Wrongful (but not wrong) Prediction

Wrongful (but not wrong) Prediction

There was an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter that aired in 1976. Juan Epstein, a character in Kotter’s infamous classroom of remedial students called the Sweathogs, decides he wants to become a veterinarian. His teacher, Gabe Kotter, supports his dream and encourages him to speak to a career counselor at the school. Enter technology. The…

Bioethics as Broad and Deep
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Bioethics as Broad and Deep

I envision a broad bioethics, one that covers the relationships and interactions between science and society. Bioethics ranges from dilemmas arising in the relationship between doctors and people seeking care (often clinical ethics) to largescale societal moral dilemmas. The individual and societal issues are intertwined: each has implications for the other. Does a policy, personal…

Hunger and The Global Food Crisis
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Hunger and The Global Food Crisis

Organizations and scholars frame the current food crisis as a global phenomenon due to a confluence of events and circumstances like droughts, the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. As Samantha Power noted this week, “a decade of progress” has been “obliterated”. The number of people with unmet food needs is steeply increasing after a…

“Somewhere in the constitution”: Reproductive Freedom
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“Somewhere in the constitution”: Reproductive Freedom

Reactions to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health are wide ranging, and many seem to reflect emotion and use charged language. I do not mean to downplay the tossing out of an established constitutional right, but a cooling off period may allow for more reasoned discussion. While in the past courts disagreed about where in the…

Big Data as Collective Judgments

Big Data as Collective Judgments

People put a lot of stock in data. Data is essentially information. It often becomes the basis for an assumption. When we think of data, we think of facts. That works in many settings. For example, an ingredient label, done truthfully, lists ingredients. If it lists flour, one would reasonably assume the product contains flour….

Can AI Commit a Crime? A Look at Intent

Can AI Commit a Crime? A Look at Intent

In criminal law, the mens rea is the criminal intent. It is a mindset – most crimes require both an act and a mindset. Often mens rea is what distinguishes guilt from innocence even among people who have committed the same act. For example, pushing a shopping cart of bagged groceries out of a store…

Anti-Resilience: What Happened to Normal?
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Anti-Resilience: What Happened to Normal?

Diagnosis is a tricky word. Doctors diagnose some scientific truths: for example, a finding of a tumor and the accompanying pathology report describing cellular activity and genetic information, etc. Diagnosis is also the term used for many things for which science does not provide a distinct test – diagnosis depends in those cases on a…

The Social Determinants of Health: Finding Causation in a Sea of Correlation
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The Social Determinants of Health: Finding Causation in a Sea of Correlation

The social determinants of health by Marmot and Wilkinson are a list of social circumstances that impede or positively influence good health. Pointing out barriers to achieving health, the social determinants set the backdrop for justice-based bioethics. Access to good jobs in which one has agency or discretion and a living wage and access to…

Let the Chips Fall: Bioethics Should Support Civil Justice

Let the Chips Fall: Bioethics Should Support Civil Justice

Bioethics concerns justice, fairness, and the social determinants of health. One example of an area in which bioethics can contribute to promoting justice is in advocating for access to civil justice. While few people (and a decreasing number of people) wronged in a tort actually file a lawsuit, the ability to do so is a…

Blockchain and Health: Will Healthcare NFTs be the Next Bored Ape?

Blockchain and Health: Will Healthcare NFTs be the Next Bored Ape?

I don’t think so, but I do wonder whether the coins or tokens that yield healthcare access or access to items and services conducive to health can develop robust trading markets, increasing their value, and become a universal tool for accessing health care and improving health. As with an NFT, token, or coin, demand drives…