The Bioethics Podcast 2012

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

Paul Ramsey and Preconceptive Eugenics

 In his surprisingly prescient book entitled Fabricated Man: The Ethics of Genetic Control, the U.S. bioethicist Paul Ramsey demonstrates in 1970 an exceptional premonition of things to come. This includes developments in new reproductive procedures, such as human cloning, and other proposals such as those promoting a post-human future. On the topic of eugenics,[1] furthermore, Ramsey advances his views of possible developments though some of them may be more than a bit controversial. Indeed, he indicates that not all forms of eugenics should be seen as ethically problematic. Some may even be considered as acceptable. This is especially the case with preconceptive eugenics whereby an action takes place before an embryo is created in order to only have a healthy child.

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Clinical Ethics Dilemmas: How Does the Doctor Decide Between Cost and Care?

Column Editor’s note:  This column presents a problematic case that poses a medical-ethical dilemma for patients, families, and healthcare professionals.  As it is based on a real situation, some details have been changed in the effort to maintain confidentiality.  In this case, the community pediatric society struggles with appropriate pediatric care in the face of considerable financial constraints.

Column editor: 
Ferdinand D. (Nick) Yates, Jr., MD, MA, Acting Consultant in Clinical Ethics, CBHD

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Framing the Discussion - "Reclaiming Dignity in a Culture of Commodification"


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Grey Matters: Turning a Blind Eye: An Ethical Assessment


If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
--Proverbs 24:12a

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Editorial: Human Dignity and Biomedicine


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Grey Matters: The Origami Brain: From Neural Folds to Neuroethics



Starting from an uncut paper square and proceeding through a series of careful folds, origami master Brian Chan has fashioned a detailed replica of the human brain, which he displays on his website.1 Art imitates nature as tissue paper patterns the shape of living tissue. The fine wrinkles and fragile creases of Chan’s extraordinary model depict the brain’s intricate ordering and delicate construction.

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Adolescent Confidentiality: An Uneasy Truce


Editor’s Note: This column presents a problematic case that poses a medical-ethical dilemma for patients, families, and healthcare professionals. As it is based on a real case, some details have been omitted in the effort to maintain patient confidentiality. In this case, the doctor discusses her experience from the retrospect of the unanswered question.

Column Editor: Ferdinand D. (Nick) Yates, MD, MA; Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, State University of New York at Buffalo

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Doing No Harm To Hippocrates: Reality and Virtual Reality in Ethics Education


 “How could physician healers have turned into murderers?  This is among the most profound questions in medical ethics.”1

“How could men and women sworn to the Hippocratic oath, trained as professionals in the world’s most advanced scientific culture, come to commit crimes that even today stand as exemplars of evil?”2

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The Ethics of a Brave New World: A Response to ‘Baby-Making'


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