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Blogging Ethics

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05/11/2017 - 3:25pm

Presenting science as a battle for truth against ignorance is an unhelpful exaggeration

05/11/2017 - 3:22pm

Stacy Freedenthal: "My friends called it a boxcar, the tiny cream-colored duplex I rented in Austin 20 years ago, a long rectangle divided by doorways without doors. The oak floors were so old that the finish had long ago worn away. They were filthy. I mopped, but dirt stubbornly remained caked between the slats of wood"

05/11/2017 - 3:17pm

Think of the last time you had food poisoning. Did you tweet about it? Did you Google your symptoms? Or did you write an angry review on Yelp?

05/11/2017 - 3:12pm

A group of scientists is pushing ahead with plans to build whole genomes—including human ones—from scratch

05/11/2017 - 10:32am

With the advent of 3-D printers and similar technology, modern science has come closer and closer to artificially solving medical issues and imitating parts of both the anatomy and physiology of the human body. However, when it comes to issues of reproduction and pregnancy, it’s an entirely different battle. Attempts to create an artificial womb for human … More It’s Not Science Fiction: Ethics of Artificial Wombs

05/11/2017 - 9:30am

This post is part of Bill of Health’s symposium on Critical Studies Citizen Science in Biomedical Research. Here, drawing upon interviews with self-trackers, Nils Heyen analyzes the different types of activities that self-trackers engage in and reflects on what kind … Continue reading →

05/20/2017 - 11:05pm
Patrick Lin started it. In an article entitled ‘The Ethics of Autonomous Cars’ (published in The Atlantic in 2013), he considered the principles that self-driving cars should follow when they encountered tricky moral dilemmas on the road. We all encounter these situations from time to time. Something unexpected happens and you have to make a split second decision. A pedestrian steps onto the road and you don’t see him until the last minute: do you slam on the brakes or swerve to avoid? Lin made the obvious point that no matter how safe they were, self-driving cars would encounter situations like this, and so engineers would have to design ‘crash-optimisation’ algorithms that the cars would use to make those split second decisions.
05/11/2017 - 3:30am

The Hastings Center has started a new project - 
 “The Last Stage of Life."

People are living longer, but with more years of chronic illness and frailty. Many lack the financial, community, or health care resources they need to secure their own well-being, and often die in isolation or with family caregivers who themselves have become ill from the stress of their caregiving burdens. 

With support from the Robert Wilson Charitable Trust and with additional funds from Hastings’s endowment, the Hastings Center has begun a two-year planning process to determine how best the field of bioethics can meet the new and complex needs of our aging society and of aging people and their caregivers.  

As a first step, the Center recently brought together a wide variety of experts from numerous disciplines and societal sectors – including health policy experts, demographers, architects, philosophers, gerontologists, physicians, nurses, urban planners, and grant makers concerned with aging and end-of-life care. The meeting focused on defining a social ethics approach to this challenge and began identifying the values that should guide structures and policies to promote good and prevent harms and injustices to aging people and their caregivers. Among the questions explored were:

  • What is the epidemiology of population aging in the United States?
  • How well do our current structures and policies respond to age-related illness and frailty?
  • What is human flourishing in the face of frailty?
  • How can we understand and articulate what makes for a good life for people living with age-related illness and frailty, especially those with limited resources?


05/11/2017 - 3:30am

The Hastings Center has started a new project - 

People are living longer, but with more years of chronic illness and frailty. Many lack the financial, community, or health care resources they need to secure their own well-being, and often die in isolation or with family caregivers who themselves have become ill from the stress of their caregiving burdens. ...

05/10/2017 - 1:28pm

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast that these complicated — and potentially deadly — cases of TB will become far more common in Russia, India, the Philippines and South Africa by the year 2040.