Tag Archives: Ethics

O Superman

John Rasko Carl Power Sydney, Australia   Christopher Reeve comes to South Park to demonstrate all the hope and horror of embryonic stem cells. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, “Krazy Kripples,” South Park, season 7, episode 2 (2003). The key scene is available here. The creation of human embryonic stem cells in 1998 sparked enormous […]

The Lewis and Clark Expedition: medical ethics in uncharted territory

David Blitzer New York, New York, United States Alvise Guariento Toronto, Ontario, Canada Robert M. Sade Charleston, South Carolina, United States   Detail of “Lewis & Clark at Three Forks,” mural in lobby of Montana House of Representatives. Mural by Edgar Samuel Paxson. Via Wikimedia  In 1803, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, with the backing of […]

On beauty and medical ethics

John Brewer Eberly Jr. Anderson, South Carolina, United States Lydia S. Dugdale New York, United States   Darian Goldin Stahl, “The Scan and the Mirror,” Stone lithography and silkscreen, 22″ x 28,” 2013. Private collection. www.dariangoldinstahl.com. Philosophers know that beauty is moving, arresting, enrapturing. It captures the attention and then calls the viewer to action—pursuing, […]

Learning the meaning of love

Charlotte Eliopoulos Glen Arm, Maryland, United States   Le Typhique. A contagiously ill man asks for the bed-pan; the nurse tells him that it will cost ten sous for the risk. Colour photomechanical reproduction of a lithograph by N. Dorville, c. 1901. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Public Domain In the summer before my senior year in high school, […]

Moral judgment in medicine: “sensibility of heart”

Jack Coulehan Stony Brook, New York, United States   Clinicians in Intensive Care Unit. 2011. Photo by Calleamanecer. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 I want to reflect on the role of emotions, or “sensibility of heart,” in medical judgment. I take the term “judgment,” in general, to refer to the human capacity of assessing, analyzing, […]

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 […]