Nip & Tuck: A Parable

Cosmetic surgery for many elicits an unbidden, irresistible reaction of repugnance. The growing reality of nose jobs, breast and pectoral implants, buttock lifts, and liposuctions – it appalls and disturbs. In a different context, Leon Kass popularized the notion of the ‘wisdom of repugnance.’ This negative response or ‘yuck factor’ is a strong intuition that something is wrong or morally amiss. Folks who worry about Botox rituals discern the stink of ethical death in the cultural air. Their repugnance is an ethical gatekeeper, a barometer of all things pernicious to genuine human flourishing: This far you can go, and no further.

It is worth asking, however, whether this custodial ethical wisdom has anything going for it. To many the issue seems simple enough – we do not need the nuance of philosophers to realize that cosmetic surgery goes against the grain of what nature and her God have granted us. Few will chastise parents who warn their children against the surgical woes of the recently deceased pop star Michael Jackson. This seems obviously wrong. Likewise, the antics of a Jocelyn Wildenstein can be easily dismissed, her face a shocking specter of multiple surgeries. Yes, something has obviously gone awry.

Podcast Episode: 
126

The Global Outcomes Movement: Is it Compatible with Medicine?

2009 Parallel Paper Presentation, Global Bioethics: Emerging Challenges Facing Human Dignity.

Podcast Episode: 
125

Shared Decision Making: A Spectrum of Directiveness

2009 Parallel Paper Presentation, Global Bioethics: Emerging Challenges Facing Human Dignity

Podcast Episode: 
124

Professionalism in Peril

Plenary Address from CBHD's 15th Annual Conference: Healthcare and the Common Good.

Healthcare: A Cultural Diagnosis

Issues: 

Plenary Address from CBHD's 15th Annual Conference: Healthcare and the Common Good.
 

Healthcare in the United States: Strengths, Weaknesses & the Way Forward

Issues: 

Plenary Address from CBHD's 15th Annual Conference: Healthcare and the Common Good.

Healthcare and the Common Good

Issues: 

Plenary Address from CBHD's 15th Annual Conference: Healthcare and the Common Good.

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

Grey Matters: Accelerated Thought in the Fast Lane

The quest for speed has increasingly driven the course of progress. The history of technology records remarkable innovations to advance the cause of speed in communication and travel in particular. Emerging neuropharmaceutical technologies now introduce the prospect of accelerating the speed of thought.

Podcast Episode: 
122

On the Permissibility of a DNR Order for Patient with Dismal Prognosis

Editor’s Note: The following consultation report is based on a real clinical dilemma that led to a request for an ethics consultation. Some details have been changed to preserve patient privacy. The goal of this column is to address ethical dilemmas faced by patients, families and healthcare professionals, offering careful analysis and recommendations that are consistent with biblical standards.

Podcast Episode: 
121

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