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

"Neuromarketing": Unethical Advertising? (Podcast)


Should advertisers probe human minds as a means of boosting product sales? In a recent article in the online version of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, David Wahlberg describes a new use for an emerging technology that has some people scratching their heads.1 Using sophisticated MRI scanners, doctors at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia are studying changes in brain activity that occur as people process images.

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The Real Lesson of the Korean Cloning Scandal


While details of the Korean cloning scandal involving disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk continue to unfold, there is no doubt regarding the central fraud he perpetrated—surely to be ranked among the great scandals in the annals of scientific research.

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Pitfalls for the Healthcare Agent (and the Patient)



Many times in these columns, the issue of advance directives has been addressed and the contributors have repeatedly emphasized the importance of appointing a health care agent. Various national surveys have revealed that only about 20–30 % of the population have taken the initiative to appoint someone to speak on their behalf when they are unable to do so.

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Is It Ethical to Determine the Sex of a Child?

One consideration in evaluating the ethics of sex selection involves the timing of the selection itself. If a boy is desired and the sex is to be determined after fertilization, a negative result (meaning the birth of a girl) can only be prevented by killing the embryo or fetus either in the lab (if conception is achieved through in vitro fertilization) or in the womb of the mother (by abortion). Such sex selection should be opposed for two reasons. First, an innocent life is sacrificed.

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Cost-Benefit Ethics: The Case of Tirhas Habtegiris


Tirhas Habtegiris was dying of cancer. The 27 year-old legal immigrant was being kept alive on a ventilator at the Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano, TX. Tirhas was desperately hoping to hang on until her mother could arrive from East Africa, but a joyful reunion and sad goodbye never took place.

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Autonomy and Community in Biblical Perspective


How are we to evaluate the Western tradition of autonomy from the perspective of Scripture? What resources can the Christian theological tradition bring to help temper the corrosive effects of autonomy and individualism today?

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The One Who Smiles A Lot

Twenty five years or so ago, as a family physician in a Christian mission practice in London, I used to help out at a monthly afternoon clinic with the now dated and politically incorrect name: “Handicapped Fellowship.” Patients with various physical and mental disabilities would be transported in by church members to receive health care, and would then enjoy a British afternoon tea, some entertainment, and a spiritual message.

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