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 likeContinue reading “Authenticity in Bioethics: Saying It in Your Own Words and Phrases”

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 healthContinue reading “Resilience: The Role of Reactive Critical Thinking in Bouncing Back from Disasters and Disruptors”

Bioethics: Analyzing Reasoning in Moral Controversy

In bioethics, moral controversies may have high stakes. Differences of fact or opinion are of a different nature than moral disagreements. There are factual disagreements where a truth may be discovered, making one side right and one side wrong. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some such factual questions were politicized, but that alone does not turnContinue reading “Bioethics: Analyzing Reasoning in Moral Controversy”

Happy with Less: A Feminist Take on the Personal Growth Self-Help Industry

Through a feminist lens, the self-help industry is sometimes ethically problematic, as noted by various scholars. In particular, the personal growth self-help industry presents a bioethics issue surrounding mental and physical health, equality, justice, employment discrimination, and child care. It challenges the balance between pursuing more and being content with what one has. Some self-helpContinue reading “Happy with Less: A Feminist Take on the Personal Growth Self-Help Industry”

Why Is it so Difficult to Challenge the Bioethics Status Quo?

My effort to add critical thinking to bioethics, a choppy path at best, sparked me to question some fundamentals about academic publishing. From long ago on the Urban Law Journal at Fordham Law School to my current position at Voices in Bioethics, Columbia University‚Äôs journal, I have encountered and managed viewpoint discrimination. In training peerContinue reading “Why Is it so Difficult to Challenge the Bioethics Status Quo?”

Science or Humanities: A Need for Adaptability and Individuality Limit the Role of Quantitative and Qualitative Research in Bioethics

Science is defined many ways, but the modern definition used here is knowledge based on data and observation. That is, the distinction between science and the social sciences or humanities is that critical thinking and complex reasoning, generally based in philosophy, logic, and reason, are the backbone of the social sciences and humanities. Critical thoughtContinue reading “Science or Humanities: A Need for Adaptability and Individuality Limit the Role of Quantitative and Qualitative Research in Bioethics”

Critical Theory in Bioethics: Challenging Assumptions Behind Beneficence and Justice

Critical theory seeks to challenge assumptions and constraining ideologies, both in a reflective, self-critical way and a normative way. It seeks to identify areas in need of change, identify who makes the change, and challenge prevailing views. Applying critical theory to bioethics would lead to questioning and changing prevailing assumptions as well as the actionsContinue reading “Critical Theory in Bioethics: Challenging Assumptions Behind Beneficence and Justice”

Standing Up to Power: The Price of Whistleblowing & Conscience-Following

Last year, Dawn Wooten, a nurse in Georgia called attention to gynecological abuses of women held in ICE detention. In the US, some whistleblowing is protected and even has a set of processes in place. OSHA has a whistleblower protection program with a web of statutes across industries. Whistleblower laws left Edward Snowden unprotected, arguablyContinue reading “Standing Up to Power: The Price of Whistleblowing & Conscience-Following”

Is Bioethics “One-Directional”? Influences on Moral Theory

The practical situation can inform the ethics to some degree. Yet bioethics seems one directional, using theory to generate rules. Then, the rules are applied in clinical situations. Some argue for reflective equilibrium (situations influencing principles, i.e., the process of reflecting on and then revising philosophies) as a component of bioethics. Reflective equilibrium prevents certainContinue reading “Is Bioethics “One-Directional”? Influences on Moral Theory”

Facts and Issues: What is the Ethical Difference Between Fact Patterns?

Thinking like a lawyer can help with some bioethics approaches. When given a fact pattern, lawyers tend to zero in on the issues. Some people spend more time on the facts and others move toward identifying issues and applying or suggesting rules that might be generalizable. Both ways of thinking are valuable. A handle onContinue reading “Facts and Issues: What is the Ethical Difference Between Fact Patterns?”