Silence = Death

May 18, 2017
On Monday, Trump announced a new policy called Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance. That policy expands the scope of the Global Gag Rule. Also known as the Mexico City Policy, the restrictions of the Global Gag Rule now apply to nearly $9 billion in global health funding provided annually by federal agencies like the State Department and the Department of Defense, in addition to the $600 million in family planning support that is provided by USAID. By denying funds to family planning clinics that provide information or referrals for abortions, the Global Gag Rule already leaves millions of poor women without access to reproductive health and family planning services. Trump’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy will make that already tragic situation worse.
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She Ain’t Hefty™, She’s My Mother

May 4, 2017
A recent development in medical technology, an artificial womb known as a Biobag, is the first successful demonstration of an artificial womb. It is essentially a large Ziploc™ bag that encloses the fetus and bathes it in a protective solution similar to the amniotic fluid inside the uterus. Used only in the laboratory with lambs so far, researchers hope that Biobag-like technology can soon be used in the clinic to provide care and treatment for premature infants. Yet despite the potentially miraculous advance in treating prematurity that the Biobag represents, there are many condemning the research, making overt or oblique reference to Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World. So are we one step closer to Huxley’s dystopia as these critics claim?
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(Non) Free Will and Bioethics

May 1, 2017
Philosophers, religious thinkers, and laymen alike have pondered on the notion of ‘the freedom of the will’ for thousands of years. In the so-called Western ethical tradition it seems to have a more or less unequivocal meaning: conscious adult individuals without particular mental illnesses are free in choosing their moral norms and actions. But what if all these convictions, legal regulations and ethical frameworks are based on a profoundly faulty foundation – the assumption that the human will is in fact free? And if free will does not exist, how could physicians respect it?
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