Tag Archives: Ethics

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 […]

Spinoza and medical practice: can the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza enrich the thinking of doctors?

Norelle Lickiss Hobart, Tasmania, Australia   Portrait of Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677), ca. 1665. Unknown. circa 1665. Gemäldesammlung der Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany. As doctors we seek to assuage the distress of our patients by relieving symptoms, guarding personal dignity, and remaining present even as they are dying. Yet despite these lofty goals, there […]

Moral lessons through pictures

These images, taken from a series called Moral lessons through pictures of good and evil, are meant to communicate morality in traditional Japanese society. Each lesson is made up of a pair of opposing images, one representing the ideal and the other the less than ideal. In one image shown here, a doctor is seen […]

“Let the people see what I’ve seen”: beauty, suffering, and learning to see

John Brewer Eberly Raleigh, North Carolina   John Brewer Eberly, Jr. “Study on seeing, 2007.” Personal collection. Charles Stegeman, professor of fine arts at Haverford College, once took up the task of teaching medical students how to draw. He did so because he observed that students who learned to draw well went on to perform […]

Pharmaceutical marketing in America

Adil Menon Ali Mchaourab Cleveland, Ohio, USA   A Pharmacy for Every Need (plate 24). Charles Émile Jacque. 1843. The Art Institute of Chicago. Within the past few decades, there has been a great change in how the pharmaceutical industry markets its products in the United States. Prices of medical drugs have skyrocketed as regulations […]