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 normativeContinue reading “Brain Activity & Thoughts: Should Neuro-Rights Look Beyond the Individual?”

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 vaccinatedContinue reading “Free Exercise and Vaccine Mandates: The Least Restrictive Means”

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 theContinue reading “From OR to EMR: Informed Consent’s Rocky Transition to Data”

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 reasonsContinue reading “COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: The “Misunderstanding Science” Issue Is Just a Symptom”

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 andContinue reading “Hackable: Children’s Digital Literacy and Voluntary Disclosure”

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 viewedContinue reading “Compromise: The Purpose of and Limitations on Religious Exemptions”

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 aroundContinue reading “Voluntariness— Empowering Informed Consent in Medicine, Technology, and Data Privacy”

Facial Recognition Technology in Medicine: A Use-Based Ethical Framework

Facial recognition technology is everywhere. Pew Research found more than half of adults trust law enforcement with facial recognition but fewer trust tech companies, advertisers, and landlords. The data signifies not only that the user matters, but that use matters. Tracking facial reactions to public ads and displays was the least popular use cited byContinue reading “Facial Recognition Technology in Medicine: A Use-Based Ethical Framework”

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”

Bioethics: Black Male Life Expectancy Drops to 68!

The current estimated life expectancy of a Black man in the US is now 68 years. That is seven years less than White and Hispanic male life expectancy. It is a gap that cannot be explained entirely by the medical causes of death in the CDC report. To solve the disparity, people must look toContinue reading “Bioethics: Black Male Life Expectancy Drops to 68!”