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08/11/2010 - 3:27pm

Yesterday I posted the first of two blog entries on Ethics in Venture Capital. This is the second.

The key lesson, I think, is one I learned from Gary Pisano’s book, Science Business, though it isn’t a major theme of that book. The lesson is this: a funding model is also typically a governance model. This insight is at a very coarse level summed up by the old aphorism that “he who pays the piper calls the tune.” In business terms, providing financing means paying the piper. Governance is about getting to call the tune....

08/11/2010 - 1:21pm

Jamais Cascio presents a condensed, thirty-minute version of the Institute for the Future’s forecast for the next ten years.

08/11/2010 - 10:36am

Should a person become a transhumanist before he is a humanist or is she to become a humanist first before becoming a transhumanist? A well-crafted question but one that deserves serious thought as to its purpose.

If you ask me, I would say that we are becoming transhumanists at a faster rate rather than the other way....

08/11/2010 - 9:23am

In the latest issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics, Ingrid Miljetegeig and colleagues discuss "End of life decisions as bedside rationing. An ethical analysis of life support restrictions in an Indian neonatal unit."  

08/11/2010 - 6:50am

"African Americans are more likely than w hites to die in the hospital, and unfortunately, deaths in acute-care settings are sometimes characterized by long periods of futile, life-sustaining treatment; inadequate pain management; and poor communication w ith the healthcare team."  

"To develop interventions to increase access to compassionate EOL care for African Americans, we must understand more about the factors that lead African Americans to choose options regardless of the setting of care."  In response to this gap in the know ledge base, a pilot study just published in Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing was guided by the follow ing research question: What individual, clinical, and social factors influence African Americans w ho have been diagnosed w ith a life-limiting illness to choose hospice or other options for EOL care?...

08/10/2010 - 3:52pm

This is the first of two blog entries on ethical issues in venture capital.

The relationship between VCs and the entrepreneurs they provide funding to raises some special ethical challenges. Here are just a few:...

08/10/2010 - 2:35pm

A philosopher and sometime science fiction author takes a look at what’s happening with his old favorite comic book series.


08/10/2010 - 1:51pm
The Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) marks its 20th anniversary in 2010.  The Center for Practical Bioethics is marking this milestone by convening leading voices in law, medicine, theology and ethics.  Participants will explore a controversial and difficult topic rooted in these two landmark events (PSDA and the Cruzan case), artificial nutrition and hydration.  The impact of technology and the evolving definitions of states of consciousness make this conference timely and relevant as clinicians, patients and their families, and policymakers grapple regularly with decisions regarding the mandatory use of medically-administered nutrition/hydration.  Here is the schedule:Friday, November 12WelcomeMyra Christopher, President and CEO of the Center for Practical BioethicsVideo message from John C. Danforth, former US Senator, co-sponsor of Patient Self  Determination ActCommemoration and historic overviewWilliam H. Colby, attorney for Nancy Cruzan familyPatients with altered states of consciousnessArt Caplan, Joe FinsModerator: Glenn McGeeDinner honoring the Cruzan family. Overview of Patient Self Determination Act, Myra Christopher.Saturday, November 13Patients with advanced illnessDavid Casarett, Dan Brauner, Joan TenoModerator: John CarneyReligion and PoliticsCharlie Sabatino, William F. May, Ron HamelModerator: Terry RosellConcurrent Sessions:Disability Advocacy, presenter TBDMedical Economics, presenter TBDSocial Policy in a democratic, pluralistic  societyPresenter: TBDClosing message: Richard Payne, MD
08/10/2010 - 11:34am

The main value of repugnance is for it to function as a starting point for a conversation.


08/10/2010 - 10:52am

Most of the hopes and fears about genetic testing are based on a mistaken idea, not of what it does, but of what genes do.

Basically, identifying “the gene for” is nothing else than finding an statistical correlation between a chemical pattern in DNA and a characteristic in the organism. It doesn’t guarantee that the characteristic will be present, explain how it works, or — if the characteristic is an unwanted one — provide a cure. It’s a very useful first step on the path of figuring something out, but it’s usually very far from an explanation or an applicable technology. Gene tests rarely tell you anything that medical checkups and your family history won’t....