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. 40, No. 1, January-February

Come Together
During the past decade my research has compared health policies in the United States, Asia, and Europe. My training in political science helps me understand why these policies exist and how to document their consequences. While these are important...
Cryptic Coercion
It's early evening and I imagine that below me, seventeen floors of this anonymous high-rise must be emptying out, workers spun from revolving glass doors into a twilight of routine responsibilities: traffic, transport, what to have for dinner. The...
GINA and Preemployment Criminal Background Checks
One day in the spring of 2009, the Rules Committee of The University of Akron Board of Trustees made a small but significant addition to a new "Employee Background Review Policy" that the university administration had proposed. The policy, modeled...
HCR Turns Forty; What's Next?
This issue of the Hastings Center Report features two articles on two issues that lie outside the range of usual topics for bioethics. The lead article, by Joseph Millum, a bioethicist at the Clinical Center Department of Bioethics and the Fogarty...
How Should the Benefits of Bioprospecting Be Shared?
Bioprospecting--the search for valuable chemical products in natural biological resources--is an important source of novel chemical and biological products with potential uses in medicine, agriculture, and other industries. (1) But a great deal of...
Just Another Test?
Samantha is a pale and withdrawn fourteen-year-old brought to the emergency room by her mother. She is fatigued, nauseated, and has been vomiting. Her mother tells the physician on call in the ER that she's very worried; Samantha lately refuses to...
Medicalized Weapons & Modern War
Asymmetric warfare is creating a new frontier for bioethics as military organizations rush to develop nonlethal, medicalized weapons. Faced with small but increasingly sophisticated guerrilla organizations that intermingle at will with the civilian...
Moral Distress: A Growing Problem in the Health Professions?
In the insightful and provocative book Final Exam, noted author and liver transplant surgeon Pauline Chen chronicles her medical education and some of the ethical dilemmas physicians face in practice. (1) She describes a hierarchal and often authoritative...
New Standards for Gene Synthesis Screening
How should we think about risk when evaluating emerging biotechnologies? That question is at the core of a long-running debate over the merits of the "precautionary principle," which is variously interpreted but is usually said to concern the burden...
Too Few Physicians, or Too Many?
Does the United States need to be training more physicians? One might think not, given that we currently have more physicians--both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the population--than at any other time in the last fifty years. (1) It may,...
Toward Global Justice through Benefit-Sharing
Biopiracy" is a critical term coined to describe the practice of "bioprospecting," which falls short of today's ethical and legal standards. While bioprospecting is the age-old search for natural chemical products, biopiracy conjures up lurid images...
Two Masters
American government rests on the principle of distrust of government. Not only is power within the federal government checked and balanced. Power is divided between the federal government and the state governments. So what if a state law conflicts...
When You Least Expect It
My brother Jeff's voice on the cell phone said, "Julie, it's Mom." It was one of those calls you never want to receive. Some people think that being a physician insulates us from the impact of such a call, but when it involves your own family, the...
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