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. 33, No. 4, July-August

A New Debate on an Old Topic
My mother, who died some years ago at eighty-six, was an exemplary forerunner of the new aging. Not for her the drab dresses and sober hats of her aging peers, or a settling into passivity and resignation. Her clothes were always bright yellows or...
Bioethics, Conflicts of Interest, & the Limits of Transparency
The movement in bioethics toward disclosure of financial conflicts of interest is well and good, most of the time. But in some cases, disclosure is not only unnecessary but destructive. When bioethicists advance arguments whose premises and logical...
Biogerontology, "Anti-Aging Medicine," and the Challenges of Human Enhancement
Slowing the aging process would be one of the most dramatic and momentous ways of enhancing human beings. It is also one that mainstream science is on the brink of pursuing. The state of the science, together with its possible impact, make it an important...
Border Patrol
Recently, the Supreme Court has countered cases that concern perhaps our weightiest bioethical issue--how medical care is to be rationed. But this does not mean that the Court must therefore assess the justice of rationing, as many people incited by...
Culture Clash Involving Intersex
Parents from a Middle Easter country bring their thirteen-year-old son to the hospital seeking treatment for a minor abnormality of the penis (hypospadias) and for breast development. The child has had two episodes of bleeding through the penis. The...
Dual Loyalty and Human Rights: Proposed Guidelines and Institutional Mechanisms
Health professionals the world over encounter conflicts of dual loyalty, in which their professional obligations to their patients are pitted against the interests of others, like the state. In certain instances, these conflicts are severe enough that...
Genetic Ties without Genetic Reductionism?
Who's the daddy?" "Are you the father?" Phrases like these urging DNA-based paternity testing began appearing on billboards in the 1990s. Around the same time, angry "duped dads" began appearing in courtrooms demanding release from parental obligations....
History to the Highest Bidder
A joke has it that in the Soviet Union the future was easy to foretell--predicting the past was the tough part. The uses and abuses of history are as fickle as the memory of it. The historian's work is necessarily partial, and how research is conducted...
In Harm's Way: Service in the Face of SARS
Carlo Urbani, the first person to recognize severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), succumbed to the illness one month after he discovered it while working as a physician in a hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam. The disease struck Dr. Urbani largely because...
In Memoriam: Dorothy Nelkin
Dorothy Nelkin, one of the major figures in Science Studies of the last quarter-century, died on 28 May at her home in Manhattan after a brief bout with cancer. She published more than 180 articles and either authored or co-authored twenty-six books--including...
In Memoriam: Dorothy Wertz
Dorothy Wertz died in Cancun, Mexico, on 29 April 2003. She suffered a heart attack while scuba diving, a pastime that she loved, but had been visiting Cancun to attend a meeting of the Human Genome Organization, many of whose statements bear her mark....
Is More Life Always Better? the New Biology of Aging and the Meaning of Life
The social consequences of extending the human life span might be quite bad; perhaps the worst outcome is that power could be concentrated into ever fewer hands, as those who wield it gave way more slowly to death and disease. But the worry that more...
No Fountain of Youth: FDA and NIH Review Off-Label Use of Hormones
The 28 May issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association published new data on the federally sponsored Women's Heath Initiative (WHI) Memory Study. The results from the estrogen plus progestin arm of the study showed that use of combination...
Reprogenetics and Public Policy: Reflections and Recommendations
At the first of the discussions that led eventually to this report, a respected researcher-clinician in the world of reprogenetic medicine referred to his field as "one big embryo experiment." The phrase nicely captures what this report is about. It...
Taking Money from the Drug Industry: The Rules Tighten
Gifts, grants, and fees from the drug industry have become so entrenched in American medical institutions that most of us no longer even notice their presence. But this may soon change. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in the Department of...
Thank You to Our Readers
A couple of years ago, when I became editor of the Hastings Center Report, I wrote in this space that, given the reputation of the publication I was taking over, only a fool would try to make any big changes to it. My chief goal, I elaborated, was...
The Consensus on Assisted Suicide
By the close of 2001, according to Oregon public health officials, physicians in the state had lawfully prescribed a lethal dose of barbiturates for 139 patients. Ninety of these patients ingested the substance and died (http://www.ohd.hr.state.or.us/news)....
The Jesica Santillan Tragedy: Lessons Learned
Seventeen-year-old Jesica Santillan's death as a result of receiving mismatched organs was a tragedy not only for Jesica and her family, but also for her transplant surgeon, James Jaggers, for Duke Medical Center, and for the whole organ transplantation...
The Practice of Euthanasia
John Keown's informed and powerful argument against euthanasia features both an excellent exposition of its pitfalls and a strong confrontation with a question that remains controversial abroad: Are there circumstances in which withdrawal of treatment...
Windows
Windows. Until now, I've had only one other job--my first after finishing graduate school--in which I worked in an office with a window. At one job I shared a cinderblock, eight-by-eight-foot office with my assistant, a woman with whom I remain good...

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