Ethics | Hektoen International

Seeing things differently: a reflection on clinical photography

Michaela Clark Cape Town, South Africa (Winter 2018)   Image courtesy of the Pathology Learning Centre, University of Cape Town Looking into the face of a patient is a necessary part of the clinical experience. Yet despite the physical proximity achieved in the doctor’s office, on the operating table, or in the petri dish, it […]

The other pain crisis

Adil Menon Cleveland, Ohio (Winter 2018)   A guiding principle of medical care is that humans regardless of their superficial differences are fundamentally the same in their physiology. One of the oldest and most persistent refutations of this premise is the centuries old myth of a uniquely “African body,” characterized by diminished pain response and […]

Corruption and organ trafficking in Egyptian medicine

Hossam Reda Ghalab Tanta, Egypt (Winter 2018)   A scar left on a kidney trafficking victim. Healthcare for the indigent in developing countries often leaves much to be desired. Organ trafficking is rampant, its prevalence rising alarmingly and for some constituting a thriving business. In Egypt, each year hundreds of poor Egyptians sell their kidneys […]

Age needs a graying goddess of prophecy and her name shall be Senexa

Margaret Morganroth Gullette Waltham, MA (Winter 2018)   The Libyan Sibyl, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sistine Chapel Age needs a tutelary deity, a woke goddess for the Age of Alzheimer’s and the Age of Longevity. We all deserve a powerful, honored, and glorious crone, representing our values and our value. Here, transparently, before your open eyes, I venture to […]

Religio Medici

Stefan K. G. Grebe Rochester, Minnesota, USA (Fall 2017)   Mama, take this badge off of me / I can’t use it anymore. / It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see/ I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door  “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” Bob Dylan   The main foyer of the Gonda building, Mayo Clinic by Stefan Grebe If […]

George Orwell and the ethics of dealing in or dealing with cigarettes

Lynn T. Kozlowski Buffalo, NY (Fall 2017) Early in World War II, George Orwell wrote the essay “England, my England,” commenting that as he was writing “highly civilized human beings” were flying overhead trying to kill him: They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are ‘only […]

The flu vaccine: transparency, uncertainty, and trust in medicine

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece (Spring 2017)   Sailing for the Holy Mountain from Ouranoupolis, Greece A few years ago the fear of ‘pandemic flu’ was spread widely all over the world, causing what has been termed an ‘emotional epidemic.’[1] The disease itself, its social dimensions, and the ways it was publicly handled could form the […]

Outsourced clinical trials and ethical implications: India the most preferred global clinical trial hub

Persis Naumann Pittsburg, Pennsylvania (Spring 2017)   Introduction Pharmaceutical research is a complex social enterprise. With the proliferation of corporate globalization in the healthcare industry, pharmaceutical companies from western developed countries have increasingly offshored and outsourced global biopharmaceutical clinical trials to developing countries. The power of global pharmaceutical industries is extensive. It is important to […]

On being disabled

Yeji Lee Toronto, Canada (Spring 2017)   Richard Whitehead (Centre) crosses the finish line in the London 2012 Paralympic Games on September 1, 2012. AFP photo / Adrian Dennis In the past the disabled have often been isolated from the rest of society by structural, physical, and emotional means, considered irrelevant or even detrimental to the […]

Public insurance expansion versus a single payer system

Adil Menon Brookline, Massachusetts (Spring 2017)   Since the late 1940s when employer based private health insurance became increasingly prevalent in the United States, the expansion of public health insurance to a growing share of the population has been viewed as the best approach to helping people, particularly those on the lower end of the […]