Tag: students

Bioethics Blogs

Interview with Arthur Caplan

by Kaitlynd Hiller and Rachel F. Bloom

It is a difficult task to succinctly describe the professional accomplishments of Arthur Caplan, PhD. For the uninitiated, Dr. Caplan is perhaps the most prominent voice in the conversation between bioethicists and the general public, as well as being a prolific writer and academic. He is currently the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center and NYU School of Medicine, having founded the Division of Bioethics there in 2012. Additionally, he co-founded the NYU Sports and Society Program, where he currently serves as Dean, and heads the ethics program for NYU’s Global Institute for Public Health. Prior to joining NYU, he created the Center for Bioethics and Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, serving as the Sidney D. Caplan Professor of Bioethics. Dr. Caplan is a Hastings Center fellow, also holding fellowships at The New York Academy of Medicine, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American College of Legal Medicine. He received the lifetime achievement award of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities in 2016.

Dr. Caplan’s experience is not at all limited to the academic realm: he has served on numerous advisory counsels at the national and international level, and is an ethics advisor for organizations tackling issues from synthetic biology to world health to compassionate care. Dr. Caplan has been awarded the McGovern Medal of the American Medical Writers Association, the Franklin Award from the City of Philadelphia, the Patricia Price Browne Prize in Biomedical Ethics, the Public Service Award from the National Science Foundation, and the Rare Impact Award from the National Organization for Rare Disorders; he also holds seven honorary degrees.

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

Medical Students Can Handle the Truth; Their Mentors Should be More Open About It

By Shannon Tapia

Medical School is rough.  Fortunately there is a recent movement to make medical education more humane.  The movement to bring humanity, ethics, and love back into the molding of our future physicians is crucial. Personally, I felt my medical school was on the forefront of this push.  Perhaps it was because we had Jesuit priests for attendings and the hospital’s motto of “We also treat the human spirit” filtered into the treatment of students.  Whether it was something about myself or my medical school, I was fortunate to never experience the depression, competitive urges, burnout and isolation that is so prevalent during American medical school years…

But there is an underlying and hidden truth that is never spoken about, or at least wasn’t to me, in medical school.  As students we are warned how tough medical school is and furthermore how absolutely draining residency is.  When we’re in the thick of either in even the most uplifting programs and schools, we are monitored for burnout, offered services to prevent it, and given support in ways students and residents of the 20th century never were. More frequently now, we are prepared for these harsh realities.  But what we’re not told, ever, is that even if and when we make it through medical school and residency/fellowship to attending physicians we may well find it’s not greener on the other side.  We may still first experience burnout when we’re supposed to be summiting our Everest Mountain of medical training. As many mountain climbers will tell you, often the way down from the peak is just as hard if not harder than the climb up.

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

Christian Schools and Pregnancy

The New York Times published an article over the weekend titled “Pregnant at 18. Hailed by Abortion Foes. Punished by Christian School.” The author of the piece tells the story of Maddi Runkles, an 18-year-old high school senior who was banned from participating in her school’s graduation ceremony and removed from the student council after becoming pregnant earlier this year.  The article juxtaposes the professed pro-life beliefs of evangelicals with the way that Christian schools often respond to student pregnancy.  At the end of the article there is a quote from Maddi, who says, “Honestly, that makes me feel like maybe the abortion would have been better. Then they would have just forgiven me, rather than deal with this visible consequence.”

While many pro-choice activists accuse pro-life Christians of caring about babies only while they are in the womb, the myriad of Christian crisis pregnancy centers, relief organizations, and other faith-based charities give the lie to this caricature. However, Christian schools face the hard task of fairly upholding the standards of behavior that they expect from their students, while also displaying a consistently pro-life ethic and supporting students who choose life for their babies.

Maddi’s situation demonstrates the importance of Christian schools having well-designed and consistently-applied policies regarding out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Dr. Kimberly Thornbury developed such a policy while she was Dean of Students at Union University, a Christian university in Tennessee.  Union’s campus newspaper reports on what such a policy looks like here.   In contrast, policies that appear arbitrary or vindictive are antithetical to a pro-life witness.

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

Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics:In It To Win It: Is Prize-giving Bad for Philosophy? Written by Rebecca Buxton

This essay received an Honorable Mention in the Graduate Category of the Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics 2017

Written by University of Oxford student, Rebecca Buxton

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
We live in a culture of prize-giving. The Nobel Prize, the Medal of Honour, the Man Booker and, not least, the Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics. But, in giving such prizes, and indeed prize money, we operate under the assumption that prizes are ‘good’. However, the fact that I am offered a prize for writing
a practical ethics paper is itself a practical ethical conundrum. This essay takes a preliminary amble into the ethical problem of prize-giving with regards to Philosophy specifically, offering reasons as to why we should question current practice. Primarily, I will define what we mean by the term ‘prize’ noting its
necessary and sufficient features. Secondly, I discuss the impact of prize-giving on research, considering how the ramifications of ascribing value through prizes affects the course of academia, especially when focusing on the lack of diverse voices within the subject. I then consider the deeper question of philosophical value: does the very act of constructing an ethical argument for a prize diminish the value of the work?

THE IDEA OF ‘THE PRIZE’
Though prize-giving is prolific in our current institutional culture, we lack any analytically clear literature on what constitutes a ‘prize’. There is, however, some work focusing on the philosophical concept of ‘the gift’, most notably Derrida’s argument that the ‘true’ gift is impossible as we can never eliminate the possibility of the counter-gift.[1] Unlike gifts, prizes depend upon a reciprocal process; you receive a prize in virtue of being or doing something.

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

Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics: Prostitution: You Can’t Have Your Cake and Sell It*. Written by Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette

This essay received an Honorable Mention in the Graduate Category of the Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics 2017

Written by University of Oxford student, Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette

Abstract:        I offer a new** argument for the thesis that prostitution is not just a normal job. It has the advantage of being compatible with the claim that humans should have full authority over their sexual life. In fact, it is ultimately the emphasis on this authority that leads the thesis that prostitution is a normal job to collapse. Here is the argument: merchants cannot (both legally and morally) discriminate whom they transact with on the basis of factors like the ethnicity or the religion of their client; but if prostitutes are ‘sex merchants’, then they cannot (both legally and morally) discriminate whom they have sex with on the basis of these factors. Yet everyone should have the full discretionary power to refuse to have sex under any circumstances.

1. Introduction

You have made it thus far: the wedding preparation is almost over. You enter your local bakery, cheekily anticipating the moment when you’ll order a wedding cake for ‘John & John’. But to your dismay, the baker turns you down because your marriage goes against his ‘Christian beliefs’.

This is a true story and it is a recurrent one. In 2013, Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer found the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop guilty of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.[1] The decision was then maintained by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission[2] and again by the Court of Appeal[3].

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

Reading into the Science: The Neuroscience and Ethics of Enhancement

By Shweta Sahu
Image courtesy of Pexels.

I was always an average student: I was good, just not good enough. I often wondered what my life and grades would be like if I’d had a better memory or learned faster. I remember several exams throughout my high school career where I just could not recall what certain rote memorization facts or specific details were, and now in college, I realize that if I could somehow learn faster, how much time would I save and be able to study even more? Would a better memory have led me to do better on my exams in high school, and would my faster ability to learn new information have increased my GPA?

Such has been the question for years now in the ongoing debates of memory enhancement and cognitive enhancement, respectively. I’m not the only student to have ever felt this way and I’m sure I won’t be the last. Technology and medicine seem to be on the brink of exciting new findings, ones that may help us in ways we’ve never before thought imaginable.
Though neuroscientists are still attempting to understand the intricacies of how memory functions, it has been known since the early 1900’s that memory works in three modes: working memory, short-term memory, and long term memory, each of which are regionalized to different parts of the brain. Working memory, which lasts from seconds to minutes, contains information that can be acted on and processed, not merely maintained by rehearsal. Short term memory on the other hand, is slightly longer in duration and occurs in the prefrontal cortex (think George Miller’s Magic number 7).

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

Where to publish and not to publish in bioethics – the 2017 list

Allegedly, there are over 8.000 so called predatory journals out there. Instead of supporting readers and science, these journals serve their own economic interests first and at best offer dubious merits for scholars. We believe that scholars working in any academic discipline have a professional interest and a responsibility to keep track of these journals. It is our job to warn the young or inexperienced of journals where a publication or editorship could be detrimental to their career and science is not served. We have seen “predatory” publishing take off in a big way and noticed how colleagues start to turn up in the pages of some of these journals. While many have assumed that this phenomenon mainly is a problem for low status universities, there are strong indications that predatory publishing is a part of a major trend towards the industrialization of misconduct and that it affects many top-flight research institutions (see Priyanka Pulla: “In India, elite institutes in shady journals”, Science 354(6319): 1511-1512). This trend, referred to by some as the dark side of publishing, needs to be reversed.

Gert Helgesson, Professor of Medical Ethics, Karolinska InstitutetThus we published this blog post in 2016. This is our first annual update (the previous version can be found here). At first, we relied heavily on the work of Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, who runs blacklists of “potential, possible, or probable” predatory publishers and journals. His lists have since been removed although they live on in new form (anonymous) at the Stop predatory journals site (SPJ) and they can also be found archived.

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

Bending the Odds: Pedagogy and Dialogue in Large Lecture Courses by Sandra Hyde

As academics in large public research universities, I am always amazed that when we speak of an ideal pedagogy, we speak about our small intimate seminars where we have the time and resources to experiment with 25 students or less. In my 13 years of teaching, I look forward to those settings when I get to teach one small undergraduate seminar a year. Over the years, I have also tried to make my large lecture hall shrink by trying to utilize different techniques to foster student based learning and most important, to create more interactive group problem solving and reduce the teacher as lord model of education. While this often works in small seminars, those wonderful nuggets of intimate interactive learning, I find it a challenge to accomplish this when I am in large lecture halls (over 200 students) with limited to graduate student teaching support.

In a large Introduction to Medical Anthropology course (what is called Anthropology 227 at McGill), I have worked over the years to integrate more student-interactive learning. I often compare teaching this course to managing a large ocean-liner with staff of different standing and students who are extremely eclectic as they are drawn from across campus from multiple faculties. For example, students in engineering and medicine will take the course as their one social science requirement and for others they find introduction to medical anthropology intriguing. Students in the humanities are also looking to take their one social science course. There are also medical practitioners and their allied health colleagues often nursing students returning to university to complete their BS.

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

Medical Aid In Dying in Minnesota – Lessons Learned in Oregon and Colorado

Join me on Friday, September 29, 2017, for the MCDES Fall 2017 Conference: “Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD)—Lessons Learned in Oregon and Colorado.”


CEU’s will be available for professionals in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work, Behavior Health and Therapy, Funeral Service and MN Nurses.


Speakers

  • David Grube, MD, is Board Certified in Family Medicine and retired after practicing for 35 years. He continues to teach medical students. He has been a leader in the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians and Oregon Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.
  • Kim Mooney, Certified Thanatologist, has 24 years of experience in the fi eld of dying, death, and grief. She has worked with hospices and as an independent consultant for corporations, faith communities, health care and mental health agencies. She lives and works in Colorado.
  • Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD, Director, Health Law Institute, Mitchell Hamline School of Law. He graduated from Georgetown University, where he received both his JD and a PhD in philosophy and bioethics.

Location
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel – Minneapolis North
Brooklyn Center, MN


Mission
To promote thoughtful deliberation about challenges faced by healthcare professionals and
healthcare systems as they create patient-centered policies to respond to medical aid in dying legislation and requests. We are neither promoting nor condemning aid in dying, but rather, focusing on how to achieve the best possible care for seriously ill patients and their families if medical aid in dying is legalized.


Pragmatic and Ethical Concerns

  1. How will practicing clinicians be educated to respond to requests for physician aid-in-dying, and to connect patients to resources, such as hospice and mental health, in the course of discussing these requests? 
  2. How will required legal safeguards, such as establishing prognosis and second opinions, be implemented? 
  3. How will the “final attestation” process be implemented? 
  4. How will decision-making capacity be assessed? 
  5. How will pharmacy policies be implemented, including the management of aid-in-dying medications in health care facilities? 
  6. How will health care organizations that elect not to participate respond? 
  7. How will health care organizations assess and manage conscientious objections by clinicians or other staff? 
  8. How will health care systems share best practices as issues arise? 
  9. How will health care organizations plan for the needs and concerns of diverse populations?

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

Medical Aid In Dying in Minnesota – Lessons Learned in Oregon and Colorado

Join me on Friday, September 29, 2017, for the MCDES Fall 2017 Conference: “Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD)—Lessons Learned in Oregon and Colorado.”


CEU’s will be available for professionals in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work, Behavior Health and Therapy, Funeral Service and MN Nurses.


Speakers

  • David Grube, MD, is Board Certified in Family Medicine and retired after practicing for 35 years. He continues to teach medical students. He has been a leader in the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians and Oregon Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.
  • Kim Mooney, Certified Thanatologist, has 24 years of experience in the fi eld of dying, death, and grief. She has worked with hospices and as an independent consultant for corporations, faith communities, health care and mental health agencies. She lives and works in Colorado.
  • Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD, Director, Health Law Institute, Mitchell Hamline School of Law. He graduated from Georgetown University, where he received both his JD and a PhD in philosophy and bioethics.

Location
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel – Minneapolis North
Brooklyn Center, MN


Mission
To promote thoughtful deliberation about challenges faced by healthcare professionals and
healthcare systems as they create patient-centered policies to respond to medical aid in dying legislation and requests. We are neither promoting nor condemning aid in dying, but rather, focusing on how to achieve the best possible care for seriously ill patients and their families if medical aid in dying is legalized.


Pragmatic and Ethical Concerns

  1. How will practicing clinicians be educated to respond to requests for physician aid-in-dying, and to connect patients to resources, such as hospice and mental health, in the course of discussing these requests? 
  2. How will required legal safeguards, such as establishing prognosis and second opinions, be implemented? 
  3. How will the “final attestation” process be implemented? 
  4. How will decision-making capacity be assessed? 
  5. How will pharmacy policies be implemented, including the management of aid-in-dying medications in health care facilities? 
  6. How will health care organizations that elect not to participate respond? 
  7. How will health care organizations assess and manage conscientious objections by clinicians or other staff? 
  8. How will health care systems share best practices as issues arise? 
  9. How will health care organizations plan for the needs and concerns of diverse populations?

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.