Year 1, 2017 – 2018: Foundations & Futures

For any (ethical) discussion to be worthwhile, participants actively share both their experiences with the past and their visions of the future. The first year of bioethics discussions begins at the foundations of the medical enterprise (doctors, patients, responsibilities), broadens widely (to families‘ and communities‘ roles in health), and surveys the biomedical landscape (from before birth to after death). In so doing, basic principles of ethical consideration are established by a community (of [possible!] practitioners): how ought individuals dispute ideas with one another?; when judging an act what parameters are pertinent?; what is the point of (bio)medicine? Seeking to strike a balance between evergreen ethical dilemmas, the latest in biomedical technology, and important social issues, the topics of the discussions have us peer into the mists of (bio)medicine’s history and to its future horizons. As roundtable discussions, (hopefully) all involved are at ease and all voices equal. To start, consider where you have been and where you wish to go. Such is the philosophy guiding this series of discussions.

A quick look

Pertinent details

Other details 

First, do no harm. A discussion concerning the basis of care.

September 12, 2017, 7PM, 2185 LBME

The Hippocratic oath

The nocebo effect of informed consent

The doctor-patient relationship in different cultures

Organ and body donations. A discussion on the give and take of our very selves.

September 26, 2017, 7PM, 2185 LBME

The survival lottery

The case for allowing kidney sales

Organ donation and retrieval: whose body is it anyway?

Human experimentation. A discussion testing the limits of testing ourselves.

October 10, 7PM, 2185 LBME 

The Belmont report

The patient and the public good

Scientific research is a moral duty

We’re trying to help out ticket people, not exploit them 

Big data, little privacy. A discussion on the shape of things to come.

October 24, 2017, 7PM, 2185 LBME

Ethical issues in big data health research

Confidentiality in medicine: a decrepit concept

On telling patients the truth

Universal healthcare. A discussion on the (inevitable?) end of medicine.

November 7, 2017, 7PM, 2185 LBME

Bubbles under the wallpaper

Uncertainty and welfare economics of medical care

Barack Obama’s speech to Joint Session of Congress, September 2009

Family in medicine. A discussion on love, blood, and responsibility.

November 21, 2017, 7PM, 2185 LBME

The abnormal child

Life past reason

Treatment decisions regarding infants, children and adolescents

Death. A discussion on our ends.

December 5, 2017, 7PM, 2185 LBME


Abortion. A discussion “going there” respectfully.

January 9, 2018, 7PM, 2185 LBME

Abortion and health care ethics

Abortion and infanticide

A defense of abortion

Assisted reproduction. A discussion for the bravest in the new world.

January 23, 2018, 7PM, 2185 LBME

The ethics of uterus transplantation

Assisted reproduction in same sex couples

Multiple gestation and damaged babies

Prenatal screening. A discussion on early look and tough decisions.

February 6, 2018, 7PM, 2185 LBME

Prenatal diagnosis and selective abortion

Genetics and reproductive risk

Sex selection and preimplantation genetic diagnosis

Genetic manipulation. A discussion on changing our codes.

February 20, 2018, 7PM, 2185 LBME


Questions about some uses of genetic engineering

The moral significance of the therapy-enhancement distinction in human genetics

Should we undertake genetic research on intelligence?

LGBTQ health. A discussion including inclusion and finding ourselves.

March 6, 2018, 7PM, 2185 LBME

Growing pains: problems with puberty suppression in treating gender dysphoria

The duty to warn and clinical ethics: legal and ethical aspects of confidentiality and HIV/AIDS

Obergefell v. Hodges decision

Vaccination. A discussion on public health and individual choice.

March 20, 2018, 7PM, 2185 LBME

Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children

The moral case for the routing vaccination of children in developed and developing counties

Ethics and infectious disease


Regulation. A discussion about the maze and the pathway.

April 3, 2018, 7PM, 2185 LBME


Thalidomide retrospective: what did we learn?

Improving medical device regulation: the United States and Europe in perspective

Ethics, regulation, and comparative effectiveness research

Posthumanity. A discussion on our end.

April 17, 2018, 7PM, 2185 LBME

In defense of posthuman dignity

Stem cells, biotechnology, and human rights: implications for a posthuman future

A cyborg manifesto