Bioethics

The Corpus Callosum

Category archives for Bioethics

Let Them Eat Anti-Psychotics

I couldn’t resist that title, but I must admit it isn’t mine; the author’s post is here.  This is about the NYT article about the finding that children on Medicaid are more likely to be prescribed antipsychotic medication, compared to those with private insurance.  The obvious correlation is that children with Medicaid are from poor…

In 2007, the American Psychological Association commissioned their Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation.  The background is this: early in the history of mental health treatment efforts, homosexuality was considered to be an illness.  Therefore, it was thought to be appropriate for therapists to try to change the sexual orientation of persons…

The topic of neural enhancement has created controversy.  This came to wide attention in late 2007, upon the publication of various articles in Nature, as noted by  Shelley Batts, Janet Stemwedel, David Dobbs, Daniel MacArthur, Scicurious and others.  But so far as I know, no esteemed medical organization has taken a position on the subject. …

Dr. Richard Friedman, professor of psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, has an article in the New York Times.  In it, he claims that reforms in medical residency training may be leaving young doctors “a little more hesitant and uncertain than you might like.”  At first I was hesitant to write about it,…

Clinical Research and its Discontents

The NEJM has published a provocative article about the ethics of the globalization of clinical trials.  (The article is openly accessible.)  The big issue is this: clinical trials are very expensive.  It is cheaper to do them overseas, but this raises questions of scientific integrity, as well as questions of ethical integrity. Ethical and Scientific…

Ever since the inception of the Global and Perpetual War on Terror, there has been concern about the role of professionals with training in psychology and psychiatry in the design, conduct, and interpretation of torture programs. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) banned such participation in May 2006.  The American Medical Association (AMA) followed a few…

JAMA has an article on the history of continuing medical education (CME).  Annoyingly, they did not make it one of the open-access articles, so they don’t get a link.  However, there are some telling excerpts and some good commentary over at The Carlat Psychiatry Blog. There was a time when families used to sit, all…

The Next Big Gardasil Controversy

Gardasil is the vaccine from Merck that greatly lowers the risk of infection from some human papilloma virus (HPV) infections. The first big controversy had to do with the practice of giving the vaccine to young girls.  To be most effective, it should be given prior to the commencement of sexual exposure.  So the recommendation…

Roundup-Resistant Weeds

Here at ScienceBlogs, we’ve regularly posted about the thorny issue of antibiotic overuse, and the subsequent antibiotic resistance.  This is a good example of evolution in action; it’s also a good reason why we need to study and understand evolution.   But antibiotic resistance is not the only such example.  The same principle applies to…

Bodies Revealed Controversy

A fellow blogger, Logtar,  tipped me off to a controversy, and asked if I had anything to say about it.  The controversy has come about over an exhibit: Bodies Revealed.  It’s a traveling exhibit that displays plastinated human cadavers.  The exhibit was organized by Premier Exhibitions, Inc. A bit of background can be gotten from…