Category Archives: autonomy

Payment as Coercion: Researchers Versus Research Participants

In the world of medical research, ethicists say it is unethical to pay a substantial amount of money to research participants. If you give a hefty sum for participation, people might sign up for risky research that they would otherwise … Continue reading

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Protecting the sexual rights of our grandparents

Bioethicists and experts on aging spend some time advising people on advance directives aimed at helping us make decisions about our medical care in the event of dementia or unconsciousness near the end of our lives. The idea is that … Continue reading

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Stop infantilizing old people, please

As I write this, I am 55 years old. Like most people my age, I like to think I am a “young 55” or that I look good “for my age.” As I get older, I think I have become … Continue reading

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Sparkle, Autonomy, and the Right to Die

Recently a woman in the UK known only as C won the right to effectively end her life by refusing dialysis treatment. Owen Bowcott, writing for The Guardian described it as a “highly unusual judgment,” but, in making the decision, … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Experiment Must Continue by Melissa Graboyes

We all have a complicated relationship with medical research. We know that every effective treatment or therapy that exists was once an experimental treatment or therapy. We know that some drugs have been so effective that they eradicated various diseases … Continue reading

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Reid Ewing and the Failure of Autonomy in Bioethics

Reid Ewing of Modern Family fame recently wrote publicly about his struggle with body dysmorphia in a personal essay on the Huffington Post. Ewing revealed that his dysmorphia led him to seek and receive several surgeries. He feels his surgeons … Continue reading

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The Ethics of Professional Ethics

When I was defending my dissertation a few years ago, a committee member asked me how I would respond to a tobacco company who asked me to advise them on the most ethical ways to harvest tobacco grown on farms … Continue reading

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