Bioethics

The Corpus Callosum

Category archives for Bioethics

The US Supreme Court is hearing arguments in Baze v. Rees (WaPo, NYT).  This is a case about a guy who killed a sheriff and a deputy.  He is on death row in Kentucky.  Kentucky plans to execute him using a three-drug cocktail: sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride.   Thiopental is a barbiturate…

Bush Promises Reforms in HIV Policy

Last year, on the occasion of World AIDS Day, President Bush promised to reform a discriminatory policy that blocks most persons with HIV from entering the USA.   The current rule does allow for waivers, but the process is cumbersome and unscientific. Now, one week after this year’s World AIDS Day, we learn that the…

Is It Just Me?

Is it just me, or do others find this article to be offensive? When the Patient Is a Googler By SCOTT HAIG Thursday, Nov. 08, 2007 We had never met, but as we talked on the phone I knew she was Googling me. The way she drew out her conjunctions, just a little, that was…

Placebos for Performance Enhancement

Athletic regulatory bodies have a new headache.  This time, the pain is being caused by placebos (an unexpected side effect!)   As reported in New Scientist, athletes have found that they can exert themselves to a greater extent, while under the influence of opioid pain killers.  That is not permitted in competition, of course, but…

Support the Troops

A recent study indicates that the lifetime cost of medical care for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans will be greater than the cost of the war to date.  We really have no choice, but it is going to cost us.  A lot.  Of course, the ones really paying are the troops themselves.  From Medscape (free registration…

Virtual Epidemiology

In 2005, there was a plague.  It started inadvertently, as most do, but spread rapidly, resulting in many deaths.  Officials scrambled to find a solution.  Eventually it was contained.   The plague was caused by a miscoded spell (Corrupted Blood), in the massively-multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), World of Warcraft.  The people who died were…

Hard to know what to make of this.  The American Psychological Association considered a proposal to ban participation in military interrogations.  Specifically, APA members would have been prohibited from assisting in interrogations “in which detainees are deprived of adequate protection of their human rights.” The APA national meeting is being held in San Fransisco this…

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the revelation that the a committee of the American Psychological Association had been manipulated into tacitly supporting the involvement of psychologists in developing harsh interrogation techniques.   A couple of weeks ago, journalist Katherine Eban published an article with more detail on the subject.  Her article, Rorschach…

For some reason, my Father used to say that when he made an indisputable point of some significance.  It is in the Urban Dictionary in case you are curious about the expression.  It is also the title of a post on Autoblog about a 1941 Ford made of organic plastic, which had been made from…

(RWOS=Republican War on Science) In case you haven’t noticed (and why would you?), the USA is without a Surgeon General.  The old one, Dr. Richard Carmona, unhired himself for unclear reasons last July, as noted on Effect Measure.  The candidate for the position, Dr. James Holsinger, has proven to be unpopular with the Democratically-controlled Congress…