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Genetic Linkage

Summer Reading for Bioethicists: End-of-the-World and Death Books

Like Alvy Singer, Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall, I’m obsessed with books about the end of humanity, which sometimes involves the end of the world, and sometimes just that of Homo sapiens. Midsummer is a good time to contemplate how bioethics would come into play in such unlikely scenarios, which raise issues of utilitarianism, justice, paternalism, death and dying, and misuse of technology. Read More 
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"Dignity Therapy" Paper Ignores Hospice

”Dignity therapy" is a “novel psychotherapeutic approach” that gives patients with a 6-month life expectancy “an opportunity to reflect on things that matter most to them or that they would most want remembered.” In these days of medical experts such as Sarah Palin equating reimbursed end-of-life discussions to death panels killing granny, an outcomes evaluation of any such intervention is essential. Read More 
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Taking a Chance on Chantix

After 60+ years of smoking, my mother-in-law’s lungs were surely a toxic wasteland, yet nothing would make her quit. By the time that studies from the 1950s finally led to warning messages on cigarette packages in the 1960s, too many nicotine molecules had bombarded neuron receptors in her brain’s nucleus accumbens, for far too long. She, like millions of others, was hooked. Read More 
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