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…

A Supply Chain of Trust
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A Supply Chain of Trust

One strategy for improving public trust in science, the COVID-19 vaccine and possibly future COVID-19 vaccines or vaccines for emerging virus should be improving trustworthiness at all levels. The way bioethics and public health approach public trust often leaves out the most crucial element: improving trustworthiness and maintaining trustworthy institutions. Doctors and other healthcare professionals…

Prerequisites for Earning Public Trust: A Logical Approach for Food and Vaccination
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Prerequisites for Earning Public Trust: A Logical Approach for Food and Vaccination

A waiter at a restaurant tightly stuffs a large tea bag with loose tea and securely knots the bag, which is then placed in a pot of hot water. The tea bag is filled to maximum capacity, yet the tea is always way too weak. X is the amount of loose tea used and S…

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

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

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…

Bioethics: Analyzing Reasoning in Moral Controversy
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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 turn…

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

Why Is it so Difficult to Challenge the Bioethics Status Quo?
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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’s journal, I have encountered and managed viewpoint discrimination. In training peer…

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

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 thought…