Tag Archives: Ethics

Dr. Sabina Spielrein: consequences of feminism and love

Irving Rosen Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Sabina Spielrein (1885-1942) as a young woman. She had a hectic existence and can be considered an early contributor to the psychoanalytic literature. Image via Wikimedia  While all our lives are eventful, some people tend to experience situations that set them apart. Born in 1885 in Rostov, Czarist Russia, […]

Notes on a first abortion

Henry Bair  Stanford, California, United States   Mother and Child by the Sea. Johan Christian Dahl. 1830. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public Domain. The first time I saw a late-term abortion by dilation and evacuation, I was surprised that it was a fairly minor procedure. I was to observe the termination at twenty-three weeks of […]

Revisiting the “Trolley Problem” in the COVID-19 pandemic

Margaret B. Mitchell Boston, Massachusetts, United States Graham M. Attipoe  Nashville, Tennessee, United States   Bridge situation. John Holbo. 2010. CC BY-NC 2.0. Via Flickr The “Trolley Problem” Originally described by Philipa Foot in 1967, the “Trolley Problem” is an ethical dilemma commonly taught in philosophy that challenges participants to explore how far they would […]

Ethics, feminism, and cosmetic surgery

Unaiza Waheed London   Illustration by the author In Reshaping the Female Body, Kathy Davis expresses surprise when a feminist friend announces she is considering breast augmentation surgery: “[She] was very critical of the sufferings women have to endure because their bodies do not meet the normative requirements of feminine beauty,” yet she still felt […]

Remembering Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, physician philosopher

Dean Gianakos Lynchburg, Virginia, United States   Photograph of the author and Dr. Pellegrino. Courtesy of the author. “Get Wisdom.” – Proverbs 4:5 One day in the spring of 1985, I remember jogging past the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, wondering what went on in there. It was a gorgeous afternoon, dogwoods and […]

Being our best selves: hidden in full view

James Stoller Peter Rea Alan Kolp Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Figure 1. Pillars and pediment We live in a paradox framed by a tension between age-old wisdom about excellence and our current state. The paradox is this: our behaviors and our priorities are often at odds with age-old truths about how we can be […]

Plagues and prejudice

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Honolulu Chinatown fire of 1900. Hawaii State Archives.  It was a calm, clear January morning on the gritty streets of paradise. Honolulu, the capital of the newly-annexed U.S. territory of Hawaii, was ushering out a century of upheaval that had included the arrival of explorers, […]

Political obfuscation and medical speculation

Charles G. Kels San Antonio, Texas, United States   Grover Cleveland, 22nd (1885-1889) and 24th President (1893-1897) of the United States, with trademark mustache intact. He is the only US president to serve non-consecutive terms. National Archives, Washington, D.C., USA. Public domain. Politicians have long endeavored to keep their health concerns secret. In US presidential […]

Eugenics: historic and contemporary

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Moral judgments, changing ethical criteria, and the broader concepts of good and evil are always controversial, and often dangerous. Prominent amongst such judgments are those relating to population control and the wider, ill-defined field of eugenics. Hidden, and often ignored or denied in these conversations, is the underlying […]

Advancing medical knowledge using nonhuman primate research

Zared O. United States   Demonstrators at a university protesting for and against animal research. Courtesy of the UCLA Bruin, Alexis Chavarria. One of the most controversial areas in research is the use of nonhuman primates for experiments. Two decades ago, many animal rights activists thought that the use of nonhuman primates would become obsolete […]