The Hastings Center Report

The Hastings Center Report is a bimonthly magazine addressing ethical issues in medicine and the life sciences for an audience of physicians and other health care practitioners, attorneys and professionals in business and academia. Founded in Feb. of 1971, The Hastings Center publishes this magazine. Subjects for the Hastings Center Report are medicine and surgery. The Managing Editor is Joyce Griffin. Gregory E. Kaebnick is the Editor.

Articles from Vol. 39, No. 5, September-October

Access to Health-Related Goods
There are many good reasons for a merger between bioethics and human rights. First, though, significant philosophical groundwork must be done to clarify what a human right to health would be and--if we accept that it exists--exactly how it might influence...
Dirty Blood
My blood is dirty," Brian explains to the triage nurse when he arrives at the emergency room requesting urgent dialysis. He has a dialysis catheter in place and says his last dialysis was approximately one month ago. Further questioning reveals that...
Government-Scripted Consent: When Medical Ethics and Law Collide
Informed consent lies at the heart of the physician-patient relationship. It is grounded in the principle of respect for persons, which affirms an individual's consequent right to autonomous decision-making. Informed consent requires voluntariness--freedom...
Implications
Implications. Much of my scholarly work focuses on the ethical, legal, and social implications of research with human biological materials. Collections of these materials--tissue samples, blood, and DNA, for example--combined with health information...
Lessons in Moral Theory from the Dutch
American bioethicists lack the theoretical resources to work in cross-cultural settings. All we have are two approaches to ethics--principles vs. narratives--that are mostly at odds, and neither of which is up to the job. If moral principles are too...
Misgivings
Our daughter Annie was diagnosed with Trisomy 13 before she was born. Most infants born with the condition die shortly after birth, but some live for many years. We exhaustively researched medical publications and parents' stories about children with...
Normative Slogging
Both of the articles in this issue of the Hastings Center Report deal with questions that, though abstract and theoretical, are close to my heart. Both have to do with questions about moral language. What moral language will best address national and...
Quiet Moments
During one of my last days as a fourth-year medical student, I was asked to suture a laceration on a patient's forearm. I would normally have been delighted for the opportunity to improve my suturing technique, but the more I learned about the patient,...
Saturday Morning in the Clinic
A decade ago Mark Bliton and Stuart Finder suggested that clinical ethics consultants be "persistently guided" by the question "What do I need to know?" (1) Exploration of this question, they argued, is critical for two reasons. First, it helps consultants...
Slipping through the Net: Social Vulnerability in Pandemic Planning
In the spring of 2009, a number of U.S. schools closed in response to government health directives designed to prevent the transmission of the contagious respiratory influenza virus known as H1N1. Thousands of children were asked to stay home and avoid...
Swine Flu Vaccine: What Is Fair?
A novel strain of influenza A (H1N1)--so-called swine flu--spread through Mexico in April 2009, and by June 11th, the World Health Organization raised the alert level to a full-blown pandemic. (1) The virus spread widely during the Southern hemisphere's...
The American Right to Health
The human right to health has strong American roots. In his 1944 State of the Union address, not long before D-Day, Franklin Roosevelt told Congress, "We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without...
Toward a Meaningful Alternative Medicine
In 1998, Phil Fontanarosa and George Lundberg declared, "there is no alternative medicine." They maintained there "is only scientifically proven, evidence-based medicine supported by solid data or unproven medicine, for which data is lacking." Fontanarosa...
When It Comes to HIV Infection, Some Are More Equal Than Others
As other states do, Illinois gives physicians the privilege--but not the duty--to disclose an HIV infection to a patient's spouse, even if they must override the patient's wishes that they not do so. The law permits a physician to take this extraordinary...
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