The Bioethics Podcast 2008

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

Natural Law & Reformed Bioethics: Another Look

Sex, without babies? Behold the origin of our conundrums in reproductive ethics! Our culture developed the technology to separate the sexual act from procreation, classically with the extramarital use of the Pill (in the sexual revolution), and thus was unleashed a host of problems that have plagued us ever since. So the argument goes.1 We would have no reproductive ethical dilemmas had we kept together the sexual act and procreation.

Podcast Episode: 
119

Grey Matters: The Synapse and Other Gaps

Issues: 

Gaps are among the most meaningful of nonentities. Despite their emptiness, they do not reduce to nothingness, for they are defined by their relationship to something else. A gap, depending on the context and one’s viewpoint, might be regarded as a vacant breach or a bridgeable junction. Located just beyond the boundary of things tangible or discernible, gaps invite questions of possibility.

Podcast Episode: 
103

Beyond Perfectionism

With the Olympics soundly behind us and the rhythms of the fall launch of new television episodes well established, several reflections come to mind. An interesting thread below all of the accomplishments of the  elite athletes during the Beijing Olympics were concerns over doping of various sorts. Artificial enhancements, steroids, hormones. These are not new issues surrounding the elite athletic competitions of our day, but they increasingly are becoming difficult to evaluate.

Podcast Episode: 
102

Neuroscience in Perspective: An Introduction to Ethical Considerations

Issues: 

When the UK Xenotransplantation Authority approached the possibility of using organs from animals to save human lives there were three kinds of questions. Is it safe? Will it work? Is it right? These seem highly relevant questions as we hear of the tremendous advances of neuroscience, which will transform our understanding of the human mind and our very humanity, our behavior and our health and well being.

Is it Safe?

Podcast Episode: 
101

Introductory Explorations in the Ethics of Neonatal Futility

How should the expectant couple react when they learn that their pregnancy will quickly end with the birth of an extremely premature infant?  These fragile infants – at the margins of viability – demand the extremes of life-sustaining care and typically remain in the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN) for months.  After such a prolonged length of time, all involved – infant, family, and doctor – experience the gamut of emotions.  In a world filled with technological prowess and promise, what are parents to expect during t

Podcast Episode: 
100

Where Is the Public Outcry? Infants also Have Human Dignity When They Are Dying and Donating Organs!

The story goes back to 1993.

Podcast Episode: 
99

Ethics and Metaphysics?

Issues: 

At The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity’s 14th annual conference last summer—‘The Bioethics Nexus: The Future of Healthcare, Science, and Humanity’—world renowned Notre Dame philosopher Alvin Plantinga gave a plenary address entitled, “Science and Religion: Why Does the Debate Continue?”1 In his address he reflected on some of the misguided assumptions on the part of both scientists and people of faith that serve to perpetuate this ongoing debate.

Podcast Episode: 
98

Is it Permissibile to Forgo Life-Saving Dialysis?

 The following consultation report is based on a real clinical dilemma that led to a request for an ethics consultation.  Some details have been changed to preserve patient privacy.  The goal of this column is to address ethical dilemmas faced by patients, families and healthcare professionals, offering careful analysis and recommendations that are consistent with biblical standards.  The format and length are intended to simulate an actual consultation report that might appear in a clinical record and are not intended to be an exhaustive discussion of the issues raised.

Podcast Episode: 
97

交易還是捐贈:誰是明日的器官供者?

 

 

Podcast Episode: 
96

Commodities Trading or Gift Exchange: Where will tomorrow’s organ donors come from?

It is a sad, true, and often reprised story; the need for solid organ donations egregiously exceeds the supply. The palpable desperation experienced by those who wait, but also frequently die, has led to a variety of proposals aimed at increasing organ supply. Some of these remedies are just and some are not.

Podcast Episode: 
96

Thinking through Technology Part II

 

Part I

Part III 

This presentation weaves together several of my ongoing and recent projects, including a computer ethics class that I teach regularly at the undergraduate and graduate level and a forthcoming article in the Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization (Blackwell), as well as elements from my dissertation work in theological ethics which focused on eschatological hope as a virtue.

Podcast Episode: 
94

Thinking through Technology Part I

Podcast Episode: 
93

Grey Matters: From Biochemical Synapse to Bioethical Syntax

Issues: 

The synapse is a specialized junction through which neurons – the brain’s fundamental cellular units – signal other cells.  An examination of patterns of neural transmission at the synapse provides an interesting small-scale paradigm for considering principles of effective and ineffective communication among and within human communities.  Following a general description of the synapse, this essay will draw parallels to larger realms of human ethical communication.

Podcast Episode: 
92

Healthcare and the Common Good

The U.S. healthcare system is at once the envy of the world and in very deep trouble. Some resist the word “crisis” to describe our situation, suggesting that the diagnosis is too cynical. Others, like the Hudson Institute, have predicted that the impact of Boomers on the healthcare system will lead to the collapse of employer-provided healthcare (see William Styring and Donald Jonas, Health Care 2020: The Coming Collapse of Employer-Provided Health Care).

Podcast Episode: 
91

Extracts from chapter 2 of Christian Bioethics: A Guide for the Perplexed

Issues: 

Peter Singer’s understanding of personhood

Arguing on Lockean lines, the Princeton philosopher Peter Singer adopts as sole criterion of personhood the actual possession of certain mental abilities, among them self-consciousness and a degree of rationality. For this reason he does not count all members of the human family as persons. So who does he count as a person?

Podcast Episode: 
90

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