times.

“In the world we live in, there’s never been more need for the Berman Institute of Bioethics and its remarkable scholars who help us understand and decode the intricacies of fast moving science and medicine that affect our daily lives. When a bioethical challenge crops up on the front page or in the course of daily living, I know that those at the Berman Institute have already thought it through, and have helped me and others better understand the heart of the issue, what’s at stake, and helps me, and others, make an informed opinion.

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.

Bioethics News

The Millennial Astronaut Who Wants to Go to Mars

June 15, 2017

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When Jessica Watkins was growing up, NASA was launching space shuttle missions into low-Earth orbit about every few months. But Watkins, one of NASA’s newest astronauts, doesn’t really remember watching the launches on television. Her first enduring memory of American space exploration came in 2004, when a pair of robotic rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, landed on the surface of Mars.

“That was a really cool moment, and I kind of knew from then that it would be really awesome to work on a Mars rover,” said Watkins, who was 15 years old at the time.

Watkins and 11 others were introduced last week as NASA’s newest astronaut class, selected from a pool of more than 18,300 applicants. Watkins turned 29 years old last month, and is one of the youngest astronaut candidates in history. Two other new recruits, Kayla Barron and Zena Cardman, are the same age. This makes them the first astronauts to emerge from that much-maligned cohort, the millennials. Unlike earlier generations of astronauts, they came of age during a time in American spaceflight when space-shuttle launches were, for the most part, routine, and schools no longer interrupted lessons to wheel in bulky televisions so students could watch the action. By the time of their early twenties, the shuttle program was canceled.

… Read More

Image: NASA/BIll Ingalls

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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.

Bioethics Blogs

Caregiving: Can It Be An Attribute of Our Healthcare System?

By David C. Leach

An old joke begins by asking that you imagine a man drowning 100 feet offshore while a conservative and a liberal are observing.  The conservative throws him a 50 foot rope and says: “swim the extra distance, it’s good for you.”  The liberal, on the other hand, throws him a 100 foot line and then promptly drops his end of the line in order to go and do another good deed.

While offering insight into our politics the story also illuminates some of our habits around caregiving in our current healthcare system and the policies supporting that system.  Certainly individual stories of near heroic caring can be found, but the system itself is designed around processes and structures that seem to diminish the importance of the caring relationships at the heart of our work.  Caregivers frequently depend on work arounds.  What would it take to develop a system that respects, rewards, or at least enables genuine caregiving?

Caregiving, of course, is an attribute of humans, not systems.  To care for another requires a voluntary opening of the heart to compassion; it requires noticing and acknowledging the uniqueness of the other and a willingness to enter into their context.  Keenan defines mercy as the willingness to enter into the chaos of the other.  (1) The biblical story of the Good Samaritan (Luke, 10:33) illuminates an interesting attribute of caregiving that may indicate why humans can care and systems cannot; the clue is in the voice of the verbs used.  The story is well known: a traveler has been assaulted and robbed.

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.

Bioethics News

May 2017 Newsletter

 

Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI) is dedicated to fostering public awareness and understanding of bioethical issues, and to exploring solutions to bioethical challenges.
Through its events and activities, which include annual summer schools on global bioethics, GBI seeks to keep the international community, policy decision-makers, the media, and the general public aware of important bioethical issues which is essential for making informed decisions and fostering public debate. Using various platforms, we at GBI are able to promote our motto “Doing bioethics in real life!”.
GBI is an active member of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and enjoys a special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the UN’s central platform for debate, reflection, and innovative thinking on sustainable development. Check out our website here.
Who can apply for the summer school?
Everyone from high school seniors, university students to professionals worldwide!
Partial Scholarships for low-income country residents, Graduate Certificates and CMEs are available, Registration fees are 100% tax deductible
Click here for the Faculty
Click here for Lectures and Seminars
Click here for testimonials 2016 
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS:

Age and Longevity in the 21st Century: Science, Policy and Ethics

Michael D. West, Ph.D. has served as the BioTime Inc. Chief Executive Officer, Alamada, CA
R. Sean Morrison, M.D., FAAHPM, Professor and Director of the Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City
David L. Katz MD, MPH
Founding director (1998) of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

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.