Bound by the Rules: The Pitfalls of Resource Allocation Ethics
| |

Bound by the Rules: The Pitfalls of Resource Allocation Ethics

When ethics becomes too rules-based the thinking and making sense of complex situations can be obscured by techniques that declare some ethical decisions final and powered by precedent or guidelines. A stronger practicum that includes ethical tools designed to help people wrestle with complex dilemmas using rationality, logic, and compassion may lead to better ethical…

New York’s Mandate and the Absence of a Religious Exemption

New York’s Mandate and the Absence of a Religious Exemption

On December 13, 2021, the US Supreme Court denied injunctive relief in Dr. A v. Hochul. This post is meant to summarize the dissent, follow up on an earlier post, and track the arguments. (The Court also held oral arguments in two federal mandate cases on January 7, one of which applies to healthcare workers,…

Brain Activity & Thoughts: Should Neuro-Rights Look Beyond the Individual?
|

Brain Activity & Thoughts: Should Neuro-Rights Look Beyond the Individual?

Neuro-rights may protect people from certain harms due to neurotech advances. Neurotech has potential to improve medical treatments and revolutionize care, but there are foreseeable risks. Marcello Ienca defines neuro-rights “as the ethical, legal, social, or natural principles of freedom or entitlement related to a person’s cerebral and mental domain; that is, the fundamental normative…

Authenticity in Bioethics: Saying It in Your Own Words and Phrases
| |

Authenticity in Bioethics: Saying It in Your Own Words and Phrases

In the bioethics realm, there are a pre-set language, basket of concerns, and principles to sort through ethical dilemmas. But generally, people are more authentic when they express themselves in their own terms. This post explores whether the chosen language is setting artificial parameters in bioethics. The four principles and the most noted concerns like…

Free Exercise and Vaccine Mandates: The Least Restrictive Means
|

Free Exercise and Vaccine Mandates: The Least Restrictive Means

Vaccine mandates without religious exemptions (or as enforceable against those claiming free exercise) are in uncertain legal terrain. Nineteen states mandate vaccines for healthcare workers, but vary as to religious exemptions. The medical value of mandates with and without exemptions depends on the number of people who successfully claim exemptions or stall in becoming vaccinated…

Fair Compensation for Data: Privacy, Blockchain, Ethics, and Data Science Converge

Fair Compensation for Data: Privacy, Blockchain, Ethics, and Data Science Converge

When we look at privacy, many goals converge. I separate constitutional privacy and protection from government surveillance from personal confidentiality. Having explored whether one can survive without the other, I remain uncertain. But I am certain that a balance of values would lead to more fairness and that confidentiality is not the only important ethical…

Undermining Obesity Solutions: The Unspoken Tension Between Bioethics and Nutrition & Fitness

Undermining Obesity Solutions: The Unspoken Tension Between Bioethics and Nutrition & Fitness

Obesity, one of the prominent and predictable risk factors for severe COVID-19, was not highlighted as much as it should have been from the early pandemic on. It, and arguably other comorbidities and chronic health problems associated with it, seemed to be played down compared to other issues. Most importantly, in discussing obesity, there was…

From OR to EMR: Informed Consent’s Rocky Transition to Data

From OR to EMR: Informed Consent’s Rocky Transition to Data

Hackable Part 4 A hyper-focus on informed consent as the primary tool to ensure autonomy represents some lapses in the field of bioethics. To me, informed consent is more valuable in traditional clinical care or medical research than in engagement with big data. Yet consent is the operational tool behind widespread data collection and the…

Resilience: The Role of Reactive Critical Thinking in Bouncing Back from Disasters and Disruptors

Resilience: The Role of Reactive Critical Thinking in Bouncing Back from Disasters and Disruptors

Resilience is a form of political capital and a necessary element for health and wellbeing. A resilient democracy might weather distress, just as a resilient person might, but what are the prerequisites of such resilience? The ability of physical, political, economic, and social structures and people to bounce back from socioeconomic, political, climate-related, or health…

COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: The “Misunderstanding Science” Issue Is Just a Symptom
|

COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: The “Misunderstanding Science” Issue Is Just a Symptom

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy requires a trust-based solution. A response to societal problems should be steeped in social solutions. Science does the most good if it coexists with public trust. A focus on misunderstanding science as a primary reason for refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccine distracts from failing to believe scientists and the other reasons…