Ethics: Today's Hot Topics

 
 

  • Did This Doctor Do Wrong by Delaying Bad News to a Patient?   Giving bad news to a patient is never easy. Ethicist Art Caplan discusses whether it is ever right for a physician to postpone giving bad news.
  • Should the AMA's Ban on Sexual Misconduct Go Even Further?   Ethicist Arthur Caplan takes a strong stand in favor of a no-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct for all physicians, no matter where they are.
  • Does Oprah's HBO Movie Mislead About Past Medical Research?   In 1951, Henrietta Lacks's cancer cells were taken for research without her permission. Does Oprah's docudrama about this situation give a wrong impression about the current state of medical research?
  • A Hospital Gets Sued for Keeping a Patient Alive   Hospital clinicians who don't follow a patient's advance healthcare directive are at risk of being sued.
  • Pornography: A Public Health Problem?   Ethicist Art Caplan discusses whether pornography should be considered a public health concern.
  • Is Medicaid Only for Those Who 'Deserve' It?   Congress seems to have a 19th-century attitude about who deserves healthcare, says Art Caplan.
  • School Recess: A Right or a Privilege?   A leading bioethicist argues the importance of school recess as a right and the value to young students' physical and emotional health and well-being.
  • Should We Refuse Transplants for People With Disabilities?   Ethicist Art Caplan discusses the moral argument about when transplantation should and shouldn't be considered in people with disabilities.
  • Do Physicians' Beards Endanger Patients' Health?   A bioethicist notes that physicians' choices on attire and personal appearance could have negative consequences for their patients.
  • The State Shouldn't Tell Doctors What to Say, Says Ethicist   Dr Art Caplan, bioethicist, discusses physicians' right to talk to their patients about certain topics, including gun safety and the abortion reversal pill, in view of various state legislation.
  • Is It Ethical to Use Anencephalic Newborns for Organ Donation?   A pregnant woman wants to offer her anencephalic unborn baby to be used as a potential organ donor. Many professionals question the ethics of this action.
  • Should You Help Depressed People End Their Lives?   As more states move to legalize physician-assisted dying, which patients should be granted their last wish is the subject of heated debate. The European experience is problematic, an ethicist notes.
  • Tell Patients When Religion Will Affect a Hospital's Care?   Religious hospitals may not consent to abortion, contraception, infertility treatment, or physician-assisted dying where it is legal, and patients may not know it. Is it your job to inform them?
  • Encourage Even HIV Patients to Become Organ Donors?   With organs for transplant in short supply, it's vital to talk to patients--even if they are elderly or have a disease like HIV--about the prospect of becoming donors, an ethicist says.
  • Time to Let Dentists Give Flu Shots   Doctors may consider it a turf issue, but nurses already give flu shots in drug stores, and letting dentists, who see more patients than anyone else, do it is in the public interest, an ethicist says.
  • Healthcare and Healthcare Ethics in the Trump Era   If such changes as limiting coverage of preexisting conditions, outlawing abortion, and setting caps on healthcare benefits occur, the doctor-patient relationship will change, an ethicist predicts.
  • Gripping Interview: How One Addicted Doctor Recovered   Cheryl Karcher, MD, was a prominent dermatologist when she was publicly 'outed' as an addict. In this interview, she talks about her recovery, her return to a successful practice, and what keeps her clean.
  • Sperm Banking: Buyer Beware   Legitimate reasons for using a sperm bank exist. The technology is sound. But the industry is underregulated, and tragic mix-ups have occurred that your patients should be aware of, an ethicist says.
  • Should Dissatisfied Patients Get Their Money Back?   Other businesses offer customers money-back guarantees. Why shouldn't doctors? One healthcare system is actually giving it a try. But is it really a good idea? An ethicist weighs the pros and cons.
  • Too Many Doctors Who Sexually Abuse Patients Go Unpunished   Doctors who are alcoholics or drug abusers may deserve a second chance after rehabilitation. But there should be a zero-tolerance policy for doctors who sexually assault patients, an ethicist argues.