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Viewing by month: September 2011
September 23, 2011 | Posted By Posted By David Lemberg, M.S., D.C.

Dr. Michael Minor is the director of the H.O.P.E. Health Initiative for the Congress of Christian Education of the National Baptist Convention and undershepherd of the Oak Hill Baptist Church in Hernando, MS. Dr. Minor is a local, regional, and national champion of faith-based health and wellness mobilization. He is chairing the upcoming state-wide conference, Healthy Congregations Mississippi, planned for October 7-8, 2011.

In our wide-ranging interview, Dr. Minor discusses

  • How faith-based organizations are able to impact community health and wellness
  • Developing a community calendar of health observances and activities
  • Community action focusing on childhood obesity, nutrition, and diabetes
  • Creating health-and-wellness vacation Bible schools
  • New programs for sickle cell sabbaths
  • The need to focus on senior health and wellness

The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers graduate online masters in bioethics programs. For more information on the AMBI master of bioethics online program, please visit the AMBI site.

 

September 22, 2011 | Posted By Posted By David Lemberg, M.S., D.C.

If and when reproductive cloning becomes a reality, there will be plenty of takers. Many families would greatly benefit if cloning could eventually become an additional highly effective strategy for assisted reproduction.

Reproductive cloning would also be of great benefit for same-sex couples, as well as for those prospective parents who are at risk for transmitting a genetic disease.

The availability of reproductive cloning would completely change the landscape of assisted reproduction.

The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers graduate online masters in bioethics programs. For more information on the AMBI master of bioethics online program, please visit the AMBI site.

September 12, 2011 | Posted By Posted By David Lemberg, M.S., D.C.

Revising the doctor-patient relationship is a very important conversation. It is worthwhile and instructive to first look at how the media — broadcast, print, and web sources — participate in and affect this relationship. Stating the obvious, there are good media and bad media. Mostly bad. The power and necessity of the 24-hour news churn forces all broadcast news stations to put out all kinds of junk. The most sensational stories attract the most eyeballs. The news cycle affects newspapers as well.

The media intentionally — or out of ignorance — distorts scientific information. Overall the media has no conception of the process of science. Media needs blacks and whites. Science and medicine are neither of these. So, probably more than 90% of the "news" people receive on medical issues is tainted, distorted, and inaccurate.

People need to participate in medical decision-making. In today’s medical environment, it is shocking and appalling how much responsibility the patient's family needs to take on in making critical decisions. What's called for ongoingly, now, is a doctor-patient partnership. But patients and their families are not well-equipped to be partners with their doctors, owing to the very poor quality of medical and scientific information they receive from their media sources.

The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers graduate online masters in bioethics programs. For more information on the AMBI master of bioethics online program, please visit the AMBI site.

September 2, 2011 | Posted By Posted By David Lemberg, M.S., D.C.

The first human clone has not yet been born, but the fields of molecular biology and reproductive genetics are making rapid progress. Methods for cloning mammals have been available for more than a decade. Attempts to clone a primate utilizing these technologies have not yet been made, and it’s likely that human cloning will present even greater challenges. But the overall structure is in place.

This may be good news to some and bad news to others. Regardless, cloning is not a benign technology. Creating a clone may sidestep many genomic safeguards, resulting in novel permanent alterations to the human genetic code. If sufficient alterations accumulate over numerous generations, the evolving human genome may no longer accurately be called human.

The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers graduate online masters in bioethics programs. For more information on the AMBI master of bioethics online program, please visit the AMBI site.

 

September 2, 2011 | Posted By Wayne Shelton, PhD

The so-called Pro-Life movement in the U.S. has grown both in numbers and intensity since the 1980’s. The movement has been successful in popularizing the term “pro-life” so as to focus almost exclusively on the value of fetal life. For individuals in this movement, abortions are wrong, and for many with no exceptions such as incest and rape. For them, this issue alone represents the single gravest moral issue of our time. They want the right to abortion, as currently embodied in U.S. Constitutional law in the right to privacy, banned because fetuses, they believe, have full moral standing. 

Advocates against abortion continue to do all they can to limit the right of women to abortion through legislation and have been successful in setting up barriers such as requirements of waiting periods, viewing imaging studies of the fetus, and having specific warnings about the risks before an abortion can be performed. Sadly, the focus on the full moral value of the fetus is also often connected to the view that contraceptive methods are wrong since, these groups believe, at least some methods may entail that early fetal life is being destroyed. This worry in combination with other worries, such as the availability of contraception may contribute to promiscuity and degradation to moral standards in various ways, has linked together abortion and contraception into a single moral perspective; the result is that not only is it always wrong to abort a fetus, it is always wrong to take measures to prevent abortions.  

At the same time, for an extreme pro-choice advocate to claim that only the woman’s right to choose is important and that the fetus has no moral value does not capture how most people in the U.S. value human fetal life. Terminating the life of a fetus is not ethically the same as swatting a fly. I fear that some on the pro-choice side of the abortion issue have not taken the issue of abortion seriously enough as a moral issue—one can admit that a human fetus has moral value, though not necessarily full moral standing as babies, children, and adult humans, and still believe firmly in a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. Perhaps by taking abortion more seriously as a moral issue and focusing more on prevention of pregnancy, there could be a clearer differentiation of the issue of abortion rights and the right to contraceptives. 

The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers graduate online masters in bioethics programs. For more information on the AMBI master of bioethics online program, please visit the AMBI site.

 

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BIOETHICS TODAY is the blog of the Alden March Bioethics Institute, presenting topical and timely commentary on issues, trends, and breaking news in the broad arena of bioethics. BIOETHICS TODAY presents interviews, opinion pieces, and ongoing articles on health care policy, end-of-life decision making, emerging issues in genetics and genomics, procreative liberty and reproductive health, ethics in clinical trials, medicine and the media, distributive justice and health care delivery in developing nations, and the intersection of environmental conservation and bioethics.
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