Tag Archives: autonomy

The sanctity of blood: Jehovah’s Witnesses and bloodless medicine

Margo A. Peyton Baltimore, Maryland, United States   Dr. Steven Frank in the operating room at The Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Source Tammy said that her throat looked like that of a bullfrog croaking on an August night. At her local emergency room, her blood pressure was 240/40 […]

Bones and Bots: what classic science fiction tells us about contemporary medicine

Greg Beatty Bellingham, Washington, United States   Scenographia Systematis Copernicani. Andreas Cellarius. 1708. The Barry Lawrence Ruderman Map Collection courtesy Stanford University Libraries. In the original Star Trek, the real Star Trek, there were several major recurring characters. There was of course James Tiberius Kirk, Captain of the Enterprise, the ever conflicted Vulcan first officer […]

Are we gorging on autonomy?

Oliver William Morriss Cambridge, England   Ulysses and the Sirens 1891, John William Waterhouse. The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia     A potentially fatal crisis in the contemporary world threatens the very foundations of public health, in that what were formerly known as “diseases of affluence,” namely stroke, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, have […]

Medical Autonomy and Vaccines: A Kantian Imperative

Justin M Le Blanc Philadelphia, United States   Image courtesy of Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images [email protected] http://wellcomeimages.org In The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, Kant seeks to establish a concept of duty based solely on reason. He believed that one must not just act in “accordance with duty . . .” but […]

Breathless: philosophical lessons from respiratory illness

Havi Carel United Kingdom   It is 12:28. I have just parked my car in a lucky empty space just outside my office. I have a meeting at 12:30. I am texting with one hand and feeling for my inhaler in my coat pocket with the other. I pull the inhaler out, place it in […]

The Lady Writer and the Valkyrie: Magda Szabo’s novel The Door

Carol Levine New York, New York, United States   Mixed media painting “Nickels and Dimes I” by Natalie Avondet. Used by permission of the artist. An old woman desperately needs medical attention. Yet she fiercely refuses every offer of help from friends, neighbors, and the local doctor. No one will get past her door, she vows. […]