Healthcare

What Has Healthcare Reform Got to Do with Ice Floes? The Déjà Vu of Rationing, the Elderly, and Social Valuation

For those whose worldview picture is framed by biblical anthropology, the recent tenor of the healthcare reform debate should come as no surprise. When Americans have been forced to ration healthcare in the past—e.g., the early dialysis era, organ transplantation—social valuation explicitly and implicitly crept into decision-making.[1] Unfortunately, contemporary discussion, once again, is openly engaging the same wrong-headed direction.

Podcast Episode: 
123

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

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

What Has Justice to Do with Medical Quality and Safety? Care, Cultural Diversity, and the Vulnerable among Us

Issues: 

In 2007, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Policy (AHRQ) reported that not only do significant disparities in healthcare quality exist between whites and minorities, but that these disparities have not been reduced in recent years.1 In fact, 60% of the clearly documented disparities did not decrease significantly on follow up. The metrics applied were comprehensive in that 42 measures of quality and 8 measures of access to care were evaluated.

Podcast Episode: 
89

Christian-Hippocratism, Confidentiality, and Managed Care: A Volatile Mix

With these words the Hippocratic Oath places confidentiality squarely in the context of the medical ethos. Confidentiality in the physician-patient relationship is a good, but not an absolute good or the so-called summum bonum. The words of the Oath also imply that certain shared admissions--like threatened mortal danger to another--may supercede the relative good of confidentiality. Protection of life is something that allows sharing of what otherwise ought not to be spoken abroad.

Podcast Episode: 
78

Is Aging a Disease Worth Fighting?

Few people would have moral problems with research to find the genetic links to aging and to age-related diseases. Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, and other illnesses generally associated with aging are clearly worth fighting. So the news that University of Illinois researchers have found a single gene, "p21," that might be linked to age-related diseases is, all things being equal, good news.

Podcast Episode: 
77

The Costs of Technology in Women's Health, Part II

Our technological society, ruled as it is by the technological imperative, is actively engaged in the pursuit of progress regardless of the cost.  This progress is often ill-defined; we are “committed to the quest for continually improved means to carelessly unexamined ends.”  While cost-benefit analyses are frequently performed to ascertain the efficiency of progressive techniques in terms of monetary value, seldom do we truly count the immaterial costs of progress.  One area of medicine where these changes are vividly portrayed is the arena of women’s reproductive health where to the goals of life, health, and happiness, “a perfect child of our own” is added.  Here, too, we have failed to count the immaterial costs of such a project.  We’ve failed to see how our blind pursuit of elusive but noble goals is threatening not only the profession of medicine, but the very nature of our humanity as well.  This paper will explore some of the costs of technology in women’s reproductive health—costs to the art of medicine as well as the nature of marriage, reproduction, and children.

Podcast Episode: 
62

The Costs of Technology in Women's Health, Part I

Our technological society, ruled as it is by the technological imperative, is actively engaged in the pursuit of progress regardless of the cost.  This progress is often ill-defined; we are “committed to the quest for continually improved means to carelessly unexamined ends.”  While cost-benefit analyses are frequently performed to ascertain the efficiency of progressive techniques in terms of monetary value, seldom do we truly count the immaterial costs of progress.  One area of medicine where these changes are vividly portrayed is the arena of women’s reproductive health where to the goals of life, health, and happiness, “a perfect child of our own” is added.  Here, too, we have failed to count the immaterial costs of such a project.  We’ve failed to see how our blind pursuit of elusive but noble goals is threatening not only the profession of medicine, but the very nature of our humanity as well.  This paper will explore some of the costs of technology in women’s reproductive health—costs to the art of medicine as well as the nature of marriage, reproduction, and children.

Podcast Episode: 
61

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