Posts in April 2016

  1. Should Teens Be Able to Have Access to Abortion Services Without Parental Notification or Consent?

    [ By on April 27, 2016 ]

    In the year 2014, there were a total of 249,078 babies born by teenagers aged 15-19 in the United States, and an even greater number of pregnancies. Many of these teenagers elected to terminate their pregnancies, for one reason or another, but usually due to the burden of having a child at such a young age. Yet, some who may have wanted abortions were unable to receive them, again, for one reason or another, but sometimes due to the fact that they would be required to inform their parents, and the thought of doing so would inspire fear for how their parents might react. For many pregnant teens, informing one's parents of one's desire to have an abortion can be ...

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  2. Xenotransplantation: A(n animal) Life for a (human) Life?

    [ By on April 27, 2016 ]

    About a month ago, I read an article on mic.com called “How a Pig’s Heart in a Baboon’s Body Could Save Your Life.” The article focuses on new developments in xenotransplantation, which is the process of transferring an organ from one species to another and has been long contested. For 945 days, a pig’s heart has been keeping a baboon alive, a creature similar to humans. This is extremely promising for the future of organ donations. According to the article, for every organ donor, there are 20 people in need of organs. If xenotransplantation is possible, it could save thousands of patients waiting for organ donations. While there are still issues to work through with xenotransplantation, like initial rejection of ...

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  3. Genetically Modified- Food for thought

    [ By on April 27, 2016 ]

    There are few matters in society that are as profoundly personal and cultural as food, so it stands to reason that issues over genetically modified (GM) food leads to an ethical debate. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are classified as plant and animal organisms, or microorganisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur in nature by mating, cross-pollination, or natural recombination. The technology enables individual genes to be passed from one organism into another, also between non-related species. Foods produced with GMOs are referred to as GM foods (GMFs). The societal benefits to crops altered by GMOs, are that they produce better yields, have shorter growing periods, and are engineered to be ...

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  4. Should Baxter Live Forever?

    [ By on April 27, 2016 ]

    Recently I had the pleasure and immense responsibility of getting my first puppy, Baxter. Like most dog owners, I selfishly think that he is the cutest thing and better that other dogs, but I really mean it, he is adorable. Regardless, I haven't been able to stop myself from thinking about what will happen when he dies. I am so happy by his presence in our family and I already see myself being devastated when he is gone. This year in Bioethics, we watched a quick clip about a couple that had their dog genetically cloned and given birth to by a surrogate mother, a dog of course. Genetically the dog looks the exact same as the one that died, ...

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  5. Should There Be A Death Penalty?

    [ By on April 27, 2016 ]

    Prison life has been portrayed in many different ways from movie dramatizations, to documentaries trying to paint a realistic picture, to books letting the reader imagine life behind bars. When I think about it, I tend to side with documentaries and their attempts to give the general public a sense of what goes on in a world unfamiliar to many. The prison population is usually portrayed as violent, black or latino, and gang affiliated, however, these educational films do pick out the outliers in our prison system from gay inmates to inmates that received particularly harsh punishment for their crime. Although not always explicit, these documentaries paint a general picture of what life is like and alludes to some staggering statistics about ...

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  6. Mistakes In the Medical Profession

    [ By on April 27, 2016 ]

    Mistakes happen and are inevitable in everyday life. Errors can and do occur in every profession, every circumstance, and to everyone, but in the medical profession these mistakes could mean the life or death of an individual. These mistakes can be for a variety of reason. They can occur from the scientific uncertainty of the practice of medicine or even the simple blunder of an individual doctor or nurse. A physician’s mistake can happen for many reasons: lack of sleep, distractions, incomplete knowledge of a disease or other ailment or even something as small as reading a number wrong could result in an error. Should physicians be obligated ethically to divulge an error to a patient or their family? The ...

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  7. Human Popsicles

    [ By on April 27, 2016 ]

    Cryonics is the practice in which bodies are stored after death in extremely low temperatures in the hopes of one day unfreezing these individuals and in a sense ‘bringing back the dead’. Presently, Cryopreservation of humans is non-reversible. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this part of contemporary science. Questions about death and what it actually means to be dead arise when thinking about cryonics. Is a person dead after the death of their brain? After his or her heart stops beating? Or something completely different? Cryonics is not the science of healing a person once they are revived (if science allows for that at some point in the future). For instance, if an individual chooses to be ...

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  8. The Brain Game: Is the Internet Really Ethical?

    [ By on April 27, 2016 ]

    It's 2016. We live in an age filled with screens, tablets, music players and phones. You're reading this exact post on some form of screen right now. Everyone is affected by the Internet and technology in our day and age-- some more than others. Whether you're a middle schooler who's never grown up in a world without the invention of the iPhone or someone like my grandmother, who didn't have wi-fi in her house up until a year ago, the Internet is a part of your life. But have we ever stopped to think about how this constant connection to the web affects us? I know I, for one, am someone who worries about leaving the house without their phone and ...

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  9. Genetic Profiling in the Workplace

    [ By on April 27, 2016 ]

    Your mother died a terrible death of Huntington's Disease when she was 35 and you know that there is a large chance that you will have the same fate.  After years of consideration, you decide that you do not want to be genetically tested to find out for certain if you will develop the disease; you would rather live your life without the diagnosis hanging over your head.  You are applying for your dream job and they tell you that you must be genetically tested for markers of diseases (such as Huntington's) so that they have more information when potentially giving you an insurance plan.  What do you do? Do you turn down the job because they are forcing you ...

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  10. What to do about marijuana

    [ By on April 26, 2016 ]

    Not only has Cannabis become ubiquitous all across the world, significant evidence from what little research has been able to be performed on the plant has found many possible medicinal uses for the active ingredient in the plant, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Small scale drug busts and minimum sentences for pot possession are a detriment to many communities in the United States, especially those of color even though users are not more often minorities. Given the potential of Cannabis as a new treatment for anything from cancer to chronic pain as well as its role in the damaging War on Drugs, is it ethically justifiable to prevent reclassification and prescription of marijuana? Full legalization is an ...

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