Bioethics

The Christian Hippocratic Tradition in Medicine

To some people it may seem anachronistic that the aim of Ethics & Medicine is to ‘reassert the Hippocratic consensus in medicine as seen through the lens of the Judeo-Christian tradition.’ What is Hippocratic medicine?
Podcast Episode: 
150

Forced Sterilization of Native Americans: Late Twentieth Century Physician Cooperation with National Eugenic Policies

The protracted policy directed against the United States of America’s indigenous peoples represented misguided governments, widespread greed, and enforcement by an at times ruthless, undisciplined military. A recent, albeit weakly publicized, continuation of this policy has been played out in a bioethical arena. Indeed, after the Nuremberg Trials and an explicit international consensus, this would be considered anathema. On view is the evil of forced abortions and sterilizations. This two-pronged approach to knowingly limit births in selected populations was emblematic of eugenic policy in the early to mid-twentieth century. Unfortunately, eugenic birth control had been resuscitated as late as the 1970s through voluntary physician complicity with an immoral national eugenic policy.

Podcast Episode: 
149

Biotechnology Meets Primetime TV

It is no secret that bioethical content has been the fodder for both film and television for quite some time. The mainstay of science fiction films for years has ranged from cyborgs (Bicentennial Man) and artificial intelligence (AI, I Robot) to bizarre human experimentation and research (The X-Files: I Want to Believe), such as genetic enhancement (GATTACA), organ farming (The Island), and cloning (The 6th Day) just to name a few more. Even the occasional drama has featured key bioethical dilemmas such as euthanasia (Million Dollar Baby) and just access to healthcare services (John Q) to the recent film depiction of savior siblings (My Sister’s Keeper).[1] The silver screen has accessed these issues for years. Similar ventures in primetime television have met varied success. Medical dramas have highlighted key issues raised in clinical medicine. Pick your show of choice: ER, Grey’s Anatomy, House, Private Practice,[2] or any of the numerous other medical dramas that have reigned in primetime television for years. The success of the medical drama is demonstrated through the proliferation of spinoffs and the creation of the genre of medical comedies as epitomized in Scrubs. Amidst the daytime plotlines of hypersexuality and human frailty, primetime viewers are exposed to such issues as informed consent, medical error, and the nature of the Hippocratic Oath. Not surprisingly these connections have been noted by savvy educators who use culture as one of the means by which they teach bioethics.

Podcast Episode: 
136

勿傷害?

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Podcast Episode: 
116

Do No Harm?

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ne Christian-Hippocratic position pertaining to the essentials of ethical medical practice has been unequivocal. There should be total separation between “black and white” medicine as described through the pregnant admonition: “do no harm.” Originally, the “black” side of medicine could be summarized neatly by two activities proscribed within the body of the Hippocratic Oath itself, abortion and euthanasia (or assisted suicide). Unfortunately, as distance between the precepts of the Oath and the realities of contemporary practice diverged, the list of prohibitions arguably qualifying as harm have increased.

Podcast Episode: 
116

Technology and Technique: Master or Servant? Reflections on Reading Ellul, Huxley, and Lewis

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Editor's Note: Parallel Paper Presentation from CBHD's 2008 Annual Conference, Healthcare and the Common Good.

Podcast Episode: 
115

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

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