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
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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…

Hackable:  Children’s Digital Literacy and Voluntary Disclosure
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Hackable: Children’s Digital Literacy and Voluntary Disclosure

(Part 3 of series) Children and young adults spend significant time online using apps that collect massive amounts of information, but they may lack digital literacy. Schools also collect much more information than they used to. The voluntarily divulged information in an online profile plus any hackable identifiable data make children vulnerable to future and…

Compromise: The Purpose of and Limitations on Religious Exemptions
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Compromise: The Purpose of and Limitations on Religious Exemptions

Vaccine mandates, arguably the most preventive and protective measure to address COVID-19 and to prevent death, require a more organized ethical analysis, streamlined to include the considerations appropriate for government, employers, or other stakeholders, yet broad enough to incorporate largescale considerations like the potential political cost. This post examines the role of religious exemptions viewed…

Voluntariness— Empowering Informed Consent in Medicine, Technology, and Data Privacy
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Voluntariness— Empowering Informed Consent in Medicine, Technology, and Data Privacy

Voluntariness at the time one provides data is an important, overlooked part of providing informed consent. In medicine, informed consent requires voluntariness, yet the on-the-ground experience may reveal pressures to comply. The new landscape of responsible technology, while it incorporates certain types of consent like clicking to accept cookies, needs more definition and clarity around…

Hackable: Schools and Children’s Private Medical Records
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Hackable: Schools and Children’s Private Medical Records

Part 2 in a series on privacy The ethics literature on cybersecurity rarely focuses specifically on children’s data stored by or for schools. Critical analysis should inform an ethics debate over the collection, storage, and use of children’s medical records at the foundational level. Hackers have breached vulnerable websites of labs, insurers, and hospitals. While…

Hackable: The New Privacy Ethics
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Hackable: The New Privacy Ethics

(a six-post series) Privacy & Disclosure of Personal Data As people spend more time online and using apps that collect massive amounts of information, government entities grapple with how to define and protect privacy through regulation. To deem privacy waived by a click that allows access, e.g., by acknowledging cookies, seems unprincipled. But there is…

Virtue Signaling in the Medical Arena: An Impediment to COVID-19 Vaccination
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Virtue Signaling in the Medical Arena: An Impediment to COVID-19 Vaccination

Virtue signaling is disingenuous behavior; sometimes it is doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Virtue signaling’s chilling and polarizing effects are far broader than a few politically correct topics demonstrate. When people take a position vocally in public for the purpose of expressing their moral rightness, moral superiority, or virtue, they close the…