Ethics: Today's Hot Topics

 
 

  • Should a Terminal Patient Receive Cataract Surgery?   Should a terminally ill cancer patient who asks for cataract surgery to improve his quality of life be granted his wish?
  • Was Matt Lauer Too Naive About Patient-Doctor Confidentiality?   When someone discusses sensitive matters, such as sex, with a physician or therapist outside of the office and asks for privacy, does patient confidentiality apply?
  • Should You Honor a DNR Tattoo?   If an incapacitated patient has a 'do not resuscitate' request tattooed on his or her body, should a physician comply with the request?
  • Should You Tell Elderly Patients to Stop Driving?   Should physicians be responsible for telling elderly drivers that they should no longer be driving? What alternatives are there for patients who still want to remain mobile?
  • Will Pig Organs Be Used for Transplants?   Immunosuppression and the fear of transmitting diseases that animals have to people have impeded pig organ transplants in humans. Will new scientific advances enable pig organ transplants?
  • Should Medical Schools Eliminate Lectures?   The University of Vermont Medical School has eliminated lectures in favor of active learning. Will other medical schools follow?
  • Parental Authority Should Be Overridden for a Sick Child   A baby with jaundice recently died as a result of the parents' religious beliefs. Should parental authority be overridden for a sick child?
  • Is It Time to Rethink Funding for Research on Gun Violence?   The recent spate of mass shootings, including the horrific one in Las Vegas, has prompted an outcry to address funding for research on gun violence.
  • Should You Recommend Coffee Drinking to Your Patients?   Recent studies suggest that coffee drinking may be good for you, but more data replicating these studies are needed. Should you recommend coffee consumption to patients?
  • Should Physicians Educate Patients via Social Media?   More patients are going online to get health information and some of the information on the Internet is not scientific. What can physicians do to educate patients via social media?
  • Is It Time to Modernize Medical Organizations?   Medical organizations have striven to serve physicians' needs for many decades. How can these organizations stay relevant?
  • Should We Pay Organ Donor Heroes?   Altruistic organ donors incur many legitimate costs, such as days lost from work and travel, hotel, and dining expenses, yet they aren't compensated. Should the government pay for their expenses?
  • Is Parental Smoking Child Abuse?   When a patient smokes, or takes medications, their children's health may be harmed. What can physicians do to change parents' behavior to eliminate these risks?
  • Are Doctors Ready to Counsel on DTC Genetic Testing?   At-home genetic tests are becoming more widely available. But interpreting the tests may be risky. Are doctors prepared to counsel patients on test results?
  • Is an Organ From a Diseased Person Better Than Nothing?   With a shortage of organs and waiting lists growing, the idea of transplanting organs from people who have diseases may become reality.
  • Should Doctors Decide When It’s Futile to Keep Charlie Gard Alive?   Doctors at a London hospital say it's not right to keep Charlie Gard alive, but his parents fight for care in the United States. Should doctors cross the line and say it's futile to continue care?
  • 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.
 
 
 
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