The Bioethics Podcast 2006

The Bioethics Podcast is an audio resource exploring the pressing bioethical challenges of our day featuring staff, fellows, and associates of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity. For more information, click here for The Bioethics Podcast FAQ

Grey Matters: Neuroscience, Nuance, AND Neuroethics

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A primary task of ethics is to recognize valid distinctions in the face of uncertainty concerning moral obligations. When wrestling with life’s toughest questions, facts are often incompletely accessible or their interpretations ambiguous. Available theoretical approaches often yield conflicting solutions. When confronted with healthcare dilemmas, in particular, people differ in how they prioritize and apply their personal values to reach decisions that entail life-altering consequences.

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33

End of Life Decisions 101

 

This episode of The Bioethics Podcast is based on an article that appears at http://bioethics.com/?page_id=980 and is used with permission of the author.

 

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32

Show Me State Duped by Deceptive Amendment 2

 

Chicago, Illinois – Executive Director of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity (CBHD) C. Ben Mitchell, PhD, says of the passage of Missouri’s Amendment 2: “This is no triumph for science, it is a victory for dishonesty and confusion—a new Tower of Babel—where words have no meaning.”

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31

Open Letter from Experts in Science, Medicine, Law, and Ethics on the Cloning Provisions of Missouri's Amendment 2

 

A key question regarding Missouri's proposed Amendment 2 is: Would this constitutional amendment prohibit or promote "human cloning"? As individuals who have studied this issue in depth, we hold that it clearly authorizes and promotes human cloning.

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30

When Will We Ever Learn? Social Valuation without Help from Henry David Thoreau and Alan Paton

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28

Scientists, Ethics, and Public Engagement

In a refreshingly candid “point of view” piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) calls for scientists to make a greater effort to get to know “their fellow citizens.” Alan Leshner, who is also the executive publisher of the journal Science, perceptively points out:

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27

Stem Cells 101

 

This episode of The Bioethics Podcast is based on an article that appears at http://bioethics.com/?page_id=533 and is used with permission of the author.

 

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26

Public Language and the Common Good

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Lee Silver, professor of molecular biology and public affairs at Princeton, recently published another provocative book. Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontiers of Life is a 400-page rant favoring his own version of scientism against nearly every form of religion and spirituality. His is an equal opportunity harangue. Anyone who is skeptical about Silver’s optimism about some kind of techno-utopian future gets blasted, whether Catholic, evangelical, green, Mother Nature worshipper, or something else.

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25

The Future of Medicine: When Will Quality and Safety Become Job Number One?

 

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24

A Review of the Novel Intuition

 

Falsehood flies and the truth comes lingering after, so that when men come to be undeceived the jest is over and the tale has had its effect. — Jonathan Swift

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23

Neuroethics: The New Frontier Conference Report

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“Nothing is for sure,” said Raul Alvarez at the end of an interview on the opening night of the CBHD conference on neuroethics. He had been telling participants from all across the U.S. and half a dozen countries overseas about his younger brother, Mario. Mario has been severely neurologically disabled due to traumatic brain injuries sustained in a hit and run incident in March of the year 2000.

The story of his medical care, of the ethical issues faced, of the health provider who continues to sue the family over bills that should be paid by government sources, of the attorney who has provided free assistance, and of the extraordinary commitment of the family who are with Mario 24/7, brought tears to some eyes. Invited to share one final message, Raul reminded us all of the ever-present uncertainties in clinical practice—sometimes about diagnosis but always about prognosis. The family wanted to stress to professionals the importance of hope, and had certainly lived and worked by that principle themselves.

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22

The Stem-Cell Veto

President Bush’s veto on Wednesday of any change in his stem cell research policy was derided by many as a sop to his conservative base. But the price that the president and his party are sure to pay for this decision leads me to the conclusion that, whatever the politics of the move, the president actually has been persuaded by the moral argument against embryonic stem cell harvesting.

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21

Dignidad humana: Aún desafiando la devaluación

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20

Human Dignity: Still Defying Devaluation

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Is the concept of “human dignity” of any use in bioethics? Does it shed important light on the whole range of bioethical issues, from embryo research and assisted reproduction, through biomedical enhancement, to care of the disabled and the dying? Or is it, on the contrary, useless—at best a vague substitute for other, more precise notions, at worst a mere slogan that camouflages unconvincing arguments and unarticulated biases?1

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20

Sex and Desire: The Role of Parental Aspiration in Sex Selection (Podcast)

“Is it a boy or a girl?”

Whether after a sonogram or a new birth, the first question we have about a child is almost always about the sex of the child. For millennia parents have anxiously awaited the answer to a question that underscores the mystery and uniqueness of being created male and female. But what happens when the outcome can be decided before the child even enters the mother’s womb?

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19

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