Clinical & Medical Ethics

Clinical Ethics Dilemmas: Capitulation to a Patient’s Demands

Should a patient and family be allowed to demand continued medical or surgical care when the physicians believe that the patient will not benefit from further attempts at curative therapy?

Podcast Episode: 
172

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

Should a pediatrician use a less expensive and well-established vaccination product with adequate reimbursement rather than a newer, more expensive version with better bacterial protection that has a lower profit margin?

Podcast Episode: 
169

Adolescent Confidentiality: An Uneasy Truce

How should a physician respond to multiple-party claims of authority?

Podcast Episode: 
163

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

On July 23, 1944, Nazi officers ordered the entire Jewish population of Kos to leave their homes and, along with the Jewish population of nearby Rhodes, to board three small cargo boats. Stripped of their personal belongings and identity papers, these families were taken on an eight day voyage by sea to Piraeus, and from there, crowded into cattle cars, North by train for the 13 day journey to their final destination at Auschwitz. Such was the fate of many Jewish men, women and children throughout the Nazi-occupied territories in Europe, who were forcibly exiled and sent to their deaths.

Podcast Episode: 
162

Commentary: Six Years Later and Katrina Still Engenders Bioethical Debate

During August 2005, the Gulf Coast experienced the most expensive natural disaster in history. The remarkable devastation would be painfully remembered simply as Hurricane Katrina. Amidst the hue and cry of lives lost, levees that failed—and alleged FEMA incompetence—Hurricane Katrina’s darkest moments, especially for medicine, continue to reverberate. It must never be forgotten that after the initial shock from the powerful storm had dissipated, forty-five corpses were retrieved from one New Orleans hospital under suspicious circumstances.[1] A subsequent article reporting the events was trenchant enough to receive a Pulitzer Prize.[2] At the time, it was alleged that some of these forty-five individuals were injected with sedatives such as morphine to relieve either their suffering or to deliberately hasten their deaths.[3] Therein lays the rub of the principle of double effect. The Louisiana Attorney General and prominent forensic scientists labeled what happened homicide.[4] The local coroner later testified in agreement with this claim and provided evidence of the drug levels to demonstrate what should have been a lethal cause and effect. Also critical to the ensuing debate, several of these persons whose death may have been hastened did not have a Do Not Resuscitate order. There was no evidence that any of the individuals consented to assisted suicide. One case study may provide insight.[5]

Podcast Episode: 
165

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