Public Policy

Joy Riley Interviews Calum MacKellar

Dr. D. Joy Riley, Executive Director of the Tennessee Center for Bioethics and Culture, interviews Dr. Calum MacKellar, Director of Research for the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Bioethics: The Future of Human Dignity

Bioethicists are fond of referring to the 21st century as the "Biotech Century." And it is truly amazing the kinds of advances that have already occurred in the past six years. Many people with previously untreatable diseases such as brain cancer, lymphoma, lupus, sickle cell anemia, and more are being effectively treated with adult stem cells. Genetic diseases heretofore impossible to treat are beginning to be cured. Advances in curing some types of reproductive problems are allowing couples to have children, giving hope to thousands.

But these new powers over the human body—down to the sub-cellular level—have powers that can do great harm and undermine the innate dignity of every human being.

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Dr. Joy Riley Interviews Phillipa Taylor

Dr. D. Joy Riley, Executive Director of the Tennessee Center for Bioethics and Culture, interviews Phillipa Taylor, consultant on bioethics for the London-based organization Care.

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Show Me State Duped by Deceptive Amendment 2

Executive Director of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity (CBHD) C. Ben Mitchell, PhD, says of the passage of Missouri’s Amendment 2: “This is no triumph for science, it is a victory for dishonesty and confusion—a new Tower of Babel—where words have no meaning.”

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Open Letter from Experts in Science, Medicine, Law, and Ethics on the Cloning Provisions of Missouri's Amendment 2

A key question regarding Missouri's proposed Amendment 2 is: Would this constitutional amendment prohibit or promote "human cloning"? As individuals who have studied this issue in depth, we hold that it clearly authorizes and promotes human cloning.

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Scientists, Ethics, and Public Engagement

In a refreshingly candid “point of view” piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) calls for scientists to make a greater effort to get to know “their fellow citizens.” Alan Leshner, who is also the executive publisher of the journal Science, perceptively points out:

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End of Life Legislation (or New York's Lack Thereof)

If I were to suffer from a health care crisis from which I was unable to speak for myself, who should have the right to speak for me? Common parlance suggests that the closest members of my family (spouse and adult children, in my case) should be able to speak on my behalf. This will indeed be the case for me, because I have an advance directive appointing my wife and adult children as my health care agents. For the 4 out of 5 New Yorkers who do not have an advance directive, there is no guarantee who would have the authority to speak on their behalf.

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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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