Anti-Resilience: What Happened to Normal?
| |

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
|

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Hackable:  Children’s Digital Literacy and Voluntary Disclosure
|

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
|

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
|

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…